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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)

September 3, 2003


The University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents the debut of the play, “MORAL,” outside of Japan. Written by acclaimed Japanese playwright KISARAGI Koharu and directed by UHM Master of Fine Arts candidate Colleen LANKI, “MORAL” is a dramatic roller-coaster ride featuring a seemingly picture-perfect family in Tokyo, Japan. “MORAL” will be performed in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre October 1, 2, 3 and 4 at 8 p.m. and 5 at 2 p.m. The Friday night performance will feature a post-show discussion with the director and cast.

In the world “MORAL” illuminates, families commit suicide over unpaid refrigerator loans, office workers become soldiers, and one struggling family tries to maintain their sanity. Mother makes daily trips to the liquor shop; Father wages corporate war; Grandmother hears voices that say her grandsons hate her. Life in the big city consumes this nuclear family on a set inspired by Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing with its fortress of billboards and neon. Japanese pop music, urban noise, innovative lighting effects and a modern-traditional costume fusion complement the short scenes that mimic the way the mind jumps from memory to memory. “MORAL” shows us the cracks in the facade of the big city. Audiences will not want to miss this contemporary black comedy about Tokyo, consumerism, and urban existence.

“MORAL” was first performed in 1984 by Kisaragi Koharu’s theatre company Gekidan NOISE in Tokyo. Her work was a revelation. Rather than expounding on the Japanese economic miracle, she exposed the destruction of human contact caused by mass consumerism and big city life. She was the founder of the Asian Women Playwrights’ Conference and active in women’s rights and children’s education. Kisagari died suddenly in 2000 of a cerebral hemorrhage, survived by a husband and young child.

Director and co-translator Colleen Lanki lived in Tokyo from 1995-2001, working as actor, director of Kee Company (a collaborative bilingual theatre group), choreographer, and student of noh theatre and kabuki dance. In contrast, she was also a voice actor on the Japanese “Iron Chef” cooking show and a character voice in many popular video games. Her award-winning co-translator TSUNEDA Keiko was among the original cast of the play, in the role of Mother.

Tickets for “MORAL” go on sale Monday, September 29 at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office. Tickets may be purchased in person or charged-by-phone at 956-7655 (v/t) 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 Fall 2003 UHM photo ID. For more information, charge-by-phone, or disability access, call the Kennedy Theatre Box office at 956-7655 (v/t).



When: October 1, 2, 3, 4 at 8pm and 5 at 2pm

Where: UHM's Kennedy Theatre - Earle Ernst Lab Theatre

Cost: $10 regular, $8 non-UHM Students, seniors, military, UH Faculty/staff, $3 UHM students with validated Fall 2003 UHM ID


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