Gala To Mark 40 Years Of Leeward Community College Theatre

Since Leeward Theatre first opened its doors four decades ago, it has welcomed patrons to shows that have featured everything from musical productions to international touring dance troupes.

“Over the last 40 years, the theatre has endeavored to facilitate cultural dialogue by presenting the work of local, national and international artists and sponsoring outreach education and performances,” said theatre manager Kemuel DeMoville.

“In doing so, it advocates for the cultural sustainability of its community with a special commitment to local artists and Native Hawaiian culture.”

To celebrate its milestone anniversary, Leeward Theatre will host a 40th-year gala, “Kalakoa,” at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 in the theatre courtyard.

The evening will include food, drinks and performances by Kristian Lei, In Your Face Improv, Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner Starr Kalahiki and John Signore, Pas De Deux Dance and other Leeward alumni who have gone on to professional careers on Broadway and television.

The gala also will honor the first recipients of its Distinguished Alumni Award, recognizing former students in three areas of performing arts: Troy Apostle for his work in theatre, Starr Kalahiki for music, and Peter Rockford Espiritu for dance.

Funds from the event will go toward artists’ fees, updating the theatre’s audio and lighting systems, and the many community out-reach programs offered annually.

These include plans for seven to 10 artist-led workshops throughout the year. Though they cost the theatre about $500 for each class, they are offered free to students, faculty and community members. The theatre also conducts free workshops at area elementary, middle and high schools.

“The money raised will help us fund these kinds of community enrichment activities,” said DeMoville.

Up next for the theatre is a yearlong renovation scheduled for the 2015-2016 season, that will remedy the natural wear and tear that comes with 40 years of existence.

At the gala, opportunities for guests to name seats, rooms and even the facility itself will take place.

“Our main goal for Leeward Theatre involves building community through live performance — be it music, dance or drama,” said DeMoville. “The performing arts have a duty to provide a voice and a shape to the communities they represent.”

“Here at Leeward Theatre, we want to build community through performance.”

Tickets for the Kalakoa Gala start at $100 and may be purchased until Sept. 17.

To buy tickets or to make a donation, and for more information, visit or call 455-0380.