Incite/Insight Winter 2019 FINAL Incite Insight Winter 2019 - Page 15

15 I n c i t e / I ns i ght stores, it is unsurprising that we have not a single theatrical or dance supply store on the island. Living within sight of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain on earth, in a town just 90 minutes north of Kilauea’s live volcano, inspires us to reach higher and with immediacy. To get there, we are resourceful beyond measure. The Two-Person Department Yet, even with institutional support, we as a two- faculty department have many of the same struggles as other teaching artists: limited space, budget and time; competing priorities such as committee meetings, curriculum mapping and development, and advising; and sharing our talent pool with other extracurricular activities. In order to transcend the limits of our program and expose our students to the arts beyond our classrooms, we engage with local organizations. Big Bonds on the Big Island Our chorus performs at many off-campus events, including the Hawai`i State Chorus Festival in Honolulu. The Waimea Community Theatre presents two plays a year in our school theatre—a space regularly rented by this and other non-profit groups. The nearby 500-seat regional arts center, Kahilu Theatre, has been an invaluable “big-sister” organization to us; their technical department provides maintenance and assistance for our lighting and sound systems. Our classes go to see professional touring companies, tour their art exhibits, and take their master classes. Our students and staff participate in various productions, internships, and training opportunities with resident programs such as the Prince Dance Institute and the Kahilu Youth Theatre Troupe. W i n te r 20 1 9 cultural training but no performance space, our school lacks a hula studies program but we have a stage. Our International Thespian Society (Chapter 7723) and I provided the technical design and support as well as the house management for about 200 audience members from the local and school community. The production was so successful and unique to both the hula and theatre communities here that we currently are preparing for a March 2019 encore performance at Honoka`a People’s Theatre. A Culture of Aloha Growing the Parker School cultural and performing arts community is where the magic happens for me. We manifest our greatest potential when people from across our school and local community feel changed, inspired and entertained in the spaces held down and open by our program. We strive to create, sing, dance, and play with aloha, that is, with life force and love. At best, our work not only educates and entertains but helps us understand how the teaching and learning of performing arts increase our capacities as human beings, at home on this island and in the greater world Parker School Dramatiques’ Mother Courage and Her Children. Clockwise from top: Stacee Firestone, Katie Carey, Ellie Carey, Ethan Tawater, Kouske Soler, Taiga Okada. Hula Drama To date, my favorite school-community collaboration is the 2018 co-production of The Romance of Lā`ieikawai: A Hula Drama. A first- ever for Parker School, this project brought over 25 cultural practitioners and their families from Helele`i Pua`o Waipi`o (a hula hālau or school) and the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hāmākua (from our neighboring town of Honoka`a) together in a scripted and rehearsed production of hula, chanting, and storytelling. Their groups have the Photo Credit: Parker School Angela Dee Kūliaikanu’u Alforque, Ed.D is the director of performing arts at Parker School in Kamuela, Hawaii.