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Brecht Theatre Festival Honolulu 2010

The Judith of Shimoda & Mahagonny Songspiel at Kennedy Theatre

Review of The Judith of Shimoda in the Honolulu Advertiser from May 5, 2010

The Judith of Shimoda
The World Premiere of the English-Language Version
By Bertolt Brecht
Translated by Markus Wessendorf
Directed by Paul Mitri

April 30, May 1, 21 & 22 at 7:30pm, May 2 & 23 at 2pm

Kennedy Theatre

This recently reconstructed play draws on historical events that occurred after Commodore Perry opened Japan to the West in 1854. To appease the American consul who threatens to bomb the city if the Japanese refuse to negotiate a trade agreement, Japanese authorities ask Okichi, a geisha, to serve him. Brecht focuses on what happens to Okichi after she agrees to sacrifice herself for the sake of her country. Although Okichi becomes a heroine of Japanese patriotism, her real life is ruined: her marriage breaks up, she is called a “foreign whore,” and she dies impoverished and an alcoholic.

along with...

Mahagonny Songspiel

Libretto by Bertolt Brecht; Music by Kurt Weill
Directed by Henry Akina

In a special prelude to The Judith of Shimoda, the Mae Z. Orvis Opera Studio of Hawaii Opera Theatre will perform “The Little Mahagonny.” Though just a glimpse of the full-length opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, boxing, eating, and sex are the cornerstones of this anti-utopia. Brecht’s characters are wanderers who found the city and prey upon those who come after them.

Ticket Prices:
$16 Advance Super Saver; $20 Regular; $18 Seniors, Military, UH Faculty/Staff;
$12 Students; $5 UHM Students with ID.

Tickets are available online, at outlets, at 944-2697 beginning Sept. 14. Tickets available at Kennedy Theatre beginning April 26.

Paul Mitri has worked on over 150 productions as an actor, director, fight choreographer, dance choreographer and playwright. Mitri was one of the founders and Past Artistic Director of the Seattle Shakespeare Festival and also served as Director of Theatre at the American University in Cairo (Egypt), Artistic Director for Summer Theatre at Salem, and Artistic Director for Salem Theatre Company. He is Artistic Director of the recently founded All the World's a Stage theatre company in Honolulu and has been a faculty member at the UHM Dept. of Theatre and Dance (where he is now Associate Professor) since fall 2006. Previously, he has lived, taught and/or directed in France, Japan, Egypt, and the East and West Coasts. Mitri received his MFA in Acting from the University of Washington and is a longtime member of AEA (Actor’s Equity Association) and SAG (Screen Actors’ Guild). Recent productions include directing a multi-lingual Macbeth at Kennedy Theatre; writing, directing and playing the title character in Molière; and directing and playing in Yasmina Reza's Art with All the World's a Stage theatre company.

Henry Akina has been the General and Artistic Director at Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT) since 1996. He is the first director of the company to be born in Hawaii. He attended Punahou School for 13 years, received a BA Magna cum Laude from Tufts University, and attended the Free University of Berlin as a graduate student of Theatre Studies. During his student years in Europe, Akina was fortunate to assist and observe the stage directors Götz Friedrich, Peter Windgassen, Kurt Horres and Harry Kupfer. He was the resident Director of The Berlin Chamber Opera as well as a freelance stage director for 15 years in Europe before returning to Hawaii in 1996. In demand internationally as a stage director, Akina has staged opera in Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary and Thailand as well as the continental US. At HOT he is responsible for the Hawaii premieres of Macbeth, Elektra, Tristan und Isolde, Il Trittico, Don Carlo and Die Walküre as well as for several other highly acclaimed productions. In 1992 his production of Der Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny premiered at the Landestheater Halle, one of the first projects by a western director at an East German theatre after German reunification.

The Hilo Massacre at Kumu Kahua Theatre

The Hilo Massacre
by Tremayne Tamayose

Kumu Kahua Theatre

On August 1, 1938, to express their solidarity with striking workers in Honolulu, more than 200 Big Island men and women belonging to different labor unions (including longshoremen, warehousemen, teamsters, garbage collectors, quarry workers and the ladies auxiliary) attempted peacefully to demonstrate against the arrival of a ship from Oahu. They were met by a force of over 70 police officers who tear-gassed, hosed and fired riot guns into the crowd. Fifty of the demonstrators were hospitalized. Based in part on research from labor historian William J. Puette's book The Hilo Massacre: Hawaii's Bloody Monday, Tremaine Tamayose's teleplay, originally produced for the PBS labor history series Rice and Roses, infuses historical events with personal stories of the workers, police and politicians. It is brought to the theatrical stage for the first time by Kumu Kahua Theatre.

May 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 & 29; June 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 & 19 at 8:00pm
May 23 & 30, June 6, 13 & 20 at 2:00pm

Special Conference Performance on Saturday, May 22 at 8pm

Kuma Kahua Theatre is located at 46 Merchant Street, Honolulu, HI 96813-4311
For more information please call (808) 536-4222

The Threepenny Opera at The Army Community Theatre

The Threepenny Opera
By Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill
Directed by Brett Harwood

Army Community Theatre (ACT) at Richardson Theatre

May 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 2010 at 7:30pm

This revolutionary work has been revived many times and in many different translations, but it has always been a sensation. The original premiere was in Berlin in 1928 and the first Broadway production was in 1933. The setting is London's Soho before and during the coronation of Queen Victoria. The master criminal Macheath prowls the back streets of London introducing us to a motley crew of timeless characters. The cast is largely made up of criminals, beggars and tarts. In his libretto, theatrical giant Bertolt Brecht is interested in exposing corrupt officials of a sad and vicious society and holding a mirror up to our own. It is the legendary Kurt Weill score that is actually what has made this show a classic. Who among us won’t hum along as the show opens with the classic, "Mack the Knife."

For ACT tickets call: 438-4480 or 438-5230

DIRECTIONS FROM HONOLULU: Take H-1 freeway, Ewa bound, to the Ft. Shafter/Aiea exit (exit #19b). Proceed until the Ft Shafter/Ahua St exit (exit #4). At the stop light turn right into the post. After passing the guard shack proceed down the hill and then up the hill to the stop sign and Richardson Theatre is on the right.

DIRECTIONS FROM ALL POINTS EWA: Take H-1 freeway town bound and proceed to the Honolulu/Moanalua exit . Follow until you reach the Ft. Shafter/King Street exit (next to Big Boy); proceed to the far right lane. At the stop light turn left and take the bridge over the freeway. At the next stop light go straight into the post. After passing the guard shack proceed down the hill and then up the hill to the stop sign and Richardson Theatre is on the right.

Robyn Archer & Michael Morley at Orvis Auditorium

Robyn Archer & Michael Morley - German Cabaret Songs

The internationally acclaimed singer Robyn Archer and pianist Michael Morley will perform a program of German cabaret songs from five decades, with settings by Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and Friedrich Hollaender.

May 20 at 8:00pm

Orvis Auditorium

Robyn Archer is a singer, writer, director, artistic director, and public advocate of the arts, mainly in Australia, though her reach is global. In 1974 she sang Annie I in the Australian premiere of Brecht/Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins and subsequently played Jenny in Threepenny Opera. Since then her name has been linked particularly with the German cabaret songs of Weill, Eisler, and Dessau. She performed her critically acclaimed one-woman cabaret A Star is Torn throughout Australia from 1979 to 1983, and for a year at Wyndham's Theatre in London's West End. Robyn has continued to sing a wide-ranging repertoire and in 2008/2009 gave a series of concerts including iprotest! (with Paul Grabowsky) and separate German and French concerts with Michael Morley. Robyn is also a director of arts festivals in Australia and overseas. She has directed the National Festival of Australian Theatre in Canberra (1993-1995) and has been the artistic director of the Adelaide Festival of Arts (1998 and 2000) and the Melbourne International Arts Festival ( 2002-2004). She created Ten Days on the Island, an international arts festival for Tasmania, and advised on the start-up of Luminato in Toronto. In July 2009 she was appointed Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra 2013.

Michael Morley has been a Professor of Drama at Flinders University, Adelaide since 1984. He has published articles on Brecht's poetry and drama and on his collaborations with Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler. He has also contributed translations and editorial material to the Methuen edition of Brecht's poems and plays. He has been President and Vice-President of the International Brecht Society, is a member of the advisory board of the Complete Kurt Weill Edition, and is the Australasian correspondent for the International Hanns Eisler Gesellschaft. As a professional musician he has been musical director and pianist for performances of Happy End, The Mother, The Threepenny Opera, and Happy Birthday Brecht (Artaud Theatre, San Francisco), and he worked as dramaturge and musical advisor for the double bill The Decision (Eisler/Brecht) and The Second Hurricane (Copland) for the 2000 Adelaide Festival of Arts. With Robyn Archer he has collaborated on a number of cabaret performances since 1977, presented throughout Australia, as well as in Hong Kong, Bourges and Ljubljana.

Tickets to this concert are free to the public and may be reserved online by clicking here. Additional non-ticketed seating will be released prior to the performance.

The Red Rockets at Earle Ernst Lab Theatre

The Red Rockets

Mor Is Mor

These four lads from Liverpool banded together as youths. They gained popularity playing the local scene before making a name for themselves playing the clubs of Hamburg. After ditching their original drummer for Ringo Starr (and an apocryphal death of their first bassist) the youths finally made it across the pond and played the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. This year the two surviving members are reuniting for one night and one night only. Be a part of history.

Who are the Red Rockets? How much is too much? Where are we? Why do we play games with each other? What is good or bad? How do we define clinically insane? If you answered YES to any of these questions, you too may be a Red Rocket.

Devised and performed by Danny Randerson, Meg Thiel, Jenn Thomas and Ryan Wuestewald.

May 19 at 9:30pm
May 20 at 10:30pm

Earle Ernst Lab Theatre

Ticket Prices:
$20 Regular; $18 Seniors, Military, UH Faculty/Staff; $12 Students; $5 UHM Students with ID.

Tickets available at Kennedy Theatre beginning April 26.

Borderline at Ong King Arts Center

An original production conceived by
NoExit Performance, Indianapolis
Directed by Ronald Gilliam

Borderline is an original NoExit production that takes the audience on a fast-paced journey of self-reflection. Two unnamed female characters describe personal moments from their life that seem oddly familiar. As each woman recounts her individual experiences with desire, lust, and womanhood their exact relationship is slowly revealed. Are they the same woman? Two parts of one self? Or, are they two souls reunited?

I am not distorted by your gaze. I am not influenced by your eyes. I will not become a character for your entertainment. I will be myself. I will tell my stories, my life… tonight.

May 14, 15, 21, & 23 at 8pm
May 19 at 9:30 pm

Ong King Arts Center; 184 North King Street (click here for a map)

Ticket Prices:
$10.00 per person (cash only at the door)

For more information about the performance, please email