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Japanese Triptych Ukiyo-e print of five men in Kimonos with paper umbrellas. The Maiden Benten and the Bandits of the White Waves

The Maiden Benten and the Bandits of the White Waves

Pre-Show Chats: 6:45pm before Saturday 4/20 & 4/27 performances

  • Friday, April 19 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, April 20 7:30 pm
  • Friday, April 26 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, April 27 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, April 28 7:30 pm


Regularly Priced Tickets:
$8 UHM Student with current valid UHM ID
$15 Non-UHM Student/Youth
$22 UH Faculty/Staff, Military, Senior
$25 Regular (Adult)

“Throwback Saturday” SAT APR 20, 2024 – prices are from the good ol’ days:
$5 UHM Student
$10 Other Discount Groups
$15 Regular (Adult)

Kabuki – Celebrating 100 years of Kabuki in English at UHM!

(Benten Musume Meo no Shiranami)
Written by Kawatake Mokuami
Translator, Adaptor, and Project Director: Julie A. Iezzi
Artistic Advisor: Ichikawa Monnosuke VIII

A popular kabuki play, The Maiden Benten and the Bandits of the White Waves, commonly known as Benten Kozō, features five distinctive thieves with a mastery of masquerade, and a command of language from the gutter to the poetically sublime. Together with a full array of colorful kabuki characters, their schemes and back stories lead to shocking revelations, surprising reunions, startling twists and ultimately result in the realization that one cannot escape karma—though in meeting it, one need not abandon spectacle or beauty.

This production celebrates the long tradition of kabuki in Hawaiʻi, and marks the 100th anniversary of English-language kabuki productions at the University of Hawaiʻi as well as Kennedy Theatreʻs 60th birthday. Benten Kozō, presented in the 1963-64 inaugural season, is also a magnificent showcase for the hanamichi, an acting pathway through the audience which fosters an intimacy between actors and audience members. To this day, Kennedy Theatre remains the only theatre in the United States designed with a hanamichi. As in the previous 100 years, we are fortunate and grateful to bring community artists, guest artists from Japan, and UHM faculty, staff and students together to collaborate and ensure that regional “Hawaiʻi kabuki” thrives for the next 100 years.


UHF Norma Bird Nichols PhD Asian Theatre Fund
UHF James R. Brandon Memorial Fund
UHF Japanese Theatre Fund
UH Mānoaʻs Chancellor’s Office
Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi

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