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Media Release – March 14, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
World Premiere Hana Keaka Brings Physical Comedy, Laughter, and Catharsis to the Stage
Hoʻoilina – Live In-Person Performances – April 15-16 & 22-24, 2022
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance and Kennedy Theatre are proud to present Hoʻoilina, a world premiere hana keaka (Hawaiian Theatre) production performed in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language), Pidgin, ʻōlelo māhū (Māhū language), and English. Written and directed by Hawaiian Theatre M.F.A. candidate Ākea Kahikina, this production will close out the 2021/2022 Mainstage Season. Set in a pre-pandemic Hawai‘i upon the luxurious slopes of Lēʻahi, Hoʻoilina is a farcical hana keaka that knocks on the door of a Kanaka Maoli family anxiously poised for a will reading that will determine the fate of a huge inheritance from their beloved matriarch. Just as the will is about to be read, a quirky stranger appears at the door, claiming her right to the hefty endowment. As chaos ensues, family secrets are revealed, causing the family to question their own relationships, identity, and future as Kānaka while being insidiously constricted by the pressures of capitalism and cultural loss. Hoʻoilina will be performed live for limited in-person audiences April 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and April 24 at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices range from $8-$25.
This is the first time in Kennedy Theatre’s history to have two student written and directed hana keaka performed on the Mainstage in a single season. Writer/Director Kahikina reflects, “Things are happening.” Continuing, “I’m glad to be a part of this movement that is growing exponentially and creating more new works on a grand scale. I couldn’t be more thankful to be doing this at this level.”
Assisting Kahikina with bringing this production to life are award-winning alumnus lighting designer Jonah Bobilin, M.F.A. candidate Kara Nabarrete, Scenic Design, M.F.A. candidate Kaneikoliakawahineikaʻiukapuomua Baker, Costume Design, Rick Greaver, Sound Design, M.F.A. candidate Iāsona Kaper, Assistant Director, M.F.A. candidate Kaipulaumakaniolono, Dramaturg, and Hawaiian Theatre program founder Kumu Tammy Hailiʻōpua Baker.
Audiences will be transported to the grand two-story hale of the late Mrs. Ellis, where the nostalgic notes of Hawaiian songs from the 1920s to 1950s permeate every space. This eclectic and zany farce involves mistaken identities, spooky specters, and laugh-out-loud physical comedy in the unfolding of the action, but Hoʻoilina also concurrently tackles important themes and topics. It explores the diversity of Kānaka Maoli, the issues that are being faced in the community right now in the beginning of the 21st century and the question “What does it take to be considered Hawaiian?” Kahikina notes, “I know it’s been a while since we’ve been in-person, but please don’t forget to laugh. You have all the permission to laugh, enjoy, and be vocal. We need that again. We’ve been silent for too long.”
The Hawaiian Theatre program was formally established at U.H.M. by Dr. Haili‘ōpua Baker in 2014. Lā‘ieikawai, its inaugural hana keaka production (written and directed by Baker), played to sold out audiences on the Kennedy Theatre mainstage in 2015 before touring to Hilo, Hawai‘i, Moloka‘i, Kaua‘i, and Aotearoa/New Zealand and was showcased at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Subsequently, the program’s first M.F.A. graduate, Puakahiki Kau‘i Kaina wrote and directed Nā Kau a Hi‘iaka. It was performed in the David O. McKay Auditorium at Brigham Young University in Lā‘ie in 2017. In fall of 2019, Kennedy Theatre premiered ‘Au‘a ‘Ia: Holding On, written and directed by Baker. It was remounted by invitation off-Broadway in January 2020. He Leo Aloha, written and directed by Kaipulaumakaniolono premiered on the Kennedy Theatre Mainstage in the fall of 2021 as a pre-recorded and streamed production, due to the Covid19 pandemic. Hoʻoilina continues the program’s legacy of premiering new hana keaka productions that celebrate the Hawaiian Language and storytelling.
For more information about the show visit manoa.hawaii.edu/liveonstage/hooilina. Tickets to Hoʻoilina are available for purchase online 24/7 at showtix4u.com/events/kennedytheatre. For ticketing or accessibility questions please email the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.H.M. Department of Theatre + Dance and Kennedy Theatre
April 15-16 & 22-24, 2022
FRI/SAT at 7:30 p.m.
SUN at 2:00 p.m.
Kennedy Theatre Mainstage
1770 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
$22 Senior, Military, UH Faculty/Staff,
$20 UHAA Members
$15 Non-UHM Students
$8 UH Mānoa Student with valid ID
THROWBACK SATURDAY PRICES
(valid for SAT April 16 show only):
$10 Senior, Military, UH Faculty/Staff, Student
$5 UH Mānoa Student with valid ID
Ticket prices include all service fees.
Tickets are available online at https://www.showtix4u.com/events/kennedytheatre.