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New show at Kennedy Theatre explores identity in Hawaiʻi

unspecified photo 1.jpg
Alison Bruce-Maldonado
/
HPR
"unspecified" opens on Friday, Nov. 18, and will run through Sunday, Nov. 20, at Kennedy Theatre.

A new production explores identity through the lens of students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. That includes gender, sexuality, culture, race and mental heath.

“unspecified” is based on Nate Drackett’s thesis. He is studying for a master’s of fine arts degree at UH. He said he was inspired to create the show after struggling with his own identity and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder unspecified in 2011.

Drackett said the show is based on the personal stories and experiences of cast members not conforming to identity norms.

unspecified photo 2 .jpg
Alison Bruce-Maldonado
/
HPR
"unspecified" explores identity, including race, gender, sexuality and mental health, through the lens of University of Hawaiʻi students.

“There’s people from the mainland. There’s people from here. Just like a really diverse group of races, cultures, ethnicities and a lot of people kind of falling in the in between,” he said. "We’re kind of battling with figuring out how to identify ourselves, and people finding very specific identities, and then some people kind of also being caught in between. And so I thought it was a really pertinent issue today.”

He said he hopes their stories will also help open the door for others to explore their own identities.

“We want people to know that it’s OK to not be OK, that it’s OK to be caught in this in between,” he said. “And it might feel strange, but you’re not alone.”

“unspecified” is produced through UH Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance and its student-run group, the Late Night Theatre Company.

It opens on Friday, Nov. 18, and will run through Sunday, Nov. 20, at Kennedy Theatre.

For more information, click here.

*Editor’s note: Kennedy Theatre is an underwriter of Hawaiʻi Public Radio. 

Jayna Omaye is the culture and arts reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact her at jomaye@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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