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actress next to giant foot
Sophie (Janna Rose Shields) meets her first giant in Kennedy Theatre’s The BFG, premiering November 14, 2014. (credit: Chesley Cannon)

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) at Kennedy Theatre, November 14–23. The production is directed by UH Mānoa Assistant Professor Mark Branner.

The play tells the story of smart and precocious Sophie (Janna Rose Shields, last seen in Kennedy Theatre’s Blithe Spirit), her Father (Joe Abraham, a recent Poʻokela recipient for his role in Hawaiʻi Shakespeare Festival’s Timon of Athens) and her Mother (Rachael Chapman, previously seen Kennedy Theatre’s The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip). At her birthday party, Sophie wants to act out the story of The BFG, a tale of giants and danger, adventure and theatrical magic. Expect to see giant puppets and imaginative shadows that will captivate the whole family.

The BFG is Kennedy Theatre’s annual theatre for young audiences production. The play’s book was adapted for the stage by David Wood from the children’s book by Roald Dahl. The author is more widely known for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but The BFG is also a highly praised novel. At the time of the book’s release, The New York Times declared,“The BFG is a success since it allows children recognition of the habits, dreams and humor that they alone possess.”

“As I read The BFG to my own kids while teaching abroad in London last year, they literally laughed themselves off of the sofa at various points and I thought, “What could be better than this?’’ said Branner on choosing The BFG. “The laughter of children is not easy to pass up.”

Performance dates and ticket information

The BFG performances will take place Fridays and Saturdays, November 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, November 22 at 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, November 23, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at (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.

Ticket prices

  • $20 regular
  • $18 for seniors/military/UH faculty and staff
  • $15 for students
  • $8 for UH Mānoa students with a valid 2014 UH Mānoa ID

Ticket prices include all service fees. Special throwback ticket prices are in effect for the 4:30 p.m. performance on Saturday, November 22, when ticket prices fall to $15 regular, $10 discount and $5 for UH Mānoa students with valid ID.

For more information, visit the Kennedy Theatre website or call the theatre at (808) 956-7655. For disability access, please call the theatre.

A UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre news release

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