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Original Founders Return to Hawaii Shakespeare Festival

The Hawaii Shakespeare Festival (HSF) celebrates its seventeenth season with the return of all three founding members: Tony Pisculli, R. Kevin Garcia Doyle, and Harry Wong, III. The last time all three directed together was during HSF's 10th season in 2011. The season kicks off with Shakespeare's twisted, fairy-tale take on romantic comedy All's Well That Ends Well, opening July 13. Next is Shakespeare's most painful tragedy King Lear, opening July 27. The season concludes with Henrik Ibsen's dark drama Hedda Gabler, opening August 10.

Tony Pisculli directs season opener All's Well That Ends Well. Helena loves Bertram, a "bright particular star" that is out of her orbit. By coming to the aid of the King, Helena wins Bertram's hand ... but not his love. Shakespeare subverts, then dispenses with the traditional formula early on, and then the real fun begins-a fairy-tale-style adventure that definitely swings more toward comedy than romance. The all-female cast features Stephanie Keiko Kong is Helena, Claire Fallon is Bertram, and talented HSF newcomer Maile Kapua`ala is Parolles. Pisculli, a multiple Po`okela recipient and the only person to have directed for all seventeen seasons of HSF, directed last season's Seagull.

Considered one of Shakespeare's Four Great Tragedies, King Lear is the story of a king struggling against the ravages of age, his three daughters struggling with his increasingly erratic behavior, and a scheming villain trying to usurp the crown for himself. Filled with moments both funny and moving, this production focuses on the danger of prizing flattery over honesty. R. Kevin Garcia Doyle, who last directed for HSF with 2015's Othello, sets the action in the Iron Age and will include live musical accompaniment. Richard Valasek stars as Lear, with Sharon Garcia Doyle and Katherine Aumer as his scheming daughters, Goneril and Regan.

The 2018 season concludes with Henrik Ibsen's dark drama of psychological manipulation, Hedda Gabler. This classic set in 1890 Norway centers around the unhappy Hedda, trapped in a loveless marriage, who manipulates everyone around her, infecting them with her misery and destroying lives. The play features Jaime Bradner in the title role, Marcus Lee as Lovborg, Kirstyn Trombetta as Thea, and Reb Beau Allen as Judge Brack. Directed by Harry Wong, III, who also serves as Artistic Director of Kumu Kahua Theatre. His last HSF production was Two Noble Kinsmen in 2011.

Advance tickets are $20 through Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006 or online at HawaiiShakes.org until two hours prior to each performance. Discounted tickets are available for all Wednesday ($10) and Thursday ($15) performances. Ticket prices increase by $5 if you pay at the door. For more information, including maps and directions, visit HawaiiShakes.org.


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