Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Performing Arts Center's Journey to Scotland

Follow the adventures of the Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Performing Arts Center's Journey to Scotland and the 2011 Fringe Festival.

We will post updates as we prepare on this once in a lifetime experience for cast and crew.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A great weekend of activities

NPAC had a wonderful weekend of activities.  On Friday, we performed our first Flash Mob at the Eat the Street event in Kakaako and also did a 20 minute set.  Although the dj didn't have mics or inputs for our mics, the cast did a heck of a job dancing and singing.

Then on Saturday, the NPAC performed at Ala Moana Shopping Center's Center Stage as part of the Cultural Diversity Awareness Day sponsored by Growth Properties and the African American Diversity Cultural Center Hawaii.

Then later that evening, we traveled to Mid-Pacific Institute to see their production of Haroun and the Sea of Stories.  Mid-Pac was also selected to perform at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland as part of the American HIgh School Theatre Festival.  We were very impressed with the performances . . . great characterization and acting.  Our cast learned a lot in what they have to do to improve their performances.

The other highlight was meeting the Mid-Pac cast after the show.  They were warm and friendly and we hope the start of a great relationship for the next 6 months and beyond.  We look forward to seeing them at our production of Camp Rock the Musical in April.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Great Weekend of Performances and a Feature Article in Newspaper

What a weekend it was . . . 

On Friday night, we performed for the First Friday Music on the Lawn event at the Hawaii State Art Museum.  It was an exciting performance as we could guess that many of the audience members probably have never saw us perform.  Highlights from that night's Lawn performance: Kaimuki High School Performing Arts Center's performance of selections from their upcoming show, Pirates of Penzance, wow, challenging vocals and done very well. Jason Tom, beat box talent, amazing what one voice can produce, slam poet, Bridget Gray, thank you, you had us mesmerized with your words and rhythms. You spoke to our cast and crew. We were honored to share thestage with all of you. 

Then on Saturday, we were back at the museum to perform for the Hawaii Scholastic Art Awards. Even more audience members consisting of students and their parents fromvarious public and private schools. Although it was only a 15 minute performance, it was exciting as again, performing for audience who have never seen us.  Upon our return to school, we worked on sets and costumes till 9:00 pm.

Then today, there is a major feature article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser newspaper . . . click here to go to article.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our Tentative Itinerary

We are scheduled to depart Honolulu on July 31 and arrive in London on August 1.  We will spend 4 days in London visiting sites, going on tours, and seeing at least 2 shows on the West End (Wicked anyone?).  On Friday, August 5, we will catch a charted train to Edinburgh, Scotland.  During our time in Edinburgh, we will do a tech rehearsal, give four performances, see a number of other AHSTF shows and other Fringe shows, go on site seeing tours, attend the Military Tattoo, and participate in various activities with other AHSTF students.  We return on August 15.


Questions about AHSTF and Fringe Trip

Recently, we have received some questions regarding our trip to Scotland and our performance at the Fringe Festival.  Specifically, questions about the selection process (as anyone can perform at the Fringe Festival) and about the cost of the whole tour.
The American High School Theatre Festival is the organization that conducts the selection process as well as setting up performances and the tours.  We asked Jennifer Arrington from the American High School Theatre Festival to comment on these questions.  

Now to address the concerns: 
1) Can't just anyone perform at the Fringe? This is true, the 
Fringe is, and always has been, open to any and all performers. AHSTF is 
built with a selective process in order to provide our participants with 
an experience they cannot have unless they are traveling as part of a 
particular festival. This is why we created our nomination and 
application processes. 
As you know, before any school can apply, they must be nominated by a 
theater professional or alumni of AHSTF. Just being nominated means that 
a theater professional feels that the work you and your students are 
doing merits being called "one of the top high school theater programs" 
the professional knows of. However, just being nominated does not mean 
you can travel. As you have experienced, all nominated schools must 
complete an in depth application. This is more than just school name and 
address, it strives to give us and our Board a good understanding of 
your theater program and the students within it. As I'm sure you can 
attest, it also takes a substantial amount of time to complete our 
application. Once received from the school, every application is sent to 
our Board of Advisors (made up of college/university theater 
professionals) for review and ranking. It's from these rankings that 
schools are selected to participate in AHSTF. This second hurdle, that 
of being highly ranked by our Board, should also make the school feel 
very proud of their selection. Not only have you been nominated, but you 
have also been highly ranked (based on your application). This process 
is why, we believe, the school should consider their selection an honor. 
As you have already seen, the nomination for your students was quite 
impressive. You were nominated by: 
Elizabeth Wickman-Wozniak of the Mid-Pacific Institute 
Miguel Bray of the Waimea Community Theatre 
Erich Steinwandt of Manoa Valley Theatre 
Joe Pattie of Leeward Community College 
Additionally, Elizabeth Wickman-Wozniak had this to say about you: 
He's won the Milken award - performs in cafeteria and in low 
socioeconomic area has 95-98% of his students go to college. 
This is a great example of how our nomination process provides us with 
the names of high quality high school programs. The application and 
Board ranking processes that follows allows us to be even more selective 
when inviting schools to perform as part of AHSTF.   
2) Questioning of cost? As mentioned in point 1, anyone can travel 
and perform at the Fringe. If you were to coordinate an experience like 
this on your own, I question whether it would be cheaper than our 
program and I know it definitely would not include everything that we 
provide. Just to point out a few of these differences: 
The difference in traveling on your own to perform at the Fringe vs. 
traveling with AHSTF is that on your own, you will need to book and 
confirm everything on yourself (this includes researching and confirming 
venue space, transportation (both to/from the UK as well as with the 
UK), accommodations, meals, working with the Fringe office, insurance 
and everything else that is included in your trip. Your group would also 
be "on their own" once in the UK. You would not have the interaction 
with other students that you have with AHSTF and would not have the 
support of our staff (or anyone else) if anything went wrong on your 
As you know with AHSTF, all of this is provided. Not only do we research 
and confirm venues, but we also provide the Technical/Theatre Team to 
assist you prior to and during your performance. In addition, the venues 
we select are also outfitted (by us) with standard light and sound plots 
that all of our groups can use at no additional charge. As you know, 
many Fringe "theaters" can be pubs, meeting rooms, etc. that are often 
not outfitted at all. We also coordinate the accommodations, 
transportation (both to/from the UK as well as inside the UK), 2 meals 
per day, sightseeing, the Tattoo and more. While traveling, you have 
access to our staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in case any issues 
arise. Hopefully we've planned things in a manner that no issues do 
arise, but it's good to know there is someone there to help if they do - 
even if it's just that a participant must travel home early due to a 
family emergency. 
As you can see, there are some meaningful components that we provide 
that would be difficult (some would actually be impossible to provide - 
for example, your performance times with AHSTF are staggered with some 
early and some late whereas if you booked this on own they would be all 
at the same time with the most desirable times coming at the highest 
cost). However, perhaps the most important difference about traveling as 
a part of AHSTF vs. on your own is the interaction your students have 
with students from throughout the United States and Canada. The 
"festival" atmosphere by having everyone stay together, perform at the 
same venues, support each other's shows and all the other interactions 
they have together is invaluable (at least we think so!). 
Please let us know if you have any questions or need anything else. I 
hope you find this helpful! 

Honored with visitors

Yesterday was a very rewarding day for cast and staff of NPAC as we were visited by several people.  First, was Mary Vorsino, reporter from the StarAdvertiser who is doing an article on the DOE Learning Centers.  Then Llewelyn Yee and Elizabeth Ahana from Kamehameha Schools.  Then finally, Joett Colgan and Colleen from the Waianae Rotary Club.  We ran through several of the numbers we will be performing this weekend at the First Friday Live on the Lawn at the Hawaii State Art Museum at 7:00 pm and for our performances at the We Love Nanakuli event on February 12.

The cast and staff were interviewed by our visitors about the program and how it has helped them.  We were touched by the enthusiastic comments about the kids and their performances.

We know that it does make a difference for people to get to know the students and staff of the NPAC and to hear their stories.  We hope to get more visitors throughout the year.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Journey Continues

Since May, when we were notified of our selection to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2011, we have been blessed many times over with the outpouring of support from the public and businesses.  Donations have come from all over the state and as far away as Texas.  We are humbled and grateful for the support from everyone in our Journey to Scotland.

We hope that this blog will keep you informed of our process in getting to Scotland as well as the play we will be performing:  "Ma'i Ho'oka'awale:  The Separating Sickness" which tells the stories of the many patients of Kalaupapa who suffered from Hansen's Disease and were exiled to Kalaupapa.  The play is adapted from the book by Ted Gugelyk and Milton Bloombaum.

Of course, when we leave on July 31, 2011 for London, we will be posting updates on our experiences.

What a journey it has been and still continues to be.