Meet ISPA's 2017 Global Fellowship Program participant Kemuel DeMoville!
Theatre Manager / Artistic Director, The Leeward Theatre at Leeward CC
Kemuel DeMoville is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced somewhere in the world every year since 2005. Recently his work was performed at The Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, and was the recipient of the Residents Prize for Playwriting, and the Hawaii Prize for Playwriting from Kumu Kahua Theatre. Kemuel DeMoville is an Aurand Harris Fellow by designation of the Childrens Theatre Foundation of America. He has an MFA in playwriting from the University of Hawaii at Mnoa, and his MA in syncretic theatre is from Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa New Zealand. Kemuel currently functions as manager of The Leeward Theatre and teaches Beginning Playwriting and other introductory Theatre courses at Leeward Community College on Oahu. He is married with two young sons.
Kemuel, can you name one channel that you subscribe to or frequently visit to stay up-to-date with news about the arts and culture in your region?
Here in Hawai‘i the best news source to find out what other theatre are doing or what performing arts events are happening is Hitting The Stage. This is a website/blog that is run by the Hawai‘i State Theatre Council and features events, reviews, local performing art news, etc.
Tell us a little more about what you do at The Leeward Theatre.
Currently I’m serving as the Theatre Manager for The Leeward Theatre - a 600 seat facility that is a part of the University of Hawaii system. I’ve worked as the manager and artistic director of the theatre for four years now. Since taking on the role of Theatre Manager in June 2013 we have reevaluated programs and operations with an eye toward emphasizing Local programming. The Leeward Theatre has even dedicated a portion of its production budget to commission new works by Local and Local Hawaiian artists. We want to allow our students and community members to contribute to the artistic process and help us to shape programming and content. The stereotypical image of Hawai‘i as a “paradise” and the connection with Hawaiian commercial lūaus, hula, and other tourist entertainments, leaves the impression that hula and commercial entertainment comprise the only significant performing arts produced in Hawai‘i. Hawaiian artists and indigenous performers are often regarded (if not relegated) to hotel lobbies as just another tourist attraction. While this is a valid and important component to the economy and perception/proliferation of Hawaiian performing arts - it should not be the only representation of music, theatre, and dance on this island or in the state. The Leeward Theatre serves as a maker space for Hawaiian residents and artists. We not only offer the opportunity to see touring productions from all over the globe, but we provide the financial means and space for our community to craft pieces that are directly relevant to their experiences.
New York 2017 ISPA Congres. Photo by Christopher Duggan