UH Manoa Professor W. Dennis Carroll wins 2009 Robert W. Clopton Award for Distinguished Community Service

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Diane Chang, (808) 956-0391
Office of the Chancellor
Posted: Jun 29, 2009

W. Dennis Carroll, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has been named the recipient of the 2009 Robert W. Clopton Award for Distinguished Community Service. The Clopton award annually recognizes a UH Mānoa faculty member who has played a socially significant role by applying intellectual leadership and academic expertise to the improvement of the community.

"Professor Carroll has contributed so much to our academic programs and the lives of so many people in our UH Mānoa ʻohana," said UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw. "He is a treasure, and we are grateful for his presence. This recognition for his service is highly deserved—he makes all of us better through his example."

Dr. Carroll has devoted 40 years to the support of theater for and about the people of Hawaiʻi. As a new faculty member, he immediately encouraged students to write plays, and then worked in a collaborative manner to mount productions. These efforts coalesced into Kumu Kahua Theatre, a 100-seat playhouse in downtown Honolulu. The name means "original stage," and the mission was clear from the start: to stage new and innovative dramas, create a Hawaiʻi theater by nurturing plays written about Hawaiʻi by its residents, and provide an opportunity for local actors.

He was also instrumental in two important moments in the theater‘s 38-year history: the establishment of the Kumu Kahua as a non-profit, self-sustaining community theatre, and its eventual move in 1993 to its permanent home on Merchant Street. As a founder, artistic director, board member, playwright and director, Dr. Carroll‘s contributions in creating and sustaining this important cultural institution have made a significant impact in the community and on the artistic life of Hawaiʻi.

Dr. Carroll will be recognized for his achievements along with other UH award recipients at the annual Convocation ceremony in the fall at the UH Mānoa campus. The ceremony is open to the public at no charge, and no reservations are needed. For more information on the awards ceremony, visit http://www.hawaii.edu/about/awards.