"Raku-Come, RAKUGO!" brings Japanese "sit-down" comedy to Kennedy Theatre

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Matthew Kelty, (808) 956-2598
Director of Publicity, Kennedy Theatre
Kennedy Theatre Box Office, (808) 956-7655
Posted: Nov 2, 2012

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance is pleased to present the second show of its 2012-2013 Late Night Theatre season, “Raku-Come, RAKUGO!,” directed by MFA candidate Yasu Ishida. The play will be presented at the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre at 11 p.m. on Nov. 9, 10, 16, and 17, and will showcase comic monologues, Japanese music, and a traditional Japanese variety act.  All performances will be presented in English.
Rakugo is a form of comic story-telling, and features classic humor that everyone can enjoy. It’s often referred to as Japan’s version of stand-up comedy (except that the performer sits for the entire monologue), and has been performed around the world from the Sydney Opera House to the Broadway stage. The narrator sits on a simple cushion with just a few small props, spinning comic tales while playing multiple characters and using multiple voices; the humor is drawn from the performer’s skill at creating new and unusual worlds.
The production fits with the department’s Late Night Theatre mission: to present theatre not otherwise available to Honolulu audiences, and to provide production opportunities for students. Director Yasu Ishida is an MFA candidate at UH Manoa, focusing on Theatre for Young Audiences; but before coming to Hawai‘i, Ishida performed with many rakugo troupes throughout Japan and the United States. He appreciates the skill required to be a rakugo performer, he says, because “all the comedy happens within your imagination.” The actor must use only words and a fan to create humor “you can feel with all your senses.” Six students (including Nicholas Murray Husted, who was in last season’s “The Genteel Sabai”; Serina Dunham, who was seen earlier this season in “The Giver”; and E. Dani Belvin, who was in both “The Genteel Sabai” and “The Giver”) will put their comedic skills to the test as they attempt to meet that challenge.
Tickets for “Raku-Come, RAKUGO!” will go on sale at the box office one hour before show time each night. Prices are $10 for general admission; $8 for UH faculty and staff, seniors, military, and non-UH Manoa students; and $5 for UH Mānoa students with a validated Fall 2012 UH Manoa photo ID.  Latecomers will not be admitted once the performance has begun.
For more information, please visit www.hawaii.edu/kennedy or call the theatre at (808) 956-7655. For disability access, please call the theatre.


For more information, visit: http://hawaii.edu/kennedy/2012/rakugo/