Kennedy Theatre announces 50th anniversary season in 2013-14

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Matthew Kelty, (808) 956-2598
Director of Publicity, Kennedy Theatre
Kennedy Theatre Box Office, (808) 956-7655
Kennedy Theatre
Posted: Aug 21, 2013

Kennedy Theatre 50th Anniversary logo
Kennedy Theatre 50th Anniversary logo


Big Love
Sept 27, 28, Oct 3, 4, 5 at 8pm; Oct 6 at 2pm

By Charles L. Mee

Directed by Ian Belton, UHM Professor of Theatre

Original Music by Brendan Connelly

This modern take on the oldest Western play known to wo/mankind might be described as My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Runaway Bride rolled up in The Suppliants by Aeschylus. Indeed, what could be bigger than 50 grooms for 50 brides, all in celebration of 50 years of Kennedy Theatre? On the wild ride of this dark romantic comedy with its twists and turns of gender politics, a big musical number, arranged marriages and divine intervention, only Big Love survives. Or does it?

Free pre-show chats: Sat Sept 28 and Oct 5 at 7pm

UHM Student Buy-One-Get-One Free Night: Thurs Oct 3

Ticket prices: $13 to $25; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


Look Back: Move Forward

Anniversary Dance Concert

Nov 15, 16, 22, 23 at 8pm; Nov 24 at 2pm

Directed by Betsy Fisher, UHM Professor of Dance

Guest Choreographers: Yukie Shiroma, Tony Young, Andrew Sakaguchi, Vicky Holt Takamine, Cheryl Flaharty and Jean Erdman

In celebration of 50 years of dance at Kennedy Theatre, alumni choreographers return to the place where their choreographic artistry began, with pieces performed by current UHM dancers. Featured choreography will include: Kamapua`a, a section from Cheryl Flaharty’s IONA Contemporary Dance Theater production of Hawaiian Myths and Legends; Jean Erdman's Hamadryad; a contemporary Okinawan dance by Yukie Shiroma; and an interweaving of Hula and Bharata Natyam by Vicky Holt Takamine and Anita Vallabh. Special anniversary tributes include Blue-Green by Carl Wolz, founder of the UHM Dance Program and One Deep Breath, a video installation celebrating Kennedy Theatre’s dance history that will be projected on and around the Kennedy Theatre building.

Free pre-show chats: Sat Nov 16 and 23 at 7pm

UHM Student Buy-One-Get-One Free Night: Fri Nov 22

Ticket prices: $13 to $25; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


Lady Mu and the Yang Family Generals

Jingju (Beijing Opera) performed in English

Feb 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, March 1 at 8pm

Feb 23 and March 2 at 2pm

Original Performance Text:  Master Mei Lanfang

Overall Artistic Supervision:  Madam Shen Xiaomei

Adaptation and Training:  Lu Genzhang & Zhang Ling (actors) and Zhang Xigui (musicians)

Translation:  Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak & Chang Hui-Mei

Director & Producer:  Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak

Martial Performance Director:  Nicolas Logue

Musical Director:  Frederick Lau

Renowned Jingju master Mei Lanfang’s crowning artistic achievement explores issues such as personal ethics versus familial and national duty, and the power of youthful exuberance versus the wisdom of age, in a splendidly-costumed theatrical spectacle of acting, combat, dance, music and song.

Like Kennedy Theatre, Jingju at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa is celebrating its 50th anniversary, brought to life by UHM students, faculty and guest artists. This is also the 30th year that Madame Shen Xiaomei and UHM Theatre Professor Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak have collaborated to produce long-term, intensive training residencies taught by major Jingju artists from China and culminating in lavishly-staged English-language productions. There is no other university outside of China that is able to produce Jingju as regularly or as often or on this scale of spectacle and authenticity as UHM. Come celebrate with us!

Free Pre-show Chats: Sat Feb 22 and March 1 at 7pm

UHM Student Buy-One-Get-One Free Nights: Thurs Feb 27 and Fri Feb 28

Ticket prices: $13 to $25; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

April 11, 12, 18, 19 at 7:30pm; April 20 at 2pm

A musical based on the novel by George Saunders

Book and lyrics by Doug Cooney

Music by David O

Directed by Mark Branner, UHM Professor of Theatre

Come get GAPPED! What do you do when hundreds of little orange monsters shriek with delight at the sight of your family's goat? This tuneful, hilarious and wildly theatrical musical for the young at heart is presented by quick-changing actors and a bevy of bright, orange, gleefully-squealing, goat-loving puppets--all accompanied by a toy piano! Based on an acclaimed book, all ages will love this story of how one person with brains and determination can make a difference.

Join us at the Easter Sunday matinee for a post-show “Gappers” egg hunt!

Pre-show events on Sat April 12 and 19 at 6:30pm

UHM Student Buy-One-Get-One Free Night: Fri April 18

Ticket prices: $13 to $20; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


Mainstage Ticket Info:

Special 50th Anniversary Combo: Join us for each of the mainstage productions as we pay tribute to 50 golden years. Get one ticket to each of the 4 mainstage productions for just $50 (service fees included). You’ll save 50% in honor of 50 years over the price of individual tickets!

Advanced Supersaver Tickets: Pick and choose which Mainstage shows you want to see but still save over regular ticket prices by buying early!

50th Anniversary Combo and Advanced Supersaver Tickets will be on sale from July 15 until Sept 1 by mail order, online at and by phone at 944-2697.

Regularly priced tickets to all Mainstage and Prime Time productions will go on sale on Sept 9 online, at outlets, by phone at 944-2697, and at Kennedy Theatre.




The Prime Time series focuses on the thesis work of BFA and MFA students in Theatre and Dance.


The Wild Party

Oct 23, 24, 25, 26 at 8pm, Oct 27 at 2pm

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March

Directed by Brittni Michele Shambaugh, MFA Directing Candidate

Sex, Drugs, Alcohol and Vaudeville! This gritty musical set in the 1920s explores what happens when emotionally vulnerable and sexually hungry performers get together during the age of Prohibition. Does the party overtake the individual? Is the humanity lost in the chaos? What is left at the conclusion of this riotous night? Come dressed in your best roaring twenties attire and be part of the wildest party in town!

Ticket prices: $13 to $18; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


very still & hard to see

March 12, 13, 14, 15 at 8pm; March 16 at 2pm

By Steve Yockey

Directed by Alex Munro, MFA Directing Candidate

An architect encounters an obake, a Japanese shape-shifting demon, while building a hotel over her lair, and makes a deal that will shape the hotel and the people who stay there. Over the course of seven short plays, we follow the history of the hotel and the influence the obake has over its guests. This short play cycle blurs the line between reality and fantasy as characters deal with everyday problems amidst supernatural forces.

Ticket prices: $13 to $18; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


Winter Footholds

Jan 29, 30, 31, Feb 1 at 8pm; Feb 2 at 2pm

Spring Footholds

April 23, 24, 25, 26 at 8pm; April 27 at 2pm

Both of these dance programs feature the culminating work of MFA and BFA dance candidates as well as other new work created by student choreographers and performers.

Ticket prices: $13 to $18; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


Post show raps will follow the Friday evening performances of each Prime Time production.


Prime Time Ticket Info:

Regularly priced tickets to all Mainstage and Prime Time productions will go on sale on Sept 9 online, at outlets, by phone at 944-2697, and at Kennedy Theatre.




Late Night in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre performs at a student-friendly late night hour. Works are bare-bones, experimental, quirky and often edgy. Titles are chosen by a student board who oversees all aspects of the program.


Identity Crisis

Sept 27, 28, Oct 4, 5 at 11pm

Directed by Kathryn Holt, MA Student in Dance

A dance concert featuring student-choreographed work centered on the theme of place and identity.

Ticket prices: $8 to $10; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


Queens of the Night

Nov 16, 22, and 23 at 11pm; Nov 17 at 8pm

Written and directed by Alex Rogals, PhD Candidate

Inspired by the same 1933 incident that was Genet's inspiration for The Maids, where two sisters/maids murdered their female employer and her adult daughter. Director Alex Rogals will draw on two distinct performance styles, Charles Ludlam’s Theater of the Ridiculous and Japanese kyōgen.

Ticket prices: $8 to $10; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


Spring 2014 Late Night Production

Apr 11, 12, 18, 19 at 10pm

We look forward to announcing our Spring production later this fall — and to seeing you there in the spring!

Ticket prices: $8 to $10; UH Mānoa students with valid ID: $5


Late Night Ticket Info:

Tickets to Late Night Theatre productions only go on sale at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office beginning one hour before the performance is scheduled to begin.



Thanks to the following for making this season possible:

The Office of the Chancellor, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

John Chin Young Foundation

Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation

The Student Activity and Program Fee Board

UH Mānoa Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity Office

Dance Pioneers

The Hawai`i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts

The Friends of Kennedy Theatre

UH Mānoa Center for Japanese Studies

Office of the Dean, College of Arts and Humanities, UH Mānoa

Waikiki Parc Hotel, Hospitality Sponsor for the Arts at UH Mānoa

Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts

Norma Bird Nichols, PhD Asian Theatre Endowment Fund

UH Mānoa National Resource Center East Asia



Ticket Information

Kennedy Theatre Box Office

Open Mon-Fri from 10am – 1pm during sale periods only

(808) 956-7655

Online Ticket Sales (24/7)

Phone orders

944-2697 (M-F, 9am – 5pm)


UHM Campus Center, Stan Sheriff Center Ticket Office, and Rainbowtique Ward Center beginning Sept 9

Service charges

All service charges are included in advertised prices. Prices are the same whether you purchase online, by phone, at outlets, or at the box office.


Discount Pricing

Discounts are available for senior citizens (60+), military (2 per ID), UH faculty/staff (2 per ID), students, and UHAA members. ID required.

Group Discounts

Available for groups of 10 or more for most mainstage events. Contact the Box Office for more information.

Specials for UH Manoa Students

UHM students are eligible for reduced prices and special buy-one-get-one free (BOGO) nights. Go to or call 956-7655 for more information. UHM Validated Photo ID required for special pricing. Students without validation may purchase a ticket at regular student prices. These special UHM ticket programs are generously funded by the Student Activity and Program Fee Board.



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Box Office: (808) 956-7655, M-F, 10am to 1pm

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