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Kennedy Theatre

Media Release

Department of Theatre and Dance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
1770 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

Contact: Kristy Miller, Publicity Director
Phone: (808) 956-2598
Fax: (808) 956-4234
Box Office: (808) 956-7655 (v/t)

November 13, 2002


The University of Hawai'i at Manoa's Department of Theatre and Dance presents "Kyogen: Laughter for All Time," a collection of three short comedies of the classical "ky gen" theatre of Japan. "Kyogen: Laughter for All Time" will be performed in English, translated especially for this production by department faculty member Julie A. Iezzi, who also directs. The plays feature a cast of UH Manoa students, trained under the guidance of master artists from Japan. "Kyogen: Laughter for All Time" plays on the Kennedy Theatre Mainstage December6, 7, 12, 13 and 14 at 8pm, and on December 15 at 2pm, making it perfect holiday fare for the whole family. Special pre-show demonstrations, to provide the audience with insight into the traditional "kyogen" theatre, will take place on the Mainstage at 7pm, preceding the Saturday,evening performances on December 7 and 14.

The three plays that comprise "Kyogen: Laughter for All Time" are light comedies that usefarcical situations, physical humor, mime, and moments of song and dance to entertain. The firsttwo plays, "Tied to a Pole" and "The Snail," are traditional works about the antics of dim-witted servants and their worldly masters. The third play, "The Washing River," is a modern work that hasrecently entered the "kyogen" repertory; it tells the story of a henpecked husband trying to outwit his overbearing wife and mother-in-law. All three plays are double cast, with actors alternating eachperformance. Many of the actors are veterans of past Asian theatre performances, including lastseason's "Judge Bao and the Case of Qin Xianglian." "Kyogen: Laughter for All Time" marksIezzi's Mainstage directing debut. The production will feature sets designed by MFA candidate Kelly Berry, costumes coordinated by multiple Po'okela-winner Sandra Finney, and lighting byKyle Lemoi -- with a colorful Christmas twist in the final play!

"Kyogen: Laughter for All Time" is the first all-"kyogen" production ever presented on the Kennedy Theatre Mainstage, continuing the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's long history ofpresenting traditional Asian theatre in English translation. This production also continues UH Manoa's history of employing master artists to train students in the precise, stylized conventions often needed to perform such plays. The three "kyogen" consultants for this production, AkiraShigeyama, D ji Shigeyama, and Yasushi Maruishi, are members of the highly respected Shigeyama Senogor family which has preserved traditional kyogen in Japan for fourteengenerations. Partial funding for both the training program and production has been provided by theHung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation and the University of Hawai'i Japan Studies Endowment, with support from Outrigger Hotels.

Director-translator Iezzi studied traditional theatre in Japan for more than a decade,including several years of "kyogen" training with the Shigeyama family school. An accomplished translator of Japanese theatre, Iezzi wrote the English version of the "kabuki" drama "The Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka," which Kennedy Theatre produced in 2000. Several of Iezzi's translations have been published by University of Hawai'i Press. "Kyogen: Laughter for All Time" marks Iezzi's Mainstage directing debut.

Both MFA candidates are from South America and share very similar backgrounds. They have both been honored as Fulbright Scholars and both have taught at respected dance institutions in Colombia and the U.S. Teodoro met Höfling at UCLA where they were both studying Dance Ethnology. They connected as a creative team and decided to travel to Hawai'i to further their graduate studies in Choreography. Höfling brings to this dance duo her expertise from studying at University of California at Berkeley and experience as a dance teacher at universities in Florida and Colombia. Before coming to Hawai'i, Teodoro directed the student dance company and taught dance at the Universidad Javeriana in Colombia. They both have participated as performers with the local performance group Monkey and the Waterfall and have taught in the community.

Tickets for "Kyogen: Laughter for All Time" go on sale Monday, November 25 at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office. Tickets may be purchased in person or by phone at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office Monday through Friday, 10am to 3pm. Tickets are also available at allTicketPlus outlets' phone room (526-4400) or at All TicketPlus sales include applicable service charges. Ticket prices are $12 regular, $10 for seniors, military, UHfaculty and staff, $8 for youth and non-UHM students, and $3 for UHM students with a validated Fall 2002 ID. For more information, call the Kennedy Theatre Box Office at 956-7655. (v/t)

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"Kyogen: Laughter for All Time"

Friday December 6 8pm $12 regular

Saturday December 7* 8pm $10 Seniors, Military,

Thursday December 12 8pm and UH Faculty and Staff

Friday December 13 8pm $8 Youth and non-UHM Students

Saturday December 14* 8pm $3 UHM Students with validated

Sunday December 15 2pm Fall 2002 ID

*Pre-show demonstration 7-7:30pm

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