Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: A Honolulu Theater Makes a Move

There’s lots to like about the new performance space for The Actors’ Group (TAG) in downtown Honolulu.


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Richard Tillotson, playwright, tears up the university setting with Inside Out.

Photo by: Mark Arbeit

TAG makes a point of supporting new work, particularly from local playwrights. This season it’s got two lined up, and one is playing this month. In 2007, Inside Out, the debut work of playwright Richard Tillotson, was named a National Finalist for the New York-based Christopher Brian Wolk Playwriting Award. It’s a big honor for a first-time playwright, but Tillotson is no stranger to words. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because he served for decades as one of Hawaii’s most prominent advertising and marketing executives. The man with the knack for serving up snappy ad copy has transferred his skills in wordsmithing to a longer form.

Tillotson describes Inside Out as “Survivor in a university setting,” though he adds that the idea came to him before Survivor aired its first episode. It’s a character-driven comedy about scarce resources, high stakes and hard choices: There are four cross-cultural graduate students, each with a distinct personality and past, each with a worthy Third-World issue to study—but there is only enough money for one of them. Throw in a few bureaucrats, a hairball of romantic entanglements and TAG’s signature stellar lineup of director and cast, and you get a play that promises to tickle your funny bone and your brain with equal skill. Says Tillotson, “When you’ve got believable characters in a situation that is both simultaneously awful and hysterical—something that really matters, something you’d really be angry over, something you’d cry over—that’s also when you get the best laughs.”

Inside Out

Jan. 30 – Feb. 22, 2009

General admission: $16 (students, seniors, military get a discount)
Valentines’ Day Special: $14 each for couples.

Visit for tickets.

TAG at the Mendonca Building
1116 Smith St.  Second Floor
Honolulu, HI 96817

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Honolulu Magazine June 2018
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