The island is their stage: Students shine in KPAC

The drama students at Kapa‘a Middle School are “Lost in Reality.”

“Our theme for this show is based on reality shows,” said playwright and director Keith Amano. “We’ve got spoofs on ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter,’ ‘Fear Factor,’ ‘Snow White’ and ‘The Apprentice.’ We try to pick what’s current and see how many kids we’ve got and see what we come up with.”

In the “Fear Factor” scene Snow White, is thrown into a situation where she has to face her biggest fear: small people.

“The principal of the school, Principal McQueen, makes Snow White a preschool teacher so she has to deal with real little people,” Amano said.

But it’s not just reality shows. Amano also picks on popular movies. Like “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

“It’s ‘Antique Old Stuff’ and ‘Narnia,’ where the witch is trying to sell her wardrobe,” Amano said.

There’s also “The Devil Wears Prada.” Eighth-grader Chloe Sorey portrays the demanding boss Miranda.

“I like that she’s so much like me and everybody worships her,” Sorey said. “The cool thing about acting in Mr. Amano’s plays is that he writes the characters based on our personalities. Last year, I was really shy so he made my character very sleepy. But now I’m more open so now my character’s kind of loud.”

“Lost in Reality” is one of three shows opening tonight as part of the Kaua‘i Performing Arts Center program. The shows run this weekend only, at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall at 7 p.m.

This season marks the first time in years that all three schools will be represented in KPAC.

Bringing together all three schools was one of KPAC producer Dennis McGraw’s goals when he took over the program.

“It should be all three schools because it’s an island-wide program,” McGraw said. “I just went to the principal and pitched it to him because we had the funding for it. My desire was to bring it back to what it was back when Arnold Meister started the program.”

McGraw also directs the Chiefess Kamakahelei drama students in “Mother Earth Wants Out.”

“It’s environmental/space fantasy,” McGraw said. “One kid falls asleep in science class and wakes up in an interplanetary cosmic council meeting. Basically, Mother Earth wants to give up because she’s tired of what the world is doing to the environment. And that’s all anyone needs to know about the play.”

Being a part of KPAC was a big deal for the students at Waimea Canyon School.

“I was really excited when it came here,” said eigth-grader Erica Garabilez. “We never got it over here so when I heard KPAC was coming I signed up right away.”

She and her drama student classmates are presenting the fairy tale “One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes,” from the Brothers Grimm. Unlike the other two plays, though, it doesn’t deal with current events.

“It’s a departure from the other two,” said director John Thygerson. “It’s kind of a contrast. We chose this one because it’s a light-hearted play. It’s like a fantasy.”

“One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes” is a tale about a girl who’s different from her mother and sisters and has a fairy godmother to watch over her and guide her through life.

Thygerson sees the including of Waimea Canyon in the KPAC program as a positive.

“The students seem to be very excited to have an opportunity to do theater on the Westside,” Thygerson said. “We expect the program to grow and hopefully after this, we can get more Waimea Canyon students and Waimea High School students to participate in this.”

Want to Go?

Who: KPAC middle school plays

Where: Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall

When: Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $6/adults; $3/students

For more information or to reserve tickets, call 651-2417.

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