Area Plays Earn Theater Awards

Windward plays and musicals garnered dozens of awards at the 40th annual Po’okela ceremonies, held last month in Kaneohe, complete with dinner and performances from 11 Oahu theater troupes at Koolau Ballrooms.

Keoki Kerr and Jodi Leong, both former Windward stage performers, emceed the evening, which saw Paliku Theatre earn 12 Po’okelas for excellence in theater arts — all for its Les Miserables musical staged last fall at the Windward Community College venue. Hawaii Pacific University’s drama department won three Po’okelas for two of its 2013 plays on the Kaneohe campus.

Paliku’s production received the following awards: director of the musical, Ron Bright; musical director, Clarke Bright; leading male in a musical, Kip Wilborn; leading female in a musical, Shawna Masuda; featured male in a musical, Scott Moura; featured female in a musical, Jana Alcain and Zenia Moura; set design, Lloyd Riford III; sound design and engineering, Kainoa Jarrett; lighting design, Lloyd Riford III; hair, wig and makeup design, Lisa Ponce de Leon; vocal direction, Mary Chesnut Hicks; and overall production of a musical.

HPU’s Tartuffe was recognized with Po’okelas for featured female in a play, Melinda Maltby, and for overall production of a play. Its spring show, Heritage, won for director of a play, Joyce Maltby; and for ensemble performance in a play, including Jim Tharp, Beth Barry, Melinda Maltby, S. Rick Crump, Hailey Farah, Rachelle Gesselman, Joel McClure, Samuel Filbeck and Rasa Fournier.

Excellence in service awards went to HPU’s David Starr, Kailua’s Jane Campbell for Honolulu Theatre for Youth, and Paliku Theatre’s Allan Lau. Kailua’s Jan McGrath won a playwright award for The Actors Group play Outage.