Hawaii Theater Actors

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Location: Hawaii
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Latest Activity: Feb 25

Reviews from Hitting The Stage

TAG (The Actors’ Group) is again honoring Black History Month by staging an August Wilson play.  Wilson (1945-2005) wrote ten plays reflecting the Black experience in America throughout the twentieth century, one per decade, called “The Pittsburgh Cycle.”  Radio Golf is the last play he wrote, representing the decade of the 1990s, set in 1997 and first produced on Broadway in 2007, winning a Tony Nomination for best new play of that year.

The opening night standing-room-only audience was predominantly Black and it was clear they had a great time.  Wilson shows us all the humor and tragedy of the Black experience, and the audience caught it all.  But you do not have to be Black to enjoy this play: this is a show for everybody.  Warning: I’m afraid I’m eventually going to have to use the N-word in this review, a word also frequently used in the play.

The protagonist of the play is Harmond Wilks, definitely a big fish in the Black community.  He is the scion of a wealthy real estate developer, raised with a silver spoon in his mouth, and now a well-to-do entrepreneur about to tear down one area within the Hill District (the black neighborhood) of Pittsburgh and put up a shiny new complex called Bedford Hts.  This involves big money and legal contracts.

That’s not all.  He is also about to announce a run for Mayor of Pittsburgh, assisted by his go-getter wife, Mame, and his best friend Roosevelt Hicks.  (During the Broadway run of this play who would not have been thinking about Hawai‘i’s own Barack Obama, who had just announced as a candidate for the presidency in February of that year?  In fact one of Harmond’s campaign posters is a clever but anachronistic allusion to the famous “Hope” poster.)

There is one fly in the ointment, however, a garrulous old fool, Joseph Barlow, who claims HE holds the title to one of the houses about to be torn down.  Then there is the handyman Sterling Johnson, who knew Harmond and Roosevelt way back when and who claims to be a Union member ready to work on their project.  (Joseph and Sterling would be the “little fish” as far as Harmond and Roosevelt are concerned.)

Wilson makes you think about issues of class, education, feminism, prison, affirmative action, the value of a legal contract, and degree of blackness (as in who is a “nigger” versus who is a “negro”).  The dialog is snappy and very funny; you will be rewarded if you listen hard to catch the changing dialects coming out of the different characters.  The signal that Harmond and Roosevelt are upper middle class?  They both play golf.  First act posters are MLK–and Tiger Woods.

There is an important offstage character–a reminder that you may think you’re a big fish, but in someone else’s eyes, you’re just sharkbait.  And as to the title of the play, it seems to me that trying to teach golf via a radio program epitomizes an impossible dream.

First-time Director Lillian Jones has done a great job of bringing out all the differences among the diverse characters.  As Harmond Wilks, J. Edward Murray has all the well-educated liberal’s stuffiness.  Derrick Brownas Roosevelt Hicks is the best friend looking for the main chance; he manages to convey all of Roosevelt’s personalities believably.  Terry Bookhart shows us the upwardly mobile and practical Mame who is not moving back to the Hill District–no way.

Audience favorite Curtis Duncan as Joseph Barlow was maybe a little over the top, but who cares when his clowning is so much fun.  Quantae Love as Sterling Johnson brought the needed menace and ferocity that keeps audience members wondering if and when he will explode.

Costumes were 90s right down to the choice of eyeglasses.  Props to the set dressers for the right computers and cell phones.

I love it that TAG habitually tackles tough and interesting fare.  Perhaps their biggest challenge is finding the audience who will appreciate and fund their efforts.  This is definitely a show that will reward those who come to see it.  Validated free parking at Dole Cannery.

Discussion Forum

Hawaii Repertory Theatre seeking young male actor for upcoming production.

Seeking a male actor who can play mid-20s for upcoming production. Professional compensation will be paid. Rehearsals begin in early December, break throughout January, and resume in February, 2014.…Continue

Started by Hawaii Repertory Theatre, Inc. Nov 17, 2013.

Acting/ Set work 1 Reply

Hi! I'm looking for some set work. I'll audition for any part, be an extra, or work on the set! Or do everything! I'm on the Big Island so anything on here is what I'm looking for.Continue

Started by Haley McCabe. Last reply by Michael Brown Bick May 2, 2013.

Actors needed 1 Reply

Looking for actors to read a new play in mid-January. Unpaid. This is part of the rewrite process, but I hope to get it produced at some point.Continue

Tags: reading, script, play

Started by Kyle Baxter. Last reply by Suzen Murakoshi Jan 7, 2013.


Looking for people (not necessarily MODELS) with what society considers "imperfections". So if you have a missing limb, are on a wheel chair, have an extremely skinny structure, have a big nose, big…Continue

Started by Filipa Margarida Rodrigues Jan 6, 2012.

Island Theater Scene

I'm Available

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Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Hawaii Theater Actors to add comments!

Comment by Kimee Balmilero on November 20, 2010 at 1:30am
ATTN: Hawaii Kids & Teens - Improv Classes starting THIS SUNDAY - Nov. 21st..with Me:) Check out to reserve your spot! Hope to see you there! Word...xo
Comment by Michael Rivero on October 17, 2010 at 7:29am
Tonight, at 7:30PM at the Richardson Theater, Fort Shafter, there will be a re-creation of the 1939 Orson Wells' Mercury Theater on the Air broadcast of "War of the Worlds." Admission is free. There will be additional performances on October 24 and October 31.

Comment by Eric West on August 17, 2010 at 10:45am
Attn. Wardrobe Department
I'm looking for a costume that you may have on the back shelf or be able to make for my show. Hawaii's first and only Sideshow Extravaganza "Pandemonium"! I'm looking for Victorian era full top hat and tails with accessories. My measurements are: Height: 6'-0", Shirt Size: 14.5/35, Waist: 29/28, Inseam: 31, Chest: 34, Overarm: 42, Coat Sleeve, Inseam: 18, Coat Size: 36L, Hips: 36, Outseam: 42.5, Vest Size: Small, Hat: 7.5.

I do not have a lot in my budget, maybe $120 for everything (been spending most of my paycheck to produce this show), but if you have a hat here, a vest there, maybe I could piece things together. My email is
Comment by Dann Seki on June 23, 2010 at 1:57pm
Hi Katherine,
You might want to look into and consider signing an ultra-low budget (under $200,000) or short film (I don't know whether you're doing a short of full-length) agreement with the Screen Actors Guild. There's some paperwork involved, but you get to open your pool of actors to include SAG performers. Contact Brenda Ching at SAG (596-0388) for information.

First Choice
Comment by Teddy Wells on June 15, 2010 at 10:01pm

A drama by Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Harry Wong III

Opening Friday, June 4th and running through Sunday, June 27th
Please note: There will be a show on Wed, June 23rd
but NO show on Friday, June 25th.

Topdog/Underdog tells the story of two brothers, Lincoln (Moses Goods) and Booth (Q), who, abandoned by first one parent and then the other, have had to depend upon each other for survival since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the brothers struggle to make a new life, one that will lead them out of poverty. Lincoln, a master of the con game three-card monte, has abandoned a life of crime for a more respectable job impersonating Abraham Lincoln at an arcade. Booth, on the other hand, earns his living as a petty thief, one who wishes to emulate his older brother’s success by learning how to “throw the cards.” Throughout the play, the brothers compete against each other, vying for control. At any given moment, one may yield power over the other, only to relinquish it in the next. Hence, Topdog/Underdog reveals a topsy-turvy world in which Lincoln and Booth live, a chaotic world that is as dangerous as it is illusory.
Comment by Eric West on May 17, 2010 at 10:36am
Maybe I will audition Tom. I was planning to sing Jud's Lonely Room from Oklahoma (that's more in my range), but that is not an up-tempo number. Could you or anyone else recommend a song for me or a show from the repertoire. And obvious I do not own tap shoes. What are character shoes? Visually I would make a good Nazi. Blond hair, blue eyes, and an awesome handlebar mustache. I'm not interested in making a lot of money. Just trying to get more involved in the acting community. As long as it does not interfere with my 9 to 5 job.
Comment by Tom Holowach on May 16, 2010 at 7:23pm
Don't sell yourself too short, Eric. SOM isn't a big dance show like a 42nd St. There are a rather large number of non-dance roles, as well as a number of non-singing roles. Think nuns and Nazis... Ok, don't think that exactly, but this show has a lot of non-dancing ensemble needs. But for sure, everyone needs to be able to sing fairly well.
Comment by Eric West on May 16, 2010 at 4:45pm
Thanks Tom, That's why I decided not to go to the audition for Sound of Music. I did not want to waste anyone's time. I might be able to pull off singing an easy number, but I do not have any dance training.
Comment by Tom Holowach on May 16, 2010 at 2:38pm
Just a quick primer for film-oriented folks... there is no such thing as "background" on stage. Everybody is part of the ensemble and is a crucial element. At auditions for musicals, many theatres don't even hear you read lines till callbacks. First, they want to know if you can sing and dance. You need to learn a song that shows off your range and skill and you must bring the sheet music. No karaoke tapes or acapella. Coming in just for the heck of it and singing "Happy Birthday" is a waste of everybody's time. Prepare to commit to weeks of nightly rehearsals. Most theatres don't pay anything, and the couple who do, just give an "Honorarium" that doesn't even pay for gas these days. We do it cause we love it and because its a great way to hone your craft. It's a nice bunch of people to hang around, too!
Comment by Patricia Magill on May 16, 2010 at 1:37pm
Thanks alot Eric for the info, much mahalo to you!!!!! Patty

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