Kirstin Pauka is a Professor of Theatre at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and the Director of the UHM Asian Theatre Program. Her primary area of specialization is theatre of Southeast Asia. She has conducted research on Randai theatre of Sumatra, and has published books, multimedia titles, and articles on Indonesian performing arts. She is a practitioner and scholar of martial arts and their relationship to performing arts in Asia. Dr. Pauka has produced and directed several Southeast Asian Theatre productions at UHM Kennedy Theatre, including the US premieres of English language productions of Sumatran Randai theatre, and Balinese Wayang Listrik(shadow theatre). The shows she directed have received multiple Po'okela awards over the years. Dr. Pauka served as Director of the UHM Center for Southeast Asian Studies for 2014-18.
In addition to her work at the University, Dr. Pauka has been a member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble for over 25 years and is performing regularly with the Ensemble locally, nationally, and internationally. She has composed and choreographed pieces for Taiko and dance. She was a recipient of the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts (SFCA) Apprenticeship Grant and the UHM Regent’s Medal for Excellence in Teaching.