Shakespeare in the Park: Much Ado About Nothing began its run this past weekend, and will continue this coming weekend July 14-16 on the front lawn of the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.
By Susan Enright.
Several students from the performing arts program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo are honing their technical skills at the 46th Annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival happening this month on the front lawn at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center (and in Honoka‘a!).
A modern adaptation of Much Ado about Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, is currently being produced by the local theatre company, Hilo Community Players, which has been delighting Hilo audiences with their shows since 1938. This production of Much Ado is directed by Jennifer Brahms Gardham with music direction by Wendell Ing. The show features live music by The Loose Fedoras.
UH Hilo talent
The Hilo Community Players’ mission to “educate, enrich, and inspire the Big Island community through quality theatrical productions, workshops, and activities for children, teens, and adults,” often includes UH Hilo students, faculty, and alumni as cast and crew in the non-profit’s productions. This holds true for Much Ado.
UH Hilo alumna Rachel Klein, who serves as president of Hilo Community Players, worked with the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center staff to arrange for this summer’s performances. Klein has been facilitating Much Ado production most days.
On crew are UH Hilo students Savannah Christensen and Jordan Ancheta (sound) and Ren Pollock (lights). Dane Dupre is in the show and also general crew. All are performing arts majors.
Trever Veilleux, a UH Hilo alumnus now faculty who teaches the university’s jazz orchestra class, is one of the trio of musicians for Much Ado. Master carpenter Erin McClure is also an alumna.
Show dates and times
Much Ado About Nothing began its run this past weekend Friday-Sunday, and will continue this coming weekend July 14-16 on the front lawn at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.
Then, for one weekend only, the show travels up the Hāmākua Coast to the old plantation town of Honoka‘a on July 21-23 at the Honoka‘a Sports Complex.
All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. each night. Admission is free. Concessions will be available. Bring a chair and pull up a seat!
Hō Ka Hū: No Ack!
Preceding the Hilo performances of Much Ado, a keiki adaptation of the same play, entitled Hō Ka Hū: No Ack!, written by UH Hilo drama professor and local-kine playwright Justina Mattos will be presented starting at 4:30 p.m. Hō Ka Hū: No Ack! is a local twist on Shakespeare’s classic comedy, following a group of teens from Welina High as they discover how gossip can make or break relationships.
Learn more about Hō Ka Hū: No Ack!:
Story by Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.