Students stage success


POSTED: Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The East High Wildcats returned to Nanakuli High and Intermediate School with the Hawaii premiere of “;Disney's High School Musical 2 on Stage!”; by the Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Performing Arts Center and Arts and Communication Learning Center. The show opened on March 6 and closed on March 15 with eight performances at the Nanakuli multipurpose cafeteria.






        Ka Leo 'O Nanakuli

Faculty adviser
        Robin Kitsu


        Glenda Supnet


        89-980 Nanakuli Ave.
        Waianae 96792


        Darin Pilialoha


Web site


        Black and gold


        The Golden Hawk




Following the successful 2007 production of “;Disney's High School Musical,”; the student actors brought to life the cast of characters that have become icons in Disney musical lore.

Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay and the rest of the East High gang were all back to celebrate their summer vacation and the challenges that awaited them.

Several actors from the 2007 production were back to reprise their roles: Christian Kaeo as Troy, Nikita Mendonca as Gabriella, Vincent Mallari as Chad and Andrew Hahn as Zeke.

“;It was a privilege to reprise my role as Troy and to be able to work with my fellow leads once again as well as some newer faces,”; Kaeo said. “;They had some pretty big shoes to fill, but I felt that they really took the character into their own and did an excellent job with it.”;

Veteran student performers Susan Bowyer and Nathaniel Hedin played brother-sister duo Sharpay and Ryan Evans.

“;It was an honor to be chosen to be a lead role, but it carried a lot of responsibility, like having to learn more lines and coming to all the rehearsals,”; Bowyer said.

Audience members were also introduced to the upgraded lighting and stage area in the cafeteria, made possible by a donation from Disney at its November groundbreaking ceremony for a new Ko Olina resort.

“;The new lighting system was awesome, but the performances from the cast stole the show,”; said audience member Kirk Michaud. “;It was obvious that the students worked extremely hard.”;

The rehearsals of the production started in early December. The students met six days a week to rehearse and three nights a week to work on the creation of sets and backdrops.

“;The rehearsing process was very hard, but all of our determination pulled us through,”; said cast member Chelsea Wanstead. “;In the end it was all worth it. The show was amazing.”;

One highlight of the production was the number of new audience members who attended the production. Some came from as far as Kahala to see Nanakuli's production.

“;I think many of the new audience members did not know what to expect and were very surprised at the quality of the production and the talent of the cast,”; said director Robin Kitsu. “;I believe we gained some new supporters through this show.”;

The Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Performing Arts Center has had a busy year, with performances at several community events, a concert at the Hawaii Theatre with the professional vocal group A Touch of Gold, a musical revue at the Pearl City Cultural Center and a special performance at opening-day ceremonies for the state Legislature.

And the season is not over yet. A production in May will feature several one-act plays. Students will also give musical performances at various elementary schools, integrating music with positive lessons about character education and the general learner outcomes.

Anyone interested in learning more about the NPAC can visit its Web site at www.nhispac.com.