Leeward Community College monkeys with celebrity

Leeward Community College
Joe Patti, (808) 455-0381
Theatre Manager, Continuing Education and Training
Posted: Mar 19, 2010

PEARL CITY – It started as a germ of an idea and where it will end up remains to be seen. Leeward Community College Theatre and Drama Program teamed up with local performance group Monkey Waterfall to produce a site specific work examining the phenomenon of celebrity. The performance will range around the Leeward CC campus providing a different perspective on performance and the spaces in which they occur. Celebrity Project performs at Leeward Community College Theatre on April 8, 9, 10 at 8 p.m.
Andy Warhol predicted everyone would achieve 15 minutes of fame. But at a time when our promised fifteen minutes can now be only a shower of hits on YouTube away, questions arise. Who or what defines celebrity? What makes us want to be famous? How has the definition of celebrity changed? And what can we learn about the consequences of fame?
Though originally conceived of as only a one week residency, members of Monkey Waterfall have graciously provided a much richer experience working with Leeward students and community members to create the show. Monkey Waterfall co-artistic director Yukie Shiroma has conducted a semester long residency working with students nearly every day since January improvising situations to develop the performance that looks at how we are influenced by fame’s seductive and enabling power. Body language, mask work, humor, theatre, and dance will come together in a performance that looks critically and affectionately at fame.
Among the scenarios depicted in the show are people in the boxing ring literally wrestling with their fame. Another has people chasing after the spotlight only to find fame quite literally consumes them. Audience members will receive a tour map of stars to help them find their way through the show. Guides will also be available to make sure no one tries to leave the tour to “acquire” mementos of their encounters with the famous.
The production itself is co-directed by Shiroma and Paul Cravath, director of the Leeward CC Drama program. In addition, mask movement workshops were conducted in October and February as both an opportunity for fun and to introduce mask work technique to members of the public who wanted to become involved with the production.
Monkey Waterfall is no stranger to the process of creating site specific works. In 2007 they produced Shrines to Paradise at Honolulu Hale, Club Monkey a 2004 production at the South Seas Hawaiian Hut and the Monkey on My Back series at Marks Garage.
Performances will begin at the front of Leeward Community College Theatre but move to stages near the building. Attendees are encouraged to wear shoes suitable for crossing grassy areas.
Tickets and information are available by calling the Leeward Community College Box Office at 455-0385, The EticketHawaii hotline at 483-7123, by visiting http://www.EticketHawaii.com or http://LCCTheatre.hawaii.edu. General Admission seats are $15 for adults, $10 for students, seniors and military, and $8 for children under 12.
Leeward Community College Theatre is funded in part by the State Foundation for Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaiʻi and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding provided by the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts, City and County of Honolulu