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actors in dress rehearsal

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance presentS Bijan Mofid’s play The Butterfly, directed by MFA directing candidate Maseeh Ganjali, in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre. Public performances will take place on September 18 and 19, 7:30 p.m., and September 20, 2 p.m. A free post-show rap will be held with the cast and director on Friday, September 18.

In this delicate Persian fantasy set in the insect world, Butterfly (played by Traci Oya) becomes trapped in a dark barn and gets entangled in the web of Spider (Sharon R. Garcia Doyle). Fearing for her life, Butterfly strikes a deal with Spider: let her go, and she’ll lure other insects into the web in her place. This promise sends Butterfly on a journey, where she encounters Grasshopper (Angie Anderson), the Cockroach Children (Kelsey Faamasuli and Susan Bowyer), Auntie Cockroach (Jocelyn Ishihara), Lighting Bug (Joanna Mills), Bee (Taylor Purvis) and Fly (Joanna Mills).

On this journey, the Butterfly realizes the worth of others and gains a new perspective of beauty, freedom, and the true meaning of sacrifice.

Speaks to all people

Ganjali, last seen in Kennedy Theatre’s award winning production of Lāʻieikawai, has high hopes for The Butterfly. “I chose this Iranian children’s play for its beautiful message. It speaks to all people, regardless of age, background, or location,” said Ganjali.

Throughout his artistic career, Ganjali has directed and performed in other Persian plays and created photography exhibitions with his images from Iran. However, this particular production comes at an important time.

“With my art, I provide a perspective into a different place, a perspective that is rarely available and accessible here,” shares Ganjali. “My goal is to create communication and understanding between the people of different cultures, people who have been separated by political difference and cultural distinctions. The aim of this production is to present a people who are often misrepresented and to understand a people who are oft misunderstood.”

Ticket information

Ticket prices:

  • $18–general admission
  • $16–seniors/military/UH faculty and staff
  • $13–students
  • $8–UH Mānoa students with validated fall 2015 UH photo ID

Tickets to The Butterfly can be purchased online at, by phone at (808) 944-2697, at official outlets and at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office during sale periods only.

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