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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: Jessica L. Jacob, Publicity Director
Phone: (808) 956-2598
Fax: (808) 956-4234
Box Office: (808) 956-7655 (v/t)

February 24, 2004


The University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents "Ashes to Ashes" by Harold Pinter and "Far Away" by Caryl Churchill, performed back-to-back and directed by UHM Master of Fine Arts candidate Sammie Choy. These tandem one-act plays form a production that examines our trust in authority and power, the deceptions and illusions, and the sometimes brutal consequences. "Ashes to Ashes" and "Far Away" will be performed in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre March 31, April 1, 2, 3 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 4 at 2 p.m. The Friday April 2nd performance will be followed by a post-show discussion.

The production begins with Harold Pinter’s "Ashes to Ashes" in which a couple verbally spars in a tension-filled attempt to rescue their marriage gone sour. The conversation changes when Rebecca (the wife) recounts her experiences with a former lover, driving Devin (the husband) into jealous aggression. Rebecca reveals that the former lover was a sadistic, sexually dominating, twisted man. Director Choy was drawn to "Ashes to Ashes" by Rebecca’s struggle to reconcile the revelation of her former lover’s atrocities and violence as well as the implicit question: "Do we follow charismatic authority like a devoted lover... excusing anything for love and admiration?"

After the intermission, the program continues with "Far Away" by Caryl Churchill. When she first read the play, Choy "was immediately captivated" and describes "Far Away" as "a stunning and succinct treatment of the slippery slope that leads to the condoning of violence." In "Far Away," a young girl witnesses a brutally violent event. Convinced by her aunt that the act was justified, the girl grows up accepting horrifying atrocities as a way of life. Her accommodation of violence mirrors the destructive society evolving around her. According to Choy, "the play demonstrates how alliances can spiral out of control to become ludicrous and horrifying."

Choy chose to present "Ashes to Ashes" and "Far Away" in the same program because they both deal with power relationships, which she states, "can be attractive both sexually and politically." Choy continues, "This fascination may occur out of admiration, boredom, fear or titillation. Whatever the reason, it can be tremendously seductive."

Tickets for "Ashes to Ashes" and "Far Away" go on sale Monday, March 29th at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office. Tickets may be purchased in person or charged-by-phone at 956-7655 (voice/text) Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 regular, $8 seniors, military, UH faculty/staff, non-UHM students, $3 UHM students with validated Spring UHM photo ID. For more information, charge-by-phone, or disability access, call the Kennedy Theatre Box office at 956-7655 (voice/text).


"Ashes to Ashes"

When: March 31st, April 1, 2*, 3 at 8pm

April 4th at 2pm

* post show rap

Where: UHM's Earle Ernst Theatre

$10 regular,

$8 non-UHM students, seniors, military, UH faculty/staff,

$3 UHM students with validated Spring 2004 UHM student ID


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