Castle troupe to make debut at Scottish Fringe festival


POSTED: Sunday, June 07, 2009

Heather Causey left Maui in her sophomore year of high school in hopes of learning theater at the Castle Performing Arts Center at Castle High School in Kaneohe.





        The Castle Performing Arts Center will perform the play “;Okinawa 1945”; at Bright Theatre in Kaneohe starting Friday through June 21 to raise money for a trip to Scotland. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.



Now a senior, Causey says the center is helping her fulfill a different dream—visiting her father's homeland in Scotland.

The Castle Performing Arts Center will debut in Scotland this August at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It is the first public high school in Hawaii invited to attend the event, the largest arts festival in the world.

“;I think I'm going to cry when I get there. I'm so excited,”; Causey, 18, said. “;The fact that we're a part of it is really cool. Now I get to go to Scotland representing Hawaii. It's like an honor.”;

A national group—American High School Theatre Festival—selects 25 high schools from across the nation to perform at the Fringe. The group chose Castle based on its program and previous shows—mostly dramas and musicals.

“;It's an epic theater adventure,”; said Jayleina Tom, 17, a senior at Castle and member of the 16-student cast attending Edinburgh. “;We'll get to make some friends over there.”;

Castle's program is one of about 30 learning centers across the state that provide special programs and career training.

Karen Meyer, the center's director, said the program was named one of the top afterschool programs in the nation in 2005. Attending the Fringe will raise Castle's reputation to the international level, she said.

“;The Fringe festival has got to be the pinnacle of the performing arts,”; she said. “;International recognition does help considerably to show the Learning Centers are something that the public schools do right and should be protected.”;

The Fringe brings together hundreds of groups that stage more than 2,000 shows, including theater, dance, opera, and music. The number of performances means groups have only two hours to set up, perform and break down the set.

“;Any kid who's interested in theater, they find out real quick if they want to do this for a living,”; Meyer said. “;It's a technical challenge even for adults. If they can handle this, they can handle anything.”;

Causey, who runs the lights on the show, also plans to meet family members in Scotland.

“;The biggest challenge I think would be time to do and see everything,”; she said. “;As a theater person, it's like a dream to go somewhere totally different and just watch plays all day.”;

At Edinburgh, the students will perform “;Okinawa 1945,”; a play about Okinawan school girls forced to become nurses for Japanese soldiers during World War II.