Welcome to the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center

Information about our upcoming season and any special events will be sent through our email blasts. There will no longer be physical brochures. To sign up for our email blasts please email us at artsctr@hawaii.edu.

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 Hawaiʻi 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

  • Tom Lee's TOMTE

    March 23rd @ 7:30 pm

    Location: Performing Arts Center.

    Tom Lee's TOMTE

    Tom Lee, creator and accomplished puppeteer of previous season favorites “Shank’s Mare” and “Ko’olau”, returns with another intimate shadow puppet performance. A Tomte is a Swedish gnome, a quiet and unseen caretaker who watches over the lives of humans and animals. On a cold winter night on a snow covered farm, Tomte teaches us about the importance of kindness and looking after living things.

    Adapted from “The Tomten” by Astrid Lindgren and the poem by Victor Rydberg, this performance is suitable for all ages and was created using live feed video of shadow puppets filmed through an overhead video camera and projected onto a small shadow screen. Puppetry, animal sounds and scenic transitions are all performed by Tom Lee from behind the screen, with narration by storyteller Lisa Gonzales. Following the shadow portion of the piece, Tomte emerges from the screen to interact with the audience. During this portion, Tomte is presented as a kuruma ningyō (cart puppet) style figure inspired by Japanese traditions.


  • Be More Chill

    April 21st @ 7:30 pmApril 22nd @ 7:30 pmApril 23rd @ 2:00 pmApril 27th @ 7:30 pmApril 28th @ 7:30 pmApril 29th @ 7:30 pm

    Location: Performing Arts Center.


    **Be More Chill**
    Music and Lyrics by Joe Iconis
    Book by Joe Track
    Based on the Novel by Ned Vizzini

    Be More Chill, presented by the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center and Hilo Community Players, is directed by Dr. Rachel Klein, musical & vocal direction by Rachel Edwards and choreography by Nadia Schlosser.

    Nominated for a Tony award for Best Original Score in 2019, Be More Chill has “easily relatable characters, clever twists and ebullient songs…from beginning to end” (NJ Arts) that captures and “perfectly balances the tragedy and hilarity of high school” (Tri City News).

    Jeremy Heere is just an average teenager. That is, until he finds out about "The Squip," a tiny supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the raddest party of the year and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school. But is being the most popular guy in school worth the risk?

    Be More Chill opened on Broadway in 2019.