Announcing Hilo Community Playersʻ 2020 Shakespeare in the Park-ing Lot!
William Shakespeareʻs Othello
directed by Sarah Elliot
The Hilo Community Players invite you to enjoy a fully-mounted live theatrical experience from the safety and comfort of your own vehicle in the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium parking lot. Remaining performances are July 30, 31, Aug 1, 2, 6, 7 & 8 all at 730pm
Hilo Community Players presents William Shakespeareʻs Othello
With a global pandemic currently disrupting lives and events across the world, the days of catching a live show or performing in front of an audience in person feel like a distant memory. Theaters around the world have been forced to shutter their doors and hundreds of stages now sadly sit empty while many companies have taken to staging online readings via Zoom. But the shared experience that makes live theater truly magical is that human-to-human, actor-to-audience exchange of energy in real time that can’t be replicated over video chat.
The Hilo Community Players have decided to stay true to that fundamental tenet of showbiz while adding a new caveat for 2020: “The show must go on (safely).” This summer’s offering of William Shakespeare’s Othello will be the 43rd production in the Players’ celebrated yearly Shakespeare in the Park tradition. Determined not to let a worldwide pandemic interrupt such an impressive streak, HCP President Dr. Rachel Klein and Othello director Sarah Elliott have a plan to mount Othello, continue our community’s cherished summer institution, and keep everyone safe and healthy—actors and audience alike.
“Shakespeare in the Park…ing Lot” is an exciting twist on the longest continuously-running theatrical Shakespeare tradition in the State of Hawaiʻi. The Players invite you to enjoy a fully-mounted live theatrical experience on July 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, and August 1 at 7:30pm from the safety and comfort of your own vehicle in the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium parking lot. Presented in this innovative drive-in format, the Players offer both live theater and safe social distancing—the best of both worlds for a no-stress evening of entertainment. Admission is free, though donations are graciously accepted. Just bring your own phone app and speakers or radio to tune into an FM frequency and enjoy the beautiful language and crystal-clear sound of actors bringing this enduring classic to life.
Often referred to as the Bard’s “most perfect” tragedy, Othello or The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most-produced plays—a remarkable distinction considering that theater had borrowed from his extensive catalogue of works almost constantly for the last 400 years. Themes of racism, xenophobia, female agency in patriarchal society, the insidiousness of jealousy (originating “the green-eyed monster” turn of phrase we still use today), and fundamental human nature are woven throughout this heartbreaking love story. The chilling inevitability of a pair of doomed lovers undone by a villain so compelling and complex that he stands head and shoulders above any other bad guy in Shakespeare’s canon. It’s a thrilling, can’t-miss production with a small, immensely talented group of actors.
Talented Oahu guest actor and University of Hawai‘i at Manoa theater graduate Jarren Amian joins the cast as the tragic hero in the titular role. Theon Weber, who starred in Shakespeare in the Park’s 2019 Hamlet, now takes on Iago, the Bard’s most famous villain, while Alya-Joy Kanehailua portrays gentle but spirited heroine Desdemona. Angie Nakamura is Emilia, Desdemona’s lady-in-waiting and Iago’s long-suffering wife, while Ray Ryan portrays earnest, gullible Roderigo. Hank Widdecombe is handsome ladies’ man Cassio, William McGregor plays angry patriarch Brabantio and the valiant Montano, while lady-of-the-night Bianca is played by Celaney Carpenter. Robin Rihl performs the role of noble Lodovico, and Shakespeare in the Park veteran John Kooistra rounds out the cast as both the virtuous Duke of Venice and Othello’s perpetually unbothered and unhelpful Clown.
Hilo Community Players is a volunteer organization that depends on community support and all cast and crew members have dedicated countless hours to this production. Othello is directed by Sarah Elliott, who directed Waimea Community Theatre’s Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) in March of 2019 and made her HCP stage debut as Ivy in 2019’s Bare: A Pop Musical. HCP President and SITP veteran Dr. Rachel Klein is producing and assistant directing. Stage Manager Erin McClure, a dual degreed UH Hilo graduate also functions as the HCP treasurer. McClure alongside HCP board member and lead carpenter Glenn Lagman and his team, has built one of the largest Shakespeare sets yet in Hilo to keep the actors safe with enough space for social distancing.
The civic parking lot will open at 6:30pm each night, one hour prior to show time. With just six chances to catch this tremendous production, you do not want to miss out! The audio of the show will be broadcast on an FM radio station, so the Players ask that you bring a radio or phone app and speakers to hear the show well from your car. Some may even wish to bring binoculars for the best view at a safe distance—think of it like going to the opera! The County of Hawai’i advises that individuals sharing a vehicle be limited to a single household or social exposure bubble. Chair/truck-bed seats will be allowed by must be contained within the assigned parking stall. Bathrooms and concessions will be available onsite. Masks will be required when outside of your vehicle, including traveling to and from assigned parking stalls. For more information, visit www.HiloPlayers.org or email HiloCommunityPlayers@gmail.com. Join the Hilo Community Players on July 30, 31, Aug 1, 2, 6, 7 & 8 all at 730pm and be a part of history as this live (safe) theatre show goes on through the pandemic.
The Hilo Community Players proudly presents the 2020 KidShakes:
A Teen Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello
Written by Justina Taft Mattos
Directed by Alston Albarado
Online Video Premiere Saturday, August 1st at 10:00 am
Rehearsed exclusively in an online format via Zoom, this year’s Kid Shakes is a completely new virtual experience.
Shakespeare’s iconic Othello is masterfully adapted into a snapshot of the teenage years where high school sports, college scholarships, and peer pressure dominate. The themes of lies and jealousy radiate through the looming presence of social media and sheer manipulation of the truth.
“Oh, Hello!” will premiere and be available to watch on the HCP YouTube page.
Please note that this production is aimed at a PG-13 audience, due to more mature themes and issues within the play.
Following the premiere, join the cast and director for the post-show gathering via Zoom. RSVP for the link and entry at the HCP official website.
Livestream Previews and Cast Interviews
July 11, 18, 25 @ 10am
Meet the cast, enjoy some exclusive sneak peeks into the production, and view awesome live performances… all streamed on the HCP Facebook and HCP YouTube pages.
Facebook: Hilo Community Players Facebook Page
Hilo Community Players
Hawai‘i Island’s Oldest Theatre Company