HCT’s rabbit hole leads to wonderful message

The Hawaii Children’s Theatre is having a positive impact on Kauai. The evidence was on display for all to see over the weekend at Kauai Community College during HCT’s Summer Stars presentation of “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” If you didn’t see it, you missed out but know there’s always next year. If you did, you were treated to something very special.

In just five weeks, about 50 kids ages 8-13 got a crash course in live theater. Under the direction of Rebecca Hanson and musical director Nina Saraos, they learned about acting, singing, costumes, makeup and props. They learned about entertaining a crowd, keeping its attention and keeping it wanting more. For an hour, they did just that. They more than delivered a great show aimed at children, but one that adults thoroughly enjoyed, too. This was one fine musical with Kauai’s youth taking center stage and proving they were up to the challenge.

A few words to describe it? Colorful. Fun. Lively. Full of life and laughter and smiles. The joy and delight on the faces of those on stage was undeniable. They were having a ball. They were proud. The were thriving in their moment in the spotlight. They will come away from this happy, confident, and eagerly looking to do more, to take on more challenges and try new things. And that’s exactly what should be instilled in today’s youth. That’s how it should be done. Set goals, create a plan, provide direction and work toward it. Don’t do too much for them. Don’t be critical. Don’t discourage. HCT knows all too well how to make the magic happen.

The youth involved in Alice in Wonderland Jr. may have discovered they might have more talents than they believed. They may have learned that with creativity and dedication, not only can they do some pretty wonderful things, they can have a whole lot of fun along the way. In just five weeks, they pulled off a delightful show. Imagine what they’ll do with the decades ahead of them.

A little background on HCT: It’s a nonprofit, founded in 1996, and run by a volunteer board of directors who donate hundreds of hours each year. They do this to ensure the excellence of each show, but more importantly, to ensure that each child has an experience that will leave them believing the best about themselves and about those around them.

Congratulations, once again, to Hawaii Children’s Theatre. Take a bow. You’re deserving of a standing ovation.

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