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Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat opens September 14, 2018
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance and Kennedy Theatre are proud to present Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. Dr. Seuss’s beloved classic comes to the stage in an action-packed, hilarious romp that is sure to delight all ages. Directed by UHM Theatre alumnus and award-winning director, Nathaniel Niemi, this stage adaptation brings to life the characters readers have come to know and love. Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat runs on the Kennedy Theatre Mainstage September 14, 15, 21, and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and September 23 at 2:00 p.m.
“The Cat in the Hat is one of the first books we are read when we are children and one of the first books that we learn to read. The characters are so iconic, and this adaptation is very close to the book,” says director, Nathaniel Niemi. Niemi, an Artistic Associate at Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY), graduated from UHM with an MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences and returns to guest direct this high-energy, hysterical piece of physical storytelling. In his time at UHM, Niemi won a Regional and National Directing Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. This award allowed him the opportunity to assist in the Kennedy Center’s New Play Network Playfest. Since then, he has directed and co-directed numerous shows across the country including the world premiere of You and Me and the Space Between and Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary ‘Ohana at HTY.
This play stays true to the world, spirit, and story of Seuss’s book. The action of the story has been expanded, but those familiar with the book will immediately recognize the characters, the setting, and the words. “This is the book on stage,” Niemi says. “It is a joy to see it become three-dimensional and to see every bit of action from the book played out instead of just as frozen pictures on a page.” One rainy day, Sally and her brother are stuck inside with nothing to do while their mom is away. In pops a playful stranger in a striped hat—the Cat in the Hat. The Cat shows the children how to play in spite of the Fish’s worry that they would get in trouble if their mother found out. All seems under control until the Cat introduces Thing 1 and Thing 2, a pair that unleashes mischief and mayhem on the house leaving the children to wonder what mother will say when she returns home. “Seeing all of this happen on stage will make the children in the audience laugh and smile and even feel concern for the children,” Niemi states.
Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat features a cast of eight performers familiar to the Honolulu Theatre community. Po‘okela award-winning actor, Donovan Oakleaf, who was recently seen in UH’s productions of Nora and Fights & Delights, stars as The Cat in the Hat. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are played by undergraduate theatre majors Malia Wessel and Dylan Chace Lee. Wessel was recently seen in UHM’s Nora as Dr. Rank and Chaminade University Collegiate Theatre Festival’s (CUCTF) Accidental Death of an Anarchist where she starred as The Maniac. Lee returns to the Mainstage after appearing as Private Joe the Detective in Late Night Theatre’s Tony the Fantastic Fireman, before that, he played Haemon in Kennedy Theatre’s 2016 production of Antigone. Nick Brown, recently seen in Diamond Head Theatre’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and Kela Neil, from All the Worlds a Stage’s Eurydice, take on the brother/sister duo of The Boy and Sally. Also seen in CUCTF’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Alten Kiakona plays The Fish. Rounding out the cast are Janica Sison, last seen in Mānoa Valley Theatre’s The Princess and the Iso Peanut, and Jorin Young, who starred in UH’s The Spitfire Grill as Percy, playing the role of Kittens.
This show bridges multiple generations and has become important to families in introducing literacy while teaching, “It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.” Niemi says that, “This is a story that children will be delighted to see, hear, and maybe even fill in the blanks with the words from the book that they know and love so well.”
The Kennedy Theatre Advance SuperSaver Tickets offer Adult Tickets to Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat for $14 and Youth Tickets for $8 until August 31, 2018. They are available online at http://manoa.hawaii.edu/liveonstage/subscribe/
Regularly-priced tickets to Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat will go on sale September 3 online at etickethawaii.com, by phone at (808) 944-2697, and at official outlets. Sales at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office begin on Monday, September 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended sales hours on show days.
Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat
UHM Department of Theatre + Dance
September 14, 15, 21, and 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinee September 23 at 2:00 p.m.
Kennedy Theatre Mainstage
1770 East-West Road, 96822
REGULAR TICKET PRICES:
$16 Senior, Military, UH Faculty/ Staff
$8 UHM Students with Valid ID
Ticket prices include all service fees.
Tickets are available starting September 3 online at etickethawaii.com, by phone at (808) 944-2697, and at participating outlets. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday during show weeks, with extended hours on performance dates.