UHM Kennedy Theatre 2019/20 Season Announced

UHM Department of Theatre + Dance and Kennedy Theatre are proud to present the 2019/20 Season


The Mainstage Season opens with 'Au'a 'la: Holding On, a hana keaka (Hawaiian Theatre) production in which four students embark on a research journey to seek the meaning of mana and an understanding of l hui. In February 2020, audiences are invited to the Asian Theatre program's The Last King of Bali, a wayang listrik (giant shadow puppets in combination with live action and gamelan orchestra) production adapted from a traditional Balinese folktale. The Mainstage Season closes with Rise Up!, a dance concert that illuminates, in colorful and imaginative movement, how dance can inspire powerful and glorious social action.


The Primetime Series features the culminating thesis works of MFA directors, dancers, choreographers and playwrights, and BFA dance candidates on the eve of graduation as well as experimental or chamber works directed by faculty. This year's Primetime Series opens with Keiki Kalo a fully devised Theatre for Very Young Audiences piece created by the cast, a graduate seminar class, and the Theatre for Young Audiences program. This production is followed by a Fall Footholds dance concert in October. Soon after, The Maids by Jean Genet and The Moors by Jen Silverman will be presented in repertory during the month of November. The second of our Footholds dance concerts follows, and the Primetime Series is rounded out in March by a title to be released later this summer.


Late Night Theatre is a student-run organization hosted by UHM's Department of Theatre + Dance. Their mission is to present experimental and quirky work not often seen in Honolulu. Budgets and technical elements are kept minimal in order to focus on students' acting and directing skills. Shows are presented at a student-friendly late-night hour.
Kennedy Theatre program and schedule are subject to change pending final arrangements.

Mainstage Series on the Kennedy Theatre Mainstage

'Au'a 'la: Holding On

Hana Keaka Production
Written and Directed by Tammy Haili'i pua Baker

In collaboration with an artistic team of award-winning kumu hulas and composers
September 27 October 6, 2019
Set in 2019, four haum na (students) at the University of Hawai'i at M noa embark on a research project that takes them into the repository of 19th century Hawaiian language archival materials. Delving into the archives, the haum na begin to interrogate the histories of Ko Hawai'i Pae ' ina (the Hawaiian archipelago). They seek the meaning of mana (divine power/authority) and an understanding of l hui (nation) as they reframe the narrative of K naka Maoli. In connecting with their k puna (ancestors) and affirming their foundation as K naka Maoli, they discover their mana in the resilience of their k puna and learn to retain their heritage.
Schooltime Shows for Students October 1- 3, 2019. Contact for details.

Throwback Saturday: 9/28/19

The Last King of Bali

Wayang Listrik Production (Shadow theatre featuring puppets, shadow actors, dancers, and live gamelan music)

Traditional Balinese folk tale adapted by I Ketut Wirtawan and I Made Moja

Directed and Produced by Kirstin Pauka

Compositions and Musical Direction by I Made Widana

February 7-16, 2020

One night during a traditional Hindu ceremony in a community on Nusa Penida (a small neighbor island to Bali) the supernaturally powerful demon, Dalem Bungkut, incites chaos, disrupting the ceremony and causing sickness and misery among the people. The village leader must travel to Bali to request the assistance of King Dalem Dimade in driving out the demon. The king agrees to help and sends his trusted minister, Jelantik Bogol, and his wife, Ayu Kaler, to challenge the demon in an epic battle of physical might, technical skill, and spiritual powers. Will the revered Last King of Bali and his emissaries have the power to overcome the demon? Featuring punakawan (clown characters), dramatic love scenes, and epic battles, this story comes to life through shadow puppetry, stylized acting, and dance all accompanied by original live gamelan music.
Throwback Saturday: 2/8/20

Rise Up!
Directed by Betsy Fisher
April 24-May 2, 2020
Rise Up! presents dance as a powerful expression of social consciousness featuring choreography by seminal dance figures including Anna Sokolow, whose riveting Steps of Silence will be performed. Audience members will assist in structuring a new collaborative work by UHM dance faculty entitled Vote. Stay tuned for announcements about acclaimed masterworks (currently in negotiations) as they are officially added to the program. The second half of Rise Up! will feature selections from the Broadway 1968 hit, Hair, accompanied by a live rock band with choreography and musical direction by Honolulu's own Andrew Sakaguchi. Rise Up! shows in colorful, imaginative action, that dance creates powerful and glorious social statements.
Throwback Saturday: 4/25/20

Mainstage Series Ticket Prices

Advance SuperSaver Tickets will be on sale July 1 through August 30, 2019: $16

Regularly Priced Tickets go on sale September 2, 2019:

$8 UHM Student with current UHM ID

$15 Non-UHM Student/Youth

$20 UHAA Member

$22 UH Faculty/Staff, Military, Senior

$25 Regular (Adult)

First Saturdays of Mainstage productions are Throwback Saturday - prices are from the good ol' days:

$5 UHM Student with current UHM ID

$10 Other Discount Groups

$15 Regular (Adult)

Primetime Series in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre

Keiki Kalo

Theatre for Very Young Audiences Production

Created By Students in THEA 678 and Cast Members

Coordinated by Mark Branner and Melisa Orozco Vargas

September 20 December 7, 2019

Celebrating the beauty, versatility, and importance of kalo to the land and culture of Hawai i, this theatrically

immersive piece promotes aloha ina and is intended for very young audiences and their guests. Keiki Kalo is an

expedition of the senses, offering an intimate look into the glorious worlds that flow in and out from the life of a

single plant. Recommended for ages 0-4.

Fall Footholds Dance Concert

October 23-27, 2019

This biannual dance concert showcases the culmination of years of study and sweat. It features exemplary undergraduate and graduate student choreography as well as BFA senior projects and MFA thesis work.

In Repertory:

November 15-24, 2019

The Maids

By Jean Genet

Directed by MFA Directing Candidate Tyler Haugen

Fantasy can be an escape for those in need. But in an oppressive environment, fantasy can give rise to unspeakable acts. Solange and Claire are two housekeepers who work for a domineering mistress known only as Madame. In order to pass the time when Madame is gone, the maids find fun in role-playing, but this play begins to lead to plots of murder. Will Solange and Claire carry out violent revenge against their mistress? Or will their plans remain a fantasy? When Madame is away, the maids will play .

The Moors

By Jen Silverman

Directed by MFA Directing Candidate Kat Altman

In "1840s...ish" Victorian England, the world of the Bront sisters and gothic romance, a governess arrives at a bleak mansion on the isolated moors, embarking on a journey which will forever change her life and the lives of everyone in the household. But this is not your average period piece. This darkly comedic and twisted play, fresh from its first production in 2016, "is about the present," as playwright Jen Silverman states. The Moors explores what happens when the men have left the roost and the women (and animals) are free to chase their darkest desires.

Winter Footholds Dance Concert

February 26-March 1, 2020

The second of two Kennedy Theatre Footholds 2019/2020 dance concerts spotlights additional undergraduate and graduate student choreography and performance.

Title to be Released

Directed by MFA Directing Candidate Robert Sanchez

March 25-29, 2020

Primetime Series Ticket Prices

Regular Primetime Series Ticket Prices:

$8 UHM Student with current UHM ID

$13 Non-UHM Student/Youth

$16 UH Faculty/Staff, Military, Senior

$18 Regular (Adult)

Special Prices for Keiki Kalo:

$5 UHM Student with current UHM ID

$5 Youth (0-17)

$8 Discount Groups (Military, Senior, UH Faculty/Staff, Non-UHM Students)

$10 Regular (Adult)

Late Night Series In the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre

It's the Grass that Suffers

By Joseph Governale

Directed by MFA Directing Candidate Thea Wigglesworth

September 28-October 5, 2019

African proverb states: When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. Sofie loves elephants and plans to catch one with her imaginary elephant friend. She discovers that the real elephant she wants in her life is her estranged father. How can you reconcile hate for a father that abandoned you with the want to have your father back in your life?


Directed by PhD in Performance Studies Candidate Maria Teresa Houar

December 5-8, 2019

A futurist re-imagining of sea monsters, sirens, and Anderson's Little Mermaid as feminist anti-colonial heroes. This dance project aims to elevate the art forms of pole-dance, heel and exotic pole-flow, club-dance styles, and Shibari rope practices in the concert dance space.

Late Night Series Ticket Prices

$5 UHM Student

$8 Discount Groups (Military, Senior, UH Faculty/Staff, Students)

$10 Regular (Adult)

Advance Supersaver Tickets

Audience members can save substantially on tickets to Kennedy Mainstage shows by buying early. Advance Supersaver Tickets will be on sale July 1 until August 30, 2019 and may be purchased by phone at (808) 956-2601 and via mail order. More information at:

Standard-Priced Tickets

Regularly-priced tickets to all Mainstage and Primetime productions will go on sale beginning Sep. 2 and may be purchased online at, by phone at (808) 944-2697, at official outlets, and at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office during sale periods only. Tickets to Late Night Theatre performances will only be available at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office for one hour before each performance begins.

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