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Media Release – September 13, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Production Celebrates Diversity, Inclusivity, Non-binary Identities, Gender and Sexuality
Are We There Yet, Baby? – October 20-22, 27 & 29, 2023 – Kennedy Theatre Mainstage
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre & Dance and Kennedy Theatre are
proud to present, Are We There Yet, Baby? a dance-theatre production challenging conventional binary assumptions within society and education. This innovative production, directed and conceived by Associate Professor of Dance Pei-Ling Kao, embarks on a transformative journey that celebrates the diversity of non-binary identities. It delves into an array of artistic expressions, including monologues, contemporary dance, ritual, voguing, movement improvisation, and acting improvisation, while crafting a sensory, provocative, and introspective odyssey. Are We There Yet, Baby? will be performed on the Kennedy Theatre Mainstage on October 20th, 21st, and 27th at 7:30 p.m. and October 22nd and 29th at 2:00 p.m. Pre-Show Chat available at 6:45 before the Saturday October 21st performance. Tickets range from $8-$25.
Under the expert guidance of Kao, a collective of accomplished artists have collaborated, infusing the narrative with their distinct perspectives and experiences, resulting in a performance that transcends categorization. Are We There Yet, Baby? delves into the struggles endured by those who paved the way for equality, embracing diversity and inclusivity, with a specific emphasis on gender and sexuality. It challenges deeply ingrained binary notions that persist in society and educational systems, urging us to rediscover the inherent non-binary nature residing within us – not as a mere theoretical concept but as an integral aspect of our bodies, the nurturing of land, and the welcoming of communities we call home. This production is a dialogue between cultures and lands, fostering a space of profound self-discovery.
Guest artists contribute significantly to this production. Multi-disciplinary artist and māhū/bakla
performer, and kia‘i ‘āina (land protector) Kalikopuanoheaokalani Aiu, approach their contribution from a deeply rooted Hawaiian indigenous understanding of gender and the concept of “non-binatry.” Māhū practices bridge the spiritual and earthly realms, inviting audiences to perceive dance as a medium for dialogue, healing, and storytelling, a space where expansive self-discovery awaits both performers and their communities. Mexika-Chichimeca/Cano and cihuaiolo butch queen, Cuauhtémoc Peranda, a guest artist hailing from the Mescalero Apache, invokes queer Indigenous rituals, drawing inspiration from the House Ballroom Scene and intertribal dance exchanges, emphasizing healing, interdependence, and unity. Artist, educator, and activist Kiki Rivera contributes their perspective as a fa‘afatama, a queer and gender-expansive storyteller, which is drawn from over two decades of embodied theatre practice, ensemble creation, and indigenous insights. Transgender, queer composer Ariel Wessendorf enriches the production with her unique approach to sound, exploring the intricate relationships between distortion, escapism, and the empowerment of queerness through music. While Dr. Markus Wessendorf, the current chair of the Dept. of Theatre & Dance in addition to being a dramaturg with expertise in Tanztheater, plays a vital role in the conceptual development of the project. He identifies recurring themes, symbols, and patterns emerging in the creative process, skillfully weaving them into the material to support the overall concept. Additionally, he contributes invaluable dramaturgical research, particularly related to the “faun” motif.
Reflecting on their experience working with UHM Dept. of Theatre & Dance students, guest artitsts shared their insights. Aiu expressed, “Re-entering the UHM Theatre & Dance Department as alumnx in this way has been an extension of my learning and a true gift.” Peranda shared, “It has been an absolute joy to work with UHM Theatre & Dance students, witnessing their remarkable growth as performers through complex and specific dance knowledge.” While Rivera celebrated the students’ courage and openness, stating, “Working with the UHM Theatre & Dance students is such a beautiful joyous gift.”
Are We There Yet, Baby? represents an exploration of human expression that defies conventions, celebrating the beauty of non-binary identities in our ever-evolving world. For more information about the show and the direct link to purchase tickets online visit: manoa.hawaii.edu/liveonstage/baby. For ticketing or accessibility questions please email the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (808) 956-7655.
Are We There Yet, Baby?
UHM Department of
Theatre & Dance
October 20-22, 27 & 29, 2023
FRI/SAT at 7:30 p.m.
SUN at 2:00 p.m.
John F. Kennedy Theatre
1770 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
REGULAR TICKET PRICES:
$25 Regular (Adult)
$22 UH Faculty/Staff, Military, Senior
$15 Non-UHM Student/Youth
$8 UHM Students with Valid UHM ID
Ticket prices include all service fees.
THROWBACK TICKET PRICES:
Throwback Pricing Only Valid For Saturday October 21, 2023 Performance Date
$15 Regular (Adult)
$10 Other Discount Groups (UH Faculty/Staff, Military, Senior, Non-UHM Student/Youth)
$5 UHM Students with Valid UHM ID
Link to purchase tickets available online at https://manoa.hawaii.edu/liveonstage/baby/