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Welcome to the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center

The UH Hilo Performing Arts Center is easily noticed with its distinctive roof patina The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Center is the major performing arts educational and cultural center on the Big Island, serving as a joint special use facility for the University and Big Island Communities. The Performing Arts Center is primarily an instructional facility providing for the regular educational functions of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, whose purpose is to offer significant educational and diverse cultural opportunities -- where dialogue, the exchange of cultural and artistic ideas and co-curricular activities are encouraged.

The Performing Arts Center produces, presents and/or co-sponsors an extensive and culturally diverse year-round Season of local, regional, national, and international performing arts events performed by some of the world's greatest artists. The quality of events presented in the 600-seat Theatre is equal to any offered by major mainland universities. A typical year includes over 150 performances of dance, drama, music, mime, children's shows, lectures and special events.

The UH Hilo Performing Arts Center in cooperation with the UH Hilo Performing Arts Department also produces two to six plays, concerts, musicals and dance performances each season. Interested faculty, staff, students and community members are encouraged to participate in the activities of the Performing Arts Center.


Upcoming Events

  • Dance Collective

    September 28th @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    Dance Collective

    The Dance Collective continues its mission to build bridges and join dance communities across the island with its third outing to date featuring even more up and coming choreographers and dancers.
    Many of you came out to support not only the extraordinarily talented and hardworking dancers and choreographers who graced the stage, but also the message behind the show: that of creating a strong, vibrant and cohesive dance community in which everyone could participate. We remain committed to fulfilling that vision. The concert this year will showcase a range of dance styles and numbers from musical theatre to contemporary, hip hop to jazz and modern to ballet.
    Presenting the works of new and established dancers and choreographers from Island Dance Academy, Center Stage Dance Alliance, Paradise Performing Arts Center, N2 Dance, Kona Dance & Performing Arts, and UH Hilo Dance Department to name but a few, this dance concert provides choreographers with a platform to share their art and vision without restriction to their vision.
    The proceeds from this event will go toward providing dance opportunities for our island community and perpetuating this event. For those who have come before, we hope to see you again. For everyone else, we hope to see you at this year’s Dance Collective!

    *Note that some material may not be suitable for all audiences.


  • Harold López-Nussa Trio

    October 19th @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    Harold López-Nussa Trio

    It’s hard to imagine the U.S. jazz scene without the influence of the many Cuban musicians living here. Yet the musicians who remain in Cuba—whose relationship with jazz and other musical forms stays grounded in their native island’s cultural traditions and daily life—maintain a unique perspective. They tell a specific story.


  • Scary Scenarios

    October 26th @ 6:00 pmOctober 27th @ 6:00 pmOctober 30th @ 6:00 pmOctober 31st @ 4:00 pmOctober 31st @ 6:00 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.


    Creep through the halls of the Performing Arts Center to experience four Halloween-themed one-act plays, shared in four different locations! Written by UH Hilo students, the plays are: Trust Issues, Come Home, Lattes, and Ignorance is Bliss.

    Showing at 6:00pm and 8:30pm


  • Fall 2018 Great Leaps Dance Concert Preview

    November 30th @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.


    Enjoy over 150 UH Hilo, HCC and Community dancers perform Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Aerial Dance pieces choreographed by instructors Celeste Staton, Annie Bunker and Kea Kapahua, as well as guest choreographers and graduating students’ senior projects.


  • Fall 2018 Great Leaps Dance Concert

    December 1st @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.


    Enjoy over 150 UH Hilo, HCC and Community dancers perform Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Aerial Dance pieces choreographed by instructors Celeste Staton, Annie Bunker and Kea Kapahua, as well as guest choreographers and graduating students’ senior projects.


  • The UH Hilo Jazz Orchestra Concert - Zappa 6: Germany Fundra

    December 5th @ 7:30 pmDecember 6th @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo PErforming Arts Center.


    The UH Hilo Jazz Orchestra will perform its 6th Annual Frank Zappa Tribute concert. Come see what's become a Hilo Tradition. Zappa's music, with its virtuosity, humor, and high energy is best experienced live in concert; which is why these shows sell out year after year! Proceeds from this concert will help the UH Hilo Jazz Orchestra travel to Europe to perform at Zappanale in Bad Doberan Germany in 2019!


  • Holiday Card to Hilo: Come Back Home

    December 9th @ 2:00 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    Holiday Card to Hilo: Come Back Home

    This concert, a tradition among Hilo families for more than a decade, brings us home to songs we love to sing during the holidays. The concert will bring together UH Hilo's Kapili Choir and University Chorus with the Hilo Community Chorus, the ensemble VOICES, the Orchid Isle Orchestra and special guest performers. From sing-alongs to classics with a new twist to Hollywood favorites right here in our home-town theatre. There will definitely be something for everyone. Come back home, once again, with Holiday Card to Hilo.


  • Giordano Dance Chicago

    January 25th @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    Giordano Dance Chicago

    Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) is America's original jazz dance company, captivating audiences worldwide with dynamic performances and the diversity and wide appeal of its repertoire. The mission of GDC is to create and present new and innovative jazz dance choreography, often redefining and expanding the very definition of jazz dance, and to bring this invaluable American art form to audiences and students of all ages and from all ethnic backgrounds. Whether on the stage or in the classroom, we strive to enrich lives through dance. Known for its high-energy, high-impact artistry, GDC continually receives critical and audience acclaim worldwide.

    "Flat-out fun: over-the-top sexy, stylishly cool." — Chicago Tribune
    "More stunning than ever!" - Chicago Sun-times

    This event is a co-production with the Hawai‘i Concert Society.


  • Derek Gripper

    January 30th @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    Derek Gripper

    Derek Gripper is a South African classical guitarist who embarked on a journey through different musical styles when he found classical guitar music too limiting. His explorations and studies found him learning diverse styles from India, Cape Town and West Africa, but he always applied what he discovered to the guitar.

    Gripper’s 2018-19 concerts explore the dialogue between the disparate styles that have informed his work to date: the West African Kora, Bach, South African jazz, Contemporary Classical and large scale improvisations. This diverse palate creates music that is at once intimate and explosive, improvised and composed, traditional and new.


  • Tomáš Kubínek: Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible

    February 13th @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    Tomáš Kubínek: Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible

    Tomáš Kubínek’s internationally acclaimed solo performances play to packed theaters around the world, including a sold-out run on Broadway which prompted the New York Times to declare his work “absolutely expert”.

    Kubínek, a self-declared “fool, clown, visual poet, solo performance artist, multi-talented vaudevillian, comic genius and charming huckster”, performs his exuberant one-man show that is equal parts comic brilliance, virtuosic vaudeville and irresistible charm. Described as a collision of theatre and music-hall, Kubínek’s one-man show is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

    “Hilarious and enormously talented” Time Out
    “Equal parts old-time clowning and Monty Pythonesque silliness…” Seattle Times


  • Jacob Jonas The Company

    March 2nd @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    Jacob Jonas The Company

    Jacob Jonas The Company (JJTC) has gained an international profile for its honest storytelling, visceral performances, and visual content creation. The company brings a mix of contemporary ballet, breakdance and acrobatic movement to spaces all over the United States; however its creativity is not bound solely to the stage. JJTC partners with dance companies, significant cultural institutions, photographers and social media influencers from all over to create new and exciting ways for dance to be showcased. Named one of “12 standout companies of 2018” by the Los Angeles Times and “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2018, Jacob Jonas The Company strives to educate and inspire through exceptional concert dance performance, engaging visual content, a diverse community of collaborators and ongoing community events.

    “When Jacob Jonas The Company performs, energy doesn’t just seem to bounce off the walls, it reverberates off bodies.” Los Angeles Times

    jacobjonas.com


  • On Ensemble

    March 7th @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    On Ensemble

    Established in 2002 On Ensemble is one of the most respected ensembles in the taiko (Japanese drumming) world. Led by childhood friends Shoji Kameda and Masato (Maz) Baba, On Ensemble is recognized for infusing the powerful rhythms of taiko with a wide range of musical influences from jazz and rock to central asian overtone singing. Their fearless musical exploration has expanded the artistic range of the taiko and has taken these ancient instruments into new realms. The group’s unique sound has been praised as “completely original and brilliantly conceived.” Modern Drummer magazine calls On Ensemble “an exciting taiko ensemble looking at new ways to apply traditional Japanese drums.” On Ensemble was the first American taiko group to be invited to perform at the National Theater of Japan for the prestigious Nihon no Taiko concert series.

    This project received support from The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts; WESTAF, the Western States Arts Federation; and the National Endowment for the Arts.


  • Rent

    April 5th @ 7:30 pmApril 6th @ 7:30 pmApril 7th @ 2:00 pmApril 12th @ 7:30 pmApril 13th @ 7:30 pmApril 14th @ 2:00 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    Rent

    Rent
    Book, Music & Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
    Musical Arrangements, Steve Skinner; Original Concept/Additional Lyrics, Billy Aronson; Music Supervision & Additional Arrangements, Tim Weil; Dramaturg, Lynn Thomson

    Directed by Justina Mattos
    Musical Director Trever Veilleux
    Choreography by Celeste Staton & Kea Kapahua

    An inspiring musical about friends and artists struggling with addiction, poverty, AIDS and – most of all – love.

    Set in the East Village of New York City, Rent is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Rent, with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages, is loosely based on Puccini's La Boheme.
    Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom and Angel. Maureen deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art; her partner, Joanne, wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble. Benny has sold out his Bohemian ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends. Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical. This is theatre at its best – exuberant, passionate and joyous.


  • Spring 2019 Great Leaps Dance Concert Preview

    May 1st @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.


    Enjoy over 150 UH Hilo, HCC and Community dancers perform Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Aerial Dance pieces choreographed by instructors Celeste Staton, Annie Bunker and Kea Kapahua, as well as guest choreographers and graduating students’ senior projects.


  • Spring 2019 Great Leaps Dance Concert

    May 2nd @ 7:30 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.


    Enjoy over 150 UH Hilo, HCC and Community dancers perform Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Aerial Dance pieces choreographed by instructors Celeste Staton, Annie Bunker and Kea Kapahua, as well as guest choreographers and graduating students’ senior projects.


  • We Sing the Spring: That 70's Show

    May 5th @ 2:00 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.


    The UH Hilo choirs, together with special guests, bring choral harmonies and rockin' rhythms to favorites from that iconic era of music history, the 1970s. Want to hear some groovy music? Get your tie-dyed t-shirt ready and ease on down to the theatre. Outta sight!


  • Big Island Taiko Festival

    June 8th @ 7:30 pmJune 9th @ 2:00 pm

    Location: UH Hilo Performing Arts Center.

    Big Island Taiko Festival

    This exhilarating weekend of vibrant drumming and physical choreography will bring together the best of Big Island Taiko! Featuring Taishoji Taiko, Puna Taiko, Hui Okinawa, Kona Daifukuji Taiko & Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (Kohala).