HCT hosts Rising Stars gala Saturday

LIHUE — Hawaii Children’s Theatre invites the public to celebrate the magic of live performance at its annual Rising Stars Gala on Saturday.

The event, which serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit youth theater program, features performances by HCT students ages 5 to 14, a silent auction and a preshow dinner by JC’s Puerto Rican Tacos.

All proceeds will be funneled back into HCT programs, including its popular Summer Stars workshop.  

The showcase will be performed by students of the Rising Stars program who have studied acting, singing and dancing the past four weeks. The students will be present everything from “Romeo and Juliet” to a ballad from the musical “Rent” to jazz numbers and tap dance.

These skills learned during the summer camp set a strong foundation, said program director Marly Madayag.

“It’s exciting to watch what they have done,” Madayag said. “They are an excellent, excellent, excellent bunch of kids, and so talented.”

The performance is like a variety show, according to Madayag.

“This whole program is about a wide exposure of all elements of theater,” she said.

The three teachers of the program include Carol Culver for dance, Dolly Kanekuni for song and Madayag for theater.

During the first three weeks, students also learned about costumes from Maile Speetjens, set building and sound effects from Robert Carrasco and reading music from Dave Horger.

“They have so many performing skills under their belt,” said Kanekuni, president of the HCT. “They are much more prepared to be involved in a larger scale theater production.”

Kanekuni said it has been fun to see the support the students give to each other throughout the camp.

The gala also offers a professional setting for the community to see what the students have accomplished.

“I think people should take advantage of live performances that are presented by their friends and neighbors in professional venues such as KCC,” Kanekuni said. “It’s such an opportunity to perform there. We really go all out to present a professional quality production as possible. It’s good, wholesome entertainment.”

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

The silent auction, dinner and bake sale will begin at 5:30 p.m. The performances begin at 7 p.m. at KCC Performing Arts Center.

Visit www.hawaiichildrenstheatre.com or call 246-8985 for details.

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