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Windward’s Live Theater Lights May Dim Some Soon

Windward Oahu’s theater scene is shifting a bit with the departure of two well-known players.

The HPU drama program on the college’s Kaneohe campus currently is staging its last show under longtime director Joyce Maltby. (The opening night crowd gave her a long, standing ovation for her final play, both before and after the show.) And Paliku Academy of Performing Arts has formed a significant partnership that will take its shows to Hawaii Theatre in downtown Honolulu for at least the next five years.

“We are honored and extremely excited to begin this amazing adventure,” said PAPA director John-Paul Tai, a product of Castle Performing Arts Center and head of his own troupe in Kaneohe since 2007. Registration is under way for PAPA’s annual summer theater kids camp at Kapunahala Elementary School, but its finale, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, will come to life July 20-26 on the Hawaii Theatre Center stage.

“The musicals we plan on producing with Hawaii Theatre Center will definitely be family-driven,” Tai noted. “Even the showtimes have been adjusted (1 and 6 p.m.) with younger theater-goers in mind.” PAPA’s new role includes providing year-round, after-school education and shows for school groups. The PAPA troupe has performed to sold-out crowds at Paliku and Ron Bright theaters, marched in the town’s Christmas parade, toured and performed in New York City and Orlando, Fla., and entertained at malls, nursing homes and schools.

Back in Kaneohe, meanwhile, Tai plans a “talk story” session tonight (April 22) at Kapunahala and registration for summer camp April 29, also at the school. For details, call him at 383-6765.