Saturday, July 9-Show: 7:00 PM
Sunday, July 10-Show: 4:00 PM
67-1186 Lindsey Rd
Waimea, HI 96743
(808) 885-6868 KAHILU THEATRE
$25, $35, 45 Purchase tickets at KahiluTheatre.org
On Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10, The Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (HPAF) will present the opera, As One, in residence at Kahilu Theatre. Hannah, a transgender woman portrayed by two singers (Hannah before and Hannah After), discovers her gender identity and learns to love herself in a world where she’s not accepted.
The 75-minute chamber opera was created by Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell, and Kimberly Reed. Premiered in 2014, As One quickly became the most frequently performed American opera thanks to its lyricism and the universality and timeliness of its themes: authenticity, identity, compassion, and self-love.
Longtime HPAF favorite Beth Dunnington serves as the stage director for the production. “For me, one of the most significant things about being alive, being human on this planet, is being our authentic selves,” says Dunnington. “The story of a person discovering, acknowledging, and then becoming who they were meant to be – especially against all odds – is something we can all relate to. This is the story of As One.”
Alexandra Enyart (left) makes her HPAF debut as music director and conductor of this production. As a transgender conductor, Alexandra strives to create a more equitable and diverse musical world. “As One celebrates womanhood. Hannah overcomes. She is pressured, bullied, made to be perfect, harassed, and attacked, and she still overcomes. There are people who will say that this is not what As One is about because Hannah happens to be transgender, but Hannah’s journey to womanhood is every bit as true and relatable as any other girl, and that’s the true beauty of As One. This piece removes the illusion that people who are trans are separate or other,” comments Enyart.
“‘Transgender’ is just an adjective before the noun ‘woman,’ just like black woman, Muslim woman, Jewish woman, tall woman, small woman, blue-eyed woman. Women with different adjectives must now work together to change the narrative around our lives from victim to victory.”
As One runs for two performances at the Kahilu Theatre on Saturday, July 9 at 7 pm and Sunday, July 10 at 4 pm. The production features two casts, including Evan Bravos and Rahzé Cheatham (Hannah Before) and Ashley Armstrong and Amanda Staub (Hannah After). A special “Behind the Curtain” event will take place one hour before the Sunday matinee, beginning at 3 pm, in the Simperman Gallery. The team of As One will engage in intimate pre-show discussion surrounding the process of bringing Hannah to life. All ticket holders are invited to attend.