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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)
email: theatre-pr@hawaii.edu

JANUARY 26, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LATE NIGHT THEATRE EVOKES ABU GHRAIB IN "THE CAPTIVE"

The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa's Department of Theatre and Dance presents "The Captive," a gothic play by Matthew G. Lewis, adapted and directed by UHM graduate student Frank Episale. "The Captive" juxtaposes Lewis' 19th-century monodrama with contemporary staging that evokes images of the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib. "The Captive" will be performed at the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre on March 5, 11 and 12 at 11:00 p.m., and on March 6 in a "matin-eve" performance at 8:00 p.m. A post-show discussion with the cast and creative team will follow the Friday, March 11 performance. "The Captive" contains scenes of graphic violence and is recommended for mature audiences.

First performed in 1803, "The Captive" is a classic example of a monodrama Ė a play with only one speaking part. The central character is that of an unnamed woman, imprisoned in an insane asylum, who tries to convince her captors she is not mad. As her pleas for liberty and to see her child fall on deaf ears, the woman gradually begins to doubt her own sanity. Director Episale recalls that he was "struck by the florid, melodramatic poetry of the text, and of the variety of staging possibilities it seemed to present."

In spite of its 19th century context, Episale sees this monodrama as a way to explore the 2004 prison abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. In his staging, several actors playing "guards" systematically torture and humiliate the woman played by M.F.A. acting student Nina Buck. Their methods of torture and humiliation suggest the human atrocities American military personnel committed at Abu Ghraib. "The audience will be asked to endure a series of images with explicit and unavoidable political implications," says Episale. "In this extremely political time, it seems not only appropriate but imperative that Late Night Theatre stages something with some bite."

Frank Episale is a first-year M.A. candidate in Theatre at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. He received his B.F.A. in Acting from New York University and has performed in numerous stage productions in New York City. A founding member of Jovial Crew and a member of the Pulse Ensemble Theatre, Episale also works as a professional theatre and film reviewer for several New York based arts websites.

Tickets for "The Captive" go on sale one hour before show time each night of the production, at the door of the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre. Ticket prices are $ 8 general adult admission, $ 7 seniors, military, students, and UH faculty/staff, and $ 3 UHM students with validated Spring 2005 UHM ID. Latecomers will not be admitted once the performance has begun. For more information, including disability access, call the Kennedy Theatre Box Office at 956-7655 (voice/text).

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WHAT: "The Captive"

PRESENTED BY: UHM Department of Theatre & Dance

WHEN: March 5, 11*, 12 at 11pm
March 6 at 8pm
*post-show Rap

WHERE: UHMís Earle Ernst Lab Theatre

TICKET PRICES:$8 regular, $7 non-UHM students, seniors, military, UH faculty/staff, $3 UHM students with validated Spring 05 UHM student ID

TICKET INFO: 956-7655 (voice/text)

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