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Event Date: February 3, 2012

Donors to the UH Mānoa Asian Theatre program were treated to a memorable night celebrating Indonesian Randai theater and excellence in the arts at UH Mānoa. Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw shared the impact donors are making on Mānoa's acclaimed theatre programs, and introduced her guests to Dr. Kirstin Pauka, the director of The Genteel Sabai.

Dr. Pauka provided some background about the production and invited her students to the stage to demonstrate how the unique garments worn for Randai are used as percussion instruments during the performance. After the demonstration, guests joined the audience in the Kennedy Theatre for a performance of The Genteel Sabai.

The Genteel Sabai is a traditional Indonesian Randai drama, adapted by Musra Dahrizal and directed by Kirstin Pauka. A daughter seeks revenge for the murder of her father in this folk dance-drama. Randai comes from the Minangkabau ethnic group in Sumatra, Indonesia, and features beautiful traditional music and singing, martial arts, dance and acting; and its signature pants-slapping percussion.

The UH Mānoa Asian Theatre Program offers rigorous and exciting training and instruction in three areas: Japanese; Chinese; and South and Southeast Asian theatre. The faculty experts in these fields are widely recognized and honored for their scholarship, creative work, and diligent service in designing and directing programs and productions which bring master artists from around the world into the department to train student performers, designers and musicians.

The department proudly claims the largest number of course offerings in Asian theatre as well as the greatest integration of Asian theatre in undergraduate coursework of any U.S. program. To date the program has produced over eighty masters and doctoral graduates in Asian theatre, who are active throughout the world teaching, directing and acting in Asian theatre related productions and projects.

The University's Asian Theatre Program is greatly indebted to the intimate connection which has long existed between the program and the local community. Hawaiʻi's multi-cultural community simultaneously supports and is supported by the Asian Theatre Program. The continued growth of this invaluable symbiotic relationship is essential.

Photos by: Scott Nishi | University of Hawaiʻi Foundation