By E.G.D.

Thank you for supporting new live works!  We could not put on a show like this if not for our audiences.  Please help us make this show better for next year by telling us what you think!  All comments, compliments, and critiques are welcome (but please keep the language clean!)

8 Responses to “Audience Comments”

  1. 1 Lurana O'Malley
    July 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Please share my congrats to all the directors and choreographers. It was a fun and varied evening. I always like to see new student writing and choreography. I was so delighted to see Royce’s Big Number. It was a kick to me to see all these quiet students from my theatre history class (Royce, Michelle, Rachael) strutting their stuff! Congrats also to Elise on all the hard work she put in to make an important project happen.

    Hope to see a lot of you working with Late Night during the school year–we need board members, proposals for Spring, and audiences!

  2. 2 Hans Anderson
    July 15, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Congratulations on a most successful first annual festival! What a delight to see such an abundance of young talented actors performing intriguing and original plays. I especially enjoyed “O Mania,”, “The Bare Truth” and the surprisingly sexy “Big Spender.”

    Best of luck on your continued success. On to the Kennedy Theater!



  3. 3 Jody Diehl
    July 19, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Incredible effort! Incredible success!

    It’s too difficult to pick a favorite… In “Night Flying” Sarah Jane Carlton, Becky McGarvey and Phoebe Hwang mesmerized the audience. Becky McGarvey’s “From the Rooftop” was especially captivating. And “The Bare Truth” was great fun. The writing, directing and acting were all top notch.
    And … O Mania and Statuesque and …

    Bravo! And a standing ovation to everyone,


    Elisa, you can get some sleep now. Job well done!!

  4. 4 John
    July 21, 2009 at 7:48 am

    On the whole, the show was a very entertaining evening! Congratulations to all of the participants.
    Comments on each act (I attended the Friday Jul 10 show):

    Chaotic Therapy – I found this to be the weakest of the nine acts. The story was predictable but might have survived if the characters had interacted in an entertaining way, but on the night I saw it the acting simply did not click as an ensemble.

    Night flying – very talented dancing performance. The choreography was varied and the dancer delivered it well.

    The Party – The story was disturbing which means that he acting and dialogue were convincing. The Acting was impressive, during even the little moments between dialogue lines both actors communicated their characters changing moods well.

    Dirty Money – On the whole, this was terrific. The dancing was entertainingly choreographed and tightly executed. The unfortunate part was the first of the five pieces, in which the performers themselves sang – often out of tune and with no projection. The amateur, karaoke-like sound to the singing did a great disservice to the otherwise very professional dancing and acting. But the set got better as it went on, and, amazingly, the performers kept their energy up through all five high-energy and surely exhausting pieces! Impressive.

    O Mania – This was one of my two favorites. The writing was clever and rang true in many cases, and the acting carried it out well. Very well done.

    From a Rooftop – another entertainingly choreographed and elegantly danced piece. Well done!

    The Bare Truth – my other favorite of the night. The script was very clever; the quirky humor was enjoyable while never distracting from the characterizations of the dangerously bored young woman and her brother. The acting was tight and both actors really bought their characters through. Nice work all around.

    Statuesque – It has been a long time since I have seen a humorous dance piece succeed. The dancers interacted well and I felt like this was not just great dancing, but convincing acting as well.

    Penny and the Missus – I found the story a little trite; the dog’s point of view seemed to add little if anything to the story of the mistreated woman, although the symbolism with them both feeling ‘caged’ came across. This was aided by the staging in the way the curtains were used to make the dog’s cage and also shorten the visual space; I got the feeling that not just the cage but the house too was very small, and I felt somewhat cramped myself – a very successful trick that worked well with the story. In any case, both parts were convincingly and entertainingly acted and it did leave me with a smile at the end of the show.

  5. 5 Dann
    July 21, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Found this review by John Berger of the Star Bulletin:

    “Three black blocks and a bare “black box” set provide the performance space for the work of five playwrights and three choreographers in “Black Box Black Blocks” last weekend at Ernst Lab Theatre on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Some pieces are more engaging than others, and one needs to be rethought, but the program overall is successful showcase of — mostly — young talent.

    Credit playwright Terri Large Madden with submitting the most memorable play.

    “The Party,” directed by Hawaii stage veteran Cecilia Fordham, presents Cyrus Legg (Chuck) and Jackie Okimoto (Amy) in a dark and chilling drama. Chuck is the older brother of Amy’s best friend. He’s been waiting for her to be “old enough” — and now she is. Their first date ends with a twist worthy of O. Henry, Hitchcock or “The Twilight Zone.”

    Maseeh Ganjali directs Madden and Josh Young in “Penny and the Missus,” Justine Elona’s story about a woman who resents having to care for her husband’s “mangy” dog while he is out “working late.” There’s a different kind of suspense here, but it is still compelling.

    Don’t take it out on the dog, lady! Don’t take it out on the dog!

    Ganjali gets his turn as an actor in Aiko Gagarin’s “Chaotic Therapy.” Royce R. Okazaki (Mark), Stephanie Pak (Leslie) and Brad Larson (Stew) play unwilling participants in a group therapy session whose hostile reactions to each other lead to self-healing while the group leader (Ganjali) looks on. Larson quickly became an audience favorite with his portrayal of an edgy Xerox repair man with major anger management problems.

    OKAZAKI STEPS forward as choreographer — and singer/dancer as well — in the biggest and most impressive dance number. “Dirty Money” displays the talent of 19 dancers in a 20-minute celebration of Broadway musicals that includes numbers from “Rent,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Sweet Charity,” “The Full Monty” and “In The Heights.”

    Although most of Okazaki’s dancers are either high school students or ‘09 grads they looked perfectly at home working with the older performers. Okazaki’s choreography represented several eras and genres — there were even two tap dancing soloists.

    “STATUESQUE,” choreographed by Becky McGarvey, also combines the physical beauty of dance with a clear and entertaining story. Elisa Diehl dances the role of a woman taken by surprise when three statues (McGarvey, Phoebe Hwang ad Jackie Okimoto) come to life. Dance can be exclusively about movement, of course, but in the context of this particular “BB BB” revue McGarvey’s decision to utilize the talent of her cast as actors as well as dancers added to the entertainment value.

    Diehl’s contribution as a playwright, “The Bare Truth,” is a well-written story but suffers from an inescapable contradiction between the dialogue and what we see happening on stage. The story is about a woman who decides to answer the door stark naked, discovers that the person at the door is her brother, and remains naked anyway — but the “nude” character is fully dressed!

    There have been several Lab Theatre shows in which actors performed fully nude, so Diehl’s play could have been performed as written. Or, if necessary, with the performer in a bodystocking. Or, Diehl could have revised the script to accommodate the actor and made the nudity past tense rather than present tense. Any of these three choices would have been preferable.

    No such problems mar “O Mania,” Siobhan Ni Dhonacha’s slice-of-local-life look at five Hawaii residents waiting for a glimpse of Barack Obama at Keehi Lagoon last summer. With luck, “Black Box Black Boxes” will be become an annual summer showcase for student playwrights, directors, choreographers, actors and dancers at UH-Manoa.”

    I personally very much enjoyed the show, and agree that “The Party” stood out as a more serious work amongst its peers.

  6. 6 Alaina
    August 1, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed the play!

    The Bare Truth was HILARIOUS! I found it amazing that the actor/actress did not crack up throughout the awkward moments!

    The statue scene was captivating and I loved the facial expressions!

    Overall this was a wonderful play and I hope to see more.

    Bravo and Thank You.

  7. 7 Tyler
    June 30, 2010 at 6:51 am

    I saw the BlackBoxBlackBlocks show on Friday, June 25th, 2010 and i was AMAZED!!!
    Individual comments below.
    SO GOOD!!! Chris should be very proud of his performance. It was really well written and had a really touching story that cut straight through to the heart. I got teary eyed several times.

    FINALLY an interpretive dance I could understand. It made me think. And the dancing was excellent.

    It’s All Relative:
    Everyone did such a tremendous job. didn’t even notice they still had their scripts. And the writer did an excellent job capturing the Gay and Lesbian couples. I brought my boyfriend to the play and it was awesome to be included.
    once again, stand out performances from each of the actors.

    Could totally relate to it. Fun to watch and well done. Had to force myself to not switch my ringtone to Linger after the show.

    Story of a Fly:
    It was nice to have a different style of acting mixed into the night. It felt a little unnatural tho, compared to the other performances. The acting was good, but the lines felt a little hollow.

    Wasn’t the shopowner in last year’s show?! I swear he was.
    Really cool. The ‘soldiers’ dancing stood out from the rest.

    Dungeons and Dragons:
    Yes…i was the guy in the audience laughing through the entire scene.
    It was awesome. I’ve had that same conversation with people maybe 5 or 6 times.
    I mean seriously….half ogre half pixie?!?!?!ITS INSANE!!
    As a gamer, I was able to relate to both characters and situations. But it was
    well written enough that Non-Gamers got the message out of it too.
    Mountain Dew and Cheetos…..classic…..
    And who would leave a D&D session to play Final Fantasy Online? Loser. lol

    It was over SOO fast. Interesting and well done, but it didn’t last that long. But taking into account how long the second half was, its alright.

    One Percent:
    My date and I are still laughing about this one. Well written, well acted.
    It was an interesting dimension to explore, and Joe (the guy who gets eaten) sort of gave
    up without much of a fight, which wasn’t too believable. But other then that, funny, informative, and made me look at how morals are actually viewed in society.

    Overall. Excellent!!! Having alternating between acting and dancing each scene was really nice. House crew was fun and engaging. Thumbs up to them.
    I wish you guys would have this more often!
    Thanks for all your hardwork!

  8. July 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    This is the moderator, and I’m just dropping by to thank everyone profusely for their time and enthusiasm (especially Tyler whose comment waited three days in limbo while I traveled to Texas and the battery on my computer was dead). We couldn’t do it without you in the audience! -EGD

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