The Hawaii Shakespeare Festival (HSF) returns to The ARTS at Marks Garage in the center of the vibrant downtown arts district with Cymbeline, opening July 20; Henry VIII, opening August 10; and Richard III, opening August 24. Each play runs two weekends. Free companion lectures are offered for each play.
The 2012 season starts with Cymbeline, a Shakespearean fairy tale filled with light, laughter, music and comedy—separated lovers, an evil step-mother, a magic potion, mistaken identities, a relentless villain and a happy ending. Cymbeline is guest-directed by well-known local talent Rob Duval. A transplant from the Los Angeles theatre scene, Rob has directed multiple times for Diamond Head Theatre and Manoa VAlley Theatre and has acted for Hawaii Pacific University and Hawaii Repertory Theatre and starred as the Bastard in King John for HSF. Cymbeline stars Jenilea Heath as Imogen, Harold Wong as Posthumus, Troy Apostol as Iachimo and Sara Borgeson as the Queen.
The season continues with Henry VIII, Shakespeare’s episodic ode to the glorious fate and power of the Tudor dynasty—amidst the political intrigue, passion, machinations and betrayals of 16th century court, we witness an arrest, a trial, a beheading, a divorce, a dance, a vision, a coronation, death and a baptism. Henry VIII is directed by Taurie Kinoshita, fresh from four years of doing theatre in London. Taurie taught at one of the top three acting conservatories in the United Kingdom and garnered critical acclaim in the highly competitive London theatre scene, where her company Cruel Theatre now resides. Henry VIII stars the new Head of Theatre at WCC, Nicolas Logue as King Henry. Alex Durrant, a 10-year West End acting veteran is flying from London to Hawaii to appear as Cardinal Wolsey. Alex spent the last year acting with the Lord Chamberlain’s Men in London, England. Two other professional actors from the UK will also join the cast.
The festival concludes with Richard III, the crown jewel in Shakespeare’s History cycle. Richard III completes the presentation of the epic War of the Roses, begun two years ago in the multi-Po‘okela award winning Henry VI Trilogy. Tony Pisculli directs this all-female production starring Stephanie Kong as Richard, Shakespeare’s most charismatic and dangerous villain. Also starring Eden-Lee Murray as Queen Elizabeth, Peggy Anne Siegmund as the Duchess of York, Ann Brandman as Queen Margaret and Lacey Perrine Chu as Lady Anne.
Companion lectures by Brenda Machosky, Assistant Professor of English at U.H. West Oahu, will present background information on the plays and highlight aspects of the HSF productions to watch for in performance. The lectures are free and open to the public.
For over a decade, the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival has been presenting three Shakespeare plays each year without repeating in its quest to produce all of Shakespeare’s plays for Hawaii. By next year, 2013, HSF will have completed the canon.
This season, ticket prices have changed slightly. Tickets for all shows on opening weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are now $15. Wednesday evening tickets are $10, and Thursday evening tickets are $15. Tickets for closing weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are $20. Tickets are $5 more at the door; there are no other discounts. Tickets for all HSF shows are available through Brown Paper Tickets by calling 1-800-838-3006 or online at HawaiiShakes.org. For more information, including maps and directions, visit HawaiiShakes.org.