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Drama at the University of Hawai´i: The Early Years

Exhibits Page          Complete List of Plays


From very early in the life of College of Hawai'i, students have been involved in dramatic presentations. Students began presenting dramas during the first year after moving to the Manoa campus, perhaps because finally in the Main Building, later named Hawaii Hall,...            More......

On the following images, clicking twice may be necessary to get to the best size and resolution for viewing, especially for text materials.

Cast List in Revolving Wedge, presented by students of College of Hawaii, 27 and 28 November 1912. (ASUH Scrapbook, I, pg. 8.)

Cover to the program for Revolving Wedge. ASUH Scrapbook, I, pg. 8)

Play Yellow Jacket program cover

CH students presented The Glory of Their Years, 30 Nov. and 1-2 Dec. 1917 at Lanai Theater. Written by John R. Froome, Jr., the play won the 1916 competition sponsored by the MacDowell Club of New York City and was first presented at Harvard in August 1916. ECHP0011; cast list with image, Ka Palapala, 1918, p. 22-23)

Yellow Jacket, presented 29 October 1921, by the Chinese Students´ Alliance which included students from among the high schools in Honolulu. (ASUH Scrapbook, I, pp75-77)

Cast of Arms and the Man in costume posing in front of Hawaii Hall. (ASUH Scrapbook, I, p. 104)

Program for Arms and the Man, presented 21 and 22 April [1922] (ASUH Scrapbook, I, p. 104)

Part of the cast in Adam and Eva presented 17 and 18 November 1922 in Bishop Hall at Punahou School. (ASUH Scrapbook, I, p. 92)

Photograph of Poster created by student(s) to advertise Adam and Eva. The artist who drew the posters probably did work in Ka Palapala, 1923, the ASUH Yearbook, available in the University Archives Reading Room. (ASUH Scrapbook, I, p. 137)

Cast members of Mr. Pim Passes By on the set, with names written along bottom margin of photograph. (ASUH Scrapbook, I, p. 134)

photos of posters of Mr.Pim Passes By

Photographs of Posters advertising Mr. Pim Passes By. (ASUH Scrapbook, I, p. 131)

photos of posters of play Mr. Pim Passes By

The Faithful, by John Masefield, translation of the Japanese play, Chushingura, about the Forty-Seven Ronin, presented 28-29 November 1924 and 20-21 February 1925 in Honolulu and during Christmas holidays in Hilo. (ASUH Scrapbook, I, pp. 50, 163-164)

Cover of the Program for The Faithful presented 28 and 29 November 1924 at Mission Memorial Hall. (ASUH Scrapbook, I, pp. 164)

John Masato Tanimura as Lord Kuranosuke in The Faithful posing on UH Campus. ASUH Scrapbook, I, pp.163)


Twelfth Night, presented 13-14 December 1928, featured an Elizabethan
presentation one night and a modern adaptation the other night.

Part of the cast of Twelfth Night in costume for the modern presentation, posing on the steps of Hawaii Hall. (Hoermann Memorabilia Collection, Scrapbook Box I)

Part of the cast in Shakespearean costume for Twelfth Night. Photo taken at Hawaii Hall. (Hoermann Memorabilia Collection, Scrapbook Box I)

Program cover for Twelfth Night (Hoermann Memorabilia Collection, Scrapbook Box I)


Arthur E. "Doc" Wyman came to the University of Hawaii as Assistant Professor of Dramatic Art within the English Department in 1930. (OURD Faculty/Staff photos, Wyman #1)

Farrington Hall, originally called Lecture Hall, provided the first theater venue on campus. Farrington was built in 1930 and ready for use fall semester of that year. (Miyamoto Photographs, A56:111)

Theatre Guild at UH presented The Faithful, by John Masefield, 6-7 May 1931 in Lecture Hall (Farrington Hall).The Faithful, based upon Chushinguru, tells the classic Japanese story of the forty-seven faithful followers of Lord Asano in avenging his death. (OURD_Drama_Faithful_Edgeworth_1)

Shigeo Nakamura as Hino Saemon; Thomas Kurihara as Shinran Shonin, founder of Shin Buddhism, and Fred Hisamatsu as Matsuwaka, son of Hino Saemon, in Namu Amida Butsu presented by UH, 21-23 April 1932. (OURD_Drama_Namu_1)

UH presented the English language premier of Lord Tadanao, a Kabuki play by Iwara Hayashi, based on the novel by Kikuchi Kan, on 9-12 January 1935. This was the first English language performance of the play. OURD_Drama_Tadanao_#22)

An example of the annual Chinese play presented by UH, Lady Precious Stream was adapted into English by S.I. Hsiung from an ancient Chinese dramas. (OURD_Drama_LadyPreciousStream)

Richard of Bordeaux was originally scheduled with the hope that Mr. Morgan Farley, New York actor, would come to Honolulu to play the lead. When he could not do so, Belden Lyman, UH student, took the role of Richard opposite Marjorie Putnam, an exchange student from Mills College, as Queen Anne. The play took place 15-18 April 1936. (OURD_Drama_Richard of Bordeaux)

Maxwell Anderson´s High Tor, was presented 6-9, and 12 April 1938 on the stage of Farrington Hall. John Kelly played the role of Van Van Dorn and Alice Sullivan played Judith. OURD_Drama_HighTor_#2)

Gene Bell as Androcles removing the thorn from the paw of the Lion, played by Axel Silen, in George Bernard Shaw´s Androcles and the Lion presented during the academic year 1939/1940. (OURD_Drama_Androcles_#1)

Captain Maurice Evans, premier Shakespearean actor on Broadway, headed the Army Entertainment Section in the Central Pacific during World War II, using facilities in Farrington Hall. (HWRD #1023-A)

First page of the script of Hamlet showing Maurice Evans´stage instructions, cue notes, music notations, and excisions. (Maurice Evans´ Working Copy of Hamlet, HWRD W1995:001)

Second pages of Maurice Evan's working copy of Hamlet

Second and third pages of the Working Copy of Hamlet showing Maurice Evan´s stage instructions, cue notes, music notations, and excisions.. . (Maurice Evans´ Working Copy of Hamlet, HWRD W1995:001)

third page of Maurice Evan's working copy of Hamlet
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