Students use grant for a new piano

PUHI — Notes from the electronic piano blended nicely with the young voices at the spacious warehouse-turned-stage, Friday afternoon.

Voices from the young performers were going through final versions of their rehearsal for an upcoming production by the Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre Summer Stars program.

Maile Speetjens, director for the HCT’s production of Disney’s “The AristoCats Kids,” was on hand to listen to the budding performers and was joined by Wanda Shibata of the Young Brothers Community Advisory Board.

A $500 grant from the YB CAB helped the HCT obtain the piano which its summer directors said “was badly needed.”

According to a press release from the HCT, 2008 is HCT’s 11th annual musical theatre Summer Stars program and this year’s enrollment totals about 100 youngsters.

The younger performers have classes in the morning while the older performers come in the afternoon.

The classes and workshops culminate with its upcoming production of Disney’s AristoCats on July 10, 11, 12, 13, and Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” on July 17, 18, 19, 20.

All of the productions will be at the Kaua‘i Community College Performing Arts Center, and tickets can be obtained by calling 246-8985, or visiting the HCT Web site at

The performing arts have fulfilled different needs for communities around the world and across time, the release states.

Any person, young or old, who participates in the performing arts experiences a dynamic channel for communication with society. A student in theatre education is provided a wealth of new perspectives and lots of healthy activity.

In 12 years, the HCT has educated more than 4,000 students, performed locally for audiences totaling more than 100,000 and internationally for more than 50,000 people.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


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