Incite/Insight Winter 2019 FINAL Incite Insight Winter 2019 - Page 14

14 I n c i t e /I ns i ght W i n te r 20 1 9 Theatre, Education, and Culture on the Island | Performing Arts at Hawaii’s Parker School WR ITTEN BY ANGELA DEE KŪLIAIKANU’U ALFORQUE The cast of Parker School Dramatiques’ A Chorus Line A Campus on an Island 1) “You are very ambitious” Our 23-acre campus, established in 1976, sits in a historic ranching community, and our 250-seat theatre-and-classroom dates back to World War II when it served as a United Service Organizations entertainment hall for United States Marines. 2) “  Wow, I didn’t know my child (or that student) could______________________________________ ! (sing/dance/act/choreograph/run lights and sound/design sets and costumes/ run a box office)” I moved here from Sacramento, California in 2012 to succeed the founding director of the K-12 drama and music program, Maren Oom Galarpe—who left to teach in Southern California, and with whom I have gladly reconnected through AATE. 3) “It all comes together just like magic, doesn’t it?” My colleague, Sara Jane Lilley, joined the faculty in 2013 and we have continued to develop the performing arts program. Sara Jane and I have the privilege of a truly respectful and collaborative partnership which allows us to create and teach electives including acting, dance, chorus, technical theatre, performance studies, play production, and our after-school theatre program, Dramatiques. The feedback I receive most often regarding our productions and classes are: A mbitious, yes; magical, certainly. Our Town, In The Heights, Twelfth Night, Aladdin, Jr., Cinderella, Medea, Comic Book Artist, Footloose, The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Little Mermaid, Jr., Aida, Dorothy In Wonderland, Mother Courage and Her Children, Annie, Jr., A Chorus Line, Much Ado About Nothing; Broadway’s Best Musical Revue, and annual showcases, concerts, and charity fundraisers: these are among the productions spanning my seven years as Director of Performing Arts at Parker School in Waimea (Kamuela), Hawai`i. We have a relatively comprehensive program for any college-prep independent school but especially so given our small size (around 320 students from kindergarten through 12th grade) and our small town (about 10,000 people in the rural uplands of the Hawai`i Island. This is also known as the Big Island). Our ambition as teaching artists is inspired by a shared desire to nurture students’ curiosity and talent towards skill, self-realization, and joy. We want them to aspire to the extraordinary, imaginative, and delightful. We practice discipline, resilience, and focused study in reciprocity with creativity, energy, and self-expression. We as a whole learning community must use all of these elements in our work, especially because of our geographically isolated location with occasional school interruptions due to hurricane warnings and lava flow-related earthquakes. When even food supplies are sometimes understocked in the grocery