‘A House Divided’ at UHM's Earle Ernst Lab Theatre
A House Divided
Earle Ernst Lab Theatre
October 19 - 23, 2016
October 19-22 at 7:30pm, and October 23 at 2pm
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre + Dance is proud to open its 2016/17 Primetime series with the immersive-theatre event, A House Divided, written and directed by MFA Directing candidate Kevin C. K. Berg. Performances will take place October 19-22 at 7:30 p.m. and October 23 at 2:00 p.m. in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre.
In this part-scripted, part-devised (created by the actors during the rehearsal process) immersive piece, the audience does not sit in the dark, silently watching the action unfold. Rather they are thrust into the middle of the story and observe the action going on around them. Dealing with the subjects of Hawaiian sovereignty, self-determination, and domestic terrorism, this piece may not be suitable for all audiences as it also includes strong language and simulated violence.
The setting is a fundraising gala, ten years in the future which is hosted by the U.S.-backed Provisional Hawaiian Government (PHG). This group had grown out of the efforts of Na‘i Aupuni in the spring of 2016 in an effort to secure funding from foreign countries as well as multinational corporations. The audience members are attendees of the gala, assigned roles as dignitaries and representatives. The United and Sovereign Nation of Hawai‘i (USNH), a coalition of Hawaiian national groups and sovereignty activists that had formed in opposition to the PHG, crash the gala. Tempers flare and proponents of both sides start to argue. That is when a single person, armed with a gun, takes the whole gala hostage.
This production is truly groundbreaking in both style and subject matter and is unlike any show or production that has yet taken place on the island. Using a bilingual script (English and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi), touching on the themes of sovereignty and self-determination, while utilizing the concept of a theatricalized hostage simulation, it aims to ask the question: What are we doing for those who will follow?