The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented a conversation livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Indigenous Performance and Hana Keaka (Hawaiian Theatre) Monday 10 July 2023 at 6:30 a.m. HST (Honolulu, UTC -10) / 9:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
This conversation with Tammy Hailiʻōpua Baker and Markus Wessendorf was about the history, curriculum, theatre productions, research, and current projects of the Hana Keaka (Hawaiian Theatre) program at the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM). The MFA in Hawaiian Theatre was established in the fall of 2012 and has already received national and international recognition. A new PhD concentration in Hawaiian and Indigenous Performance at UHM starts this fall. These two tracks are the only graduate programs in the United States with a specific focus on Indigenous performance. Moderated by Frank Hentschker.
Tammy Hailiʻōpua Baker is a Professor of Theatre and Kumu of Hawaiian Theatre (Hana Keaka) at the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her work centers on the development of an Indigenous Hawaiian theatre aesthetic and form, Hawaiian language revitalization, and the empowerment of cultural identity through stage performance. She is also a playwright and the artistic director of Ka Hālau Hanakeaka, a Hawaiian-medium theatre troupe. In May 2022, she received the Kennedy Center Medaillon of Excellence "for her creation and development of the MFA in Hawaiian Theatre, her mentorship of Indigenous theatremakers, and for her daily active, practice of reclaiming the stories of generations of indigenous populations who have been repressed, diminished, or silenced." She is also the initiator and director of ʻAhahui Noiʻi Noʻeau ʻŌiwi—Research Institute of Indigenous Performance (ANNO) at UHM.
Markus Wessendorf has been a Professor of Theatre at the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa since 2001 and is currently the Department Chair. He received his graduate degrees from the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies at Giessen University, Germany, where he also was an assistant professor from 1992 to 1997. His areas of specialization are in experimental and avantgarde theatre, performance studies and theatre theory, and dramaturgy and devised theatre. He has been the editor of The Brecht Yearbook/Das Brecht-Jahrbuch since volume 43 (2017).