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The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Theatre and Dance presents the regional premiere of The Giver at Kennedy Theatre’s mainstage, Sept. 21, 22, 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. The play is adapted by Eric Coble from Lois Lowry’s Newbery Award-winning novel, which has sold more than 5.3 million copies in the U.S. The Giver is directed by Mark Branner, assistant professor at UH Mānoa’s theatre and dance department.
The Giver centers around a “perfect” society, where everyone knows their role and they live without pain or suffering. UH student Alex Munro plays Jonas, the child protagonist about to turn 12, the age when the members of this society learn what jobs they will do for the rest of their lives. Jonas discovers that he is destined to be the Receiver of Memory, in charge of maintaining the society’s history. He trains under the mentorship of The Giver, played by Honolulu actor Dann Seki.
Jonas learns, however, that in order to create a controlled and comfortable society, its citizens have given up memories of both pain and joy. He also learns that this utopian society’s peace comes at a high price and Jonas must make a terrible choice.
“I orginially chose The Giver because of how passionate I am for the story,” says Branner. “There’s a reason why it has become almost canonical for educators. The choices that Jonas makes over the course of the story, though set in this unique insular universe, are relatable to young readers. And that’s something I feel is really important to bring to the stage.”
NOTE: Due to some mature themes, suggested age for audiences members is 8 and older.
Tickets for The Giver are available online, by phone (808) 944-2697 and at the Kennedy Theatre box office. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with extended hours on performance dates.
Prices are $20 general admission, $18 seniors/military/UH faculty and staff, $13 students, $10 children 2–17 years old and $5 UH Mānoa students with validated fall 2012 UH Mānoa photo ID. All service fees are included in ticket price.