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Lifestyle // Proof Positive
Guest writer

Mentoring Tomorrow’s Thespians

By Kari Nettel, Parent Volunteer, Performing Arts Center of Kapolei

The young actors at the Performing Arts Center of Kapolei (PACK) are among the hardest-working people on earth. We all know about the dedication it takes to prepare for and land a role in a theater production, but for these student actors, the work has just begun.

PACK is a nonprofit after-school theater program that produces several quality shows each year. Productions typically include a cast of more than 60 actors and musicians, and are open to all island students.

Students are required to learn lines, songs and choreography all while keeping up with school work. They are instructed to bring schoolwork to rehearsal and carve out study time whenever possible. In addition, students and their families are expected to pitch in with set construction, costumes and fundraising.

“Whether you are 6 or 16 years old, there will be something for you to do,” says PACK artistic director and costume designer Meagan Olson. “We’ve had parents show up not knowing how to sew on a button who can now construct an entire costume.”

Students also are mentored in areas of program design, lighting and backstage crew. The list of jobs that a production has to offer is truly immense. Come to any rehearsal and you’ll witness parents sitting in the back of the auditorium cutting patterns, sewing costumes and painting set pieces. However, you will never hear a single complaint. They give of their time willingly because of the enormous benefit they have witnessed their children receiving from participating in theater.

The cost of producing quality stage shows can reach more than $30,000 when you factor in script royalties, costumes, set design, tickets and posters. Ticket sales cover less than half of these costs. PACK relies on community support and corporate sponsorship for the remainder. Support PACK by coming to see a performance. Next up is The Wizard of Oz from Feb. 10 to 25, directed by PACK managing director Rachelle Amparo. In addition, please consider being a corporate sponsor or making a monetary contribution. For more information, visit packapolei.org or call 224-5314.

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