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We believe that an actor needs as many artistic tools as possible. The Acting program at UHM allows the serious acting student to study forms and methods from the broadest array available at any university. Actors can study a range of world forms: the Stanislavski method of acting for stage and camera, Hawaiian theatre, dance, puppetry, clown, Shakespeare, period styles, dialects, stage combat & weaponry, musical theatre, devised theatre, and a rich variety of Asian traditions including kabuki, kyogen, and noh from Japan; jingju and kunqu from China; and randai and wayang listrik from Indonesia. Actors work regularly with the College of Nursing in the HealthCAST patient simulation program. Students leave UHM with the unique knowledge of how these styles and experiences intersect, intertwine, and inform the art of live performance. Nowhere else can actors get the breadth and depth of theatrical experience found in the Acting program at UHM.
Degrees offered: MFA (Acting)
NEWS: Congrats to current MFA Acting student Jasmine Anderson, a finalist in the Kennedy Center-American College Theatre Musical Theatre Initiative for region 8 in the 2022 festival.
The immersive class training that you’re able to experience with the seasoned faculty and guest artists is unlike anything from my undergrad. Throughout my MFA I had opportunities to learn and study theatre forms from Japan (Kyōgen and Kabuki), South East Asia (Randai and Wayang Listrik), China (Xiqu), and Hawai’i (Hana Keaka). Studying these forms has made me a diversely skilled performer and instructor.
—Christine Lamborn, MFA Acting 2020
(PC Tracy Wright Corvo)
HealthCAST is a beautiful opportunity for an actor to practice their skills in improvisation, storytelling, vulnerability, and commitment. I believe both actors and healthcare learners benefit; the stakes are equally high for both parties as each attempts to commit fully by either portraying the symptoms of a patient or adequately diagnosing a patient.
—Christine Jamlig Chang, MFA Acting 2021
(PC Lisa Keating)
In the MFA Acting we are given the freedom to pursue our interests. I would never have gotten the opportunity to work on puppets or props or makeup or costumes if the department wasn’t structured the way it was and the faculty weren’t as accepting as they are. I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to explore this side of myself during my time here.
—Emily Wright, MFA Acting 2022
(PC Tracy Wright Corvo)
Note: The former concentration in Asian Performance-Acting has been integrated into the MFA Acting, which offers students the flexibility to pursue their interest in Asian performance forms.