Rachel Uyeno (L) as Shelby, Jorin Young (top) as Percy, and Christine Lamborn (bottom) as Hannah in The Spitfire Grill.

The 2017–2018 season brings UH Mānoa’s Department of Theatre + Dance back home to the newly renovated Kennedy Theatre.

Kennedy Theatre at night

Mainstage Series—on the Kennedy Theatre Mainstage

  • The Spitfire Grill
    September 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.
    September 24 at 2 p.m.

    In the Hawaiʻi state premiere of this new musical, a recently released parolee makes her way to Gilead, Wisconsin to start a new life, inspired by a page from an old travel book. Both the town and Hannah’s Spitfire Grill, where she works, have seen better days—when hope was alive and the town was thriving. The September 23, performance will be interpreted in American Sign Language.

  • Taiko Drum and Dance: Hana Hou!
    November 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m.
    November 12 at 2 p.m.

    World-renowned taiko artist Kenny Endo and Taiko Center of the Pacific return for a heart-pounding collaboration of dance and drums. Traditional and contemporary taiko music, together with dance from Hawaiʻi, Japan, Okinawa, India and contemporary dance highlight the uniqueness of each form as well as their beauty and power.

  • Fights and Delights: Three Chinese Comedies
    February 16, 17, 23 and 24, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
    February 25, 2018 at 2 p.m.

    Showcasing the vibrancy of traditional Chinese theatre, these delightfully contrasting plays celebrate the chou—or comic—character, an irrepressible force of comedy who continually reveals the laughter in life. Filled with convoluted acrobatic contortions, mistaken identities, adorable lovers and exhilarating battles, this celebration of “the clown” will appeal to audiences of all ages.

  • Nora
    April 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
    April 22, 2018 at 2 p.m.

    Creating Nora, legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman took Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece, A Doll’s House, and stripped it to the bare essentials. With only the central characters depicted, the psychological drama is intensified and exposes the heart of Ibsen’s controversial play without mercy or apology.

Primetime Series—in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre

  • The Art of the Chanter 2017—Special Event
    September 30 at 7:30 p.m.
    October 1 at 2 p.m.

    The Art of the Chanter performance series first began in 1986 to fill the need for an event which highlighted the skill of the individual chanter. Over the course of three decades, Hālau Keʻalaokamaile periodically brought together chant practitioners from across the pae ʻāina to Maui, where they lent their voices to a performance platform of traditional vocal prowess, ʻike and creativity. The goal was and continues to be: to educate, inspire and reconnect the community-at-large with the importance of individual and collective chanters. This concert features—among several distinguished chanters—Kealiʻi Reichel, founder of Hālau Keʻalaokamaile.

  • Faʻalavelave: The Interruption
    November 29 and 30
    December 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m.
    December 3 at 2 p.m.

    Faʻalavelave continues the journey of Mele, a Samoan-Filipino lesbian from Hawaiʻi, a character introduced to Honolulu audiences who attended Puzzy at Kumu Kahua Theatre in early 2017. In this new play, the death of one of Mele’s family members opens doors to the past, revealing long-kept secrets. These revelations strengthen Mele’s appreciation of the value of family and her Samoan cultural legacy.

  • Winter Footholds
    January 24 and 25, 2018
    January 26 and 27, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
    January 28, 2018 at 2 p.m. 2018

    This biannual dance concert showcases the culmination of years of study and sweat. It features exemplary undergraduate student choreography as well as graduating MFA students’ thesis works in a variety of dance styles.

  • Spring Footholds
    March 14 and 15, 2018
    March 16 and 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
    March 18, 2018 at 2 p.m.

    The second of two Kennedy Theatre Footholds 2017–2018 dance concerts spotlights additional undergraduate and graduate student choreography and performance.

Late Night Series—In the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre

  • Mimes, Masks, and Miracles
    September 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 11 p.m.

    Using the classic techniques of mime, Master Mime Todd Farley’s production will make you laugh, think and celebrate human ingenuity.

  • Almost Maine
    November 3, 4 and 11 at 11 p.m.
    “Matinee” Sunday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m.

    Almost, Maine is whimsical, romantic and quirky play set in a winter spectacle that takes place in a town so far north that it is almost in Canada. It is almost a love story…almost.

Kennedy Theatre program and schedule are subject to change pending final arrangements.

Visit the Kennedy Theatre website for more information including ticket prices.