Celebrate Chinese New Year with Comedy
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre + Dance proudly presents Fights & Delights: Three Chinese Comedies, co-directed by Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak and Mark Branner. Highlighting the vibrancy of traditional Chinese theatre, the three plays celebrate the chou, or comic character, who continually reveals the laughter in life. The shows will be performed in English at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Performing Arts Center and Kahilu Theatre.
Four master artists from China have been in residence with the UHM Department of Theatre + Dance since August 2017, teaching xiqu voice and movement as well as training the actors in their roles.
- Mr. Lu Genzhang, who performs laosheng (older male) roles, is a National Actor of the First (highest possible) Rank and an Emeritus Leading Actor with the Jiangsu Province Jingju Company. This will be Genzhang’s seventh residency at UHM training students to perform in Jingju plays. He teaches acting, movement, and voice for all of the male-voice roles in “Treasure in the Chest” and “Where Three Roads Meet.”
- Mr. Xu Mingchi, who performs chou roles, is a National Actor of the First Rank and a Leading Actor with the Chuanju Company. This year marks his first teaching residency at UHM; he teaches acting, movement, and voice for all of the roles in “Pi Jin Rolls the Lamp.”
- Ms. Zhang Ling, who performs dan (young female) roles, is a National Actor of the First Rank and an Emeritus Leading Actor with the Jiangsu Province Jingju Company. This is Ling’s fourth residency training UHM students; she teaches acting, movement, and voice for all of the female-voice roles in “Treasure in the Chest” and “Where Three Roads Meet.”
- Mr. Zhang Xigui, a conductor and percussionist who is also proficient on a wide range of string and wind instruments, is a National Instrumentalist of the Second (second highest possible) Rank and an Emeritus Leading Instrumentalist with the Jiangsu Province Jingju Company. This is Xigui’s fourth residency instructing UHM students; he teaches technique and interpretation for all the musical instruments (melodic and percussive) for all three plays.
The three Chinese comedies featured in Fights & Delights are: the chuanju; Pi Jin Rolls the Lamp, and the two jingju; Treasure in the Chest and Where Three Roads Meet.
Treasure in the Chest tells the story of a young woman who hides a young scholar in her family’s chest to protect him from two officers hot on his trail while her family is out trying to arrange a marriage for her.
Pi Jin Rolls the Lamp recounts the tale of a wife punishing her husband for his gambling problem by making him perform spectacular acrobatics while balancing a candle on his head.
Where Three Roads Meet relates a story about the famous Chinese general, Jiao Zan, as he escapes capture by two officers at an inn where mistaken identities lead to a virtuoso fight in the dark between an inn keeper and a young warrior trying to protect Zan.
The show at UH Hilo will take place on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center located at 200 W. Kawili St.
The show at Kahilu Theatre will be on Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m. located at 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Kamuela.
The suggested donation for the show is $10 for adults and $5 for Students/Youth.
Cash donations will be accepted one hour prior to the performance at each location.