Thursday, September 24, 2009

OAHU: Day Three (September 16)

Wednesday - another two show day. Getting up so early is beginning to be a bit less hard, but not by much. Kai made eggs this morning, which was a nice change from the grab and go breakfasts of toast or granola that I've been having.

We went to two pre-schools today. Pre school audiences, I am learning, require a much different type of performance than older students. I have to be extra careful to not make the Ogres scary, because these young ones can and will cry at most any surprises. Today I jumped onto the stage and roared for her first entrance.... and consequently made many kids scream, and one little girl cry. Oops! from then on, Pink became a lot less menacing. She didn't laugh her evil laugh as much, and her voice changed into a more girly, cute, less threatening one.

Today was the first day I introduce Pink to the preschool audience before the show during my preshow introduction; the children had a visceral reaction the moment I brought the puppet out - they most always gasped, followed by laughter that started off timid and got more brave by the time I had put pink on and had her introduce herself. I wish I could see her through their 3 year old eyes. She must seem so real to them! I know she would have to me when I was three.
Our first show was at Rainbow School for about 60 young ones.

Rainbow School from the outside

We walk into the performance space, which ended up being a church, complete with a glowing cross, and an alter we had to move to the side to make space for our stage.

Daryl and Kai moving the alter

Then we set up our stage in it's place...

Other than the few tears I mentioned, the performance went very well, and no kids were crying by the end of the show.

Something funny did happen today though. When we got to Rainbow School, I went to take my perfromance shoes (black slip on shoes) out of my bag, and I had forgotten one! Woops! But as in all live theater, the show had to go on... so I did my shows today barefoot....

two feet, two socks, two slippers..... one shoe. Ooops

Our second show was at Kama'aina Kids in Mililani Town for about 100 kids ranging from 8 months to 4 years old.

The outside of Kama'aina kids
(Kama'aina means "of the land," which basically means, you're local to Hawaii - not a tourist)

Our set up at Kama'aina Kids - the audience sat on the mats.

This was probably our strangest audience yet. For one thing, as they came in to the space to sit down for the show, already at least 4 kids were crying, and no one seemed to be doing much of anything about it. They quieted down (less tears) once the show started, but mostly, they were still a very loud, talkative audience while we were performing. It think it was just because very young kids don't have the attention span for a live show yet, especially since our show is geared for kindergarten - fifth grade. The 4 year olds in the audience did fine and told me they LOVED it, but any child younger than 3 was pretty squirmy. It was pretty distracting, and kind of unnerving to be performing to an audience that was not very attentive. Nevertheless, we got through it.

KID Quote of the Day: “Woah! Woah! Calm down. Calm down!” –said boldly and loudly by a 3 year old boy in the audience to me while I was playing Devin. During the scene, Devin was sharing with his grandfather how upset he was about being pushed around and bullied at school.

After our shows were done. Once again we hit THE BEACH!!!! This time we went to Lanikai beach in Kailua. According to the travel network, Lanikai is the most beautiful beach in the world. I can't say for sure if that is true, but it was most definitely a beautiful beach. To get there, we had to park on a neighborhood street, and find a public access path to the beach.

This was the first public access path we found...

Didn't lead to the right sized beach. Curious. Why was there a sign for this small thing?

The second path we found led to Lanikai.

The travel channel is right about this though, Lanikai is a seriously GORGEOUS BEACH:

check these pictures out:

I tried to get creative with my camera:

There were these girls who were humorously trying to carry their dog into the ocean to wash it. Kai went and helped them (unlike Daryl and I, who just laughed and took a video of the situation - which sadly wouldn't load!)

We went home, ate pasta, and that was the end of DAY THREE.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

OAHU: Day two (September 15)

Another early morning. This time, we had to be in Waialua by 7:30am, which meant leaving our place no later than 6:30am. At least the drive is BEAUTIFUL!!! Check out these pictures from the H3 Freeway we have to drive to get to where we are staying:

Can you believe this is the freeway!

Our first show was at at St. Michaels School for about 110 kids. The auditorium that we performed in had some quirks. for one thing, the it was very tall stage. Also, the back stage was rediculously crowded with supplies the school owned.

Nevertheless, the show went very well. The audience was pretty quiet, but definitely enjoyed the show. They had lots of questions and comments to tell me after the show, about how they had gone camping this weekend, or how they had a sister with my name as their middle name. (I was amazed some of them remembered my name from when I introduce myself before the show. They were really into it I guess.) They were all really quite cute about how excited they were to get my attention. They completely forget they are supposed to be paying attention to their teacher, and have to be told a few times to follow the rest of the class.

We had a few hour break between the first and second show. What better to do with the break but go and get coffee and malasadas from Oahu famous Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu! Malasadas are local style, Portuguese Doughnuts. They come in regular, cinnamon, li hing mui sugared, and can be filled with various delicious custards too. Sooooo good!

Our second show was at Hahaione Elementary School for 150 students. We got their early, so we parked the van across the street and we all took a much needed 1/2 hour nap before the show.

This time we performed on the stage in the cafeteria We had to start loading in and building the set while the cafeteria was still full to the brim with loud, hungry students eating their lunches who could see everything we were bringing in, and immediately got very excited asked a million questions about who we were, what we were doing, and what the show was about. Once we were all loaded in I foolishly closed the curtain so we could build the set w/ out ruining the surprise of the set. As soon as the curtain closed, a loud, disappointed “awwwww” broke out all across the cafeteria. Taken aback by their strong reaction, I opened the curtain again. Immediately the students’ “Aww” turned into cheers and claps! It was hilarious. This show went fantastically. The kids were so excited to be seeing the show; their excitement was contagious and they responded really well to the story and most all of our jokes.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m the brown one!” “No, I’m the brown one! You’re the Pink one!” Two students arguing over which Ogre they were between the scenes of the play at Hahaione Elementary.

We’ve begun to notice a huge difference in the energy level between public and private schools. So far the private ones are much more demure, whereas the public school students are much more feisty and uninhibited in their excitement.

We were all still so tired after the shows today, that basically aside from a quick adventure to Safeway to buy condiments and salmon, we spent the rest of the night at home. More to come tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

OAHU: Day one (September 14)

Today was our first full day on Oahu, and it was definitely a full one. We were up at 6am and out the door by 6:30am.

Our first Oahu shows were at Friendship Christian School, a tiny elementary school near Pearl City. I say shows plural because we had two of them at the same location, which was AWESOME because we only had to build up and take down the set once instead of twice.

This was the School:

This was our Set Up in the school:

The kids were adorable. They had matching blue and red school uniforms (even their socks had matching embroidered initials of the School). - I got into some face-making competitions with some precocious girls. Both shows went well, and were really well received by both the students and the staff. There was always at least one kid waving at us at all times from the moment we were there till the moment we left.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "My favorite part was the girl! Yeah the boy! Yeah he was funny. She had nice lips!" - eavesdropped from a brief post-show discussion of one of the kindergarten classes at St. Michaels. So, apparently my little boy character is a he/she, and five-year-olds think I have nice lips...

We were done with our second performance and packed up by 11:30. We went home, and all crashed for a while. The house we are staying at is Beautiful!!! It's a vacation rental in Kaneohe, the East, very green part of the island.

The Living Room

The Entry Way
(totally awesome that there are boards for us to use)

The Kitchen

Kai's Room (Daryl's is about the same)

My Room

My Walk in Closet
(I also have my own bathroom, and my own TV. Not bad, eh?)

After some napping and some lunch, we drove up the North shore of Oahu along Kamehameha Highway. It was a gorgeous drive! Until this drive, I always considered Oahu as a city on a rock with a beach, no more special than LA or Miami. Now that I’ve seen Oahu’s more rural side, I really appreciate Oahu’s natural beauty.

After about an hour of driving, we stopped at the famous Sunset beach to go swimming, (this is the number one Hawaii beach for super modeling) but we couldn't go in. Signs were up saying the rip tide was too strong for swimming. Very sad.

Daryl and Kai looking sad because we aren't allowed to go in the water

So, we went to Pipeline instead! Pipeline has some of the most famous waves in the world. This is the way Pipeline's waves look when they are going off in the winter.

In retrospect, Pipeline was propably a much more dangerous place to swim. Daryl and Kai braved the waves, I, on the otherhand preferred to stand on the shoreline and watch the huge waves crash right in front of me. Some surfers were out and about, as well as some sweet sponge borders (boogie bording w/ fins) We, however, weren’t so active. We slept.

Here's Daryl and Kai napping

Here's my view of the beautiful waves.

After the beach, we continued the drive up the Northshore to Haleiwa, a small plantation town on Oahu’s Northshore infamous for it’s ono Shave Ice (ono means delicious in Hawaiian). We got some SHAVE ICE from AOKI's. I’ve had a lot of shave ice in my time, but I think this was the BEST shave ice I've ever had. Ice cream, azuki beans, and pina-colada, strawberry, and cream soda syrups. MMMMMMMmmmmm!

On the way home, we went to Costco - where we spent lots of money on these groceries.

We were supposed to also stop at Foodland (a grocery store) for some protein, condiments, and beer (always a good combo) but we were so tired by then, that we didn't want to leave the house. So we made our pizza, ate our pizza, went over a few more tour logistics, and went to bed. Another early morning tomorrow. Whew!

And away we go!

Hey everyone! Welcome to our officially unofficial Maui Academy of Performing Arts educational tour blog!


MAPA's Educational Theatre Tours have been bringing high-quality professional productions to pre-schools, elementary schools and middle schools statewide-– Maui, Oahu, the Big Island (Hawaii), and Kauai—for over 30 years. Each school year, nearly 35,000 students engage their imaginations and explore their world through the wonder of theatre. Many of these students will experience live theatre for the first time when MAPA's professional actors bring the show to their schools. MAPA changes the show twice a year – one brand new show in the fall, and another new show in the spring. For more information about MAPA, check out

This fall our show is called TEA TIME WITH OGRES. This fall tour is especially exciting because it is a puppet show. The puppets we are using are very high quality too. They were designed by a very creative man who used to work for Jim Henson and Sesame Street, but now does landscaping in Haiku, Maui.


Rebecca Narrowe
(Devin, Pink, Servant)

Kai Johnson
(Brown Nose, Nobleman)

(Grandpa, the Hitoshi’s, Shigeyru, Momotaro)


Each school day, we go two to four schools and perform a show for 50+ kids. We perform for children By the end of our 10 week tour we will have been seen by over 18,000 kids statewide!!! It’s a lot of hard work. We have about 9 pieces of set/sound equipment which we need to load in, build, perform on, break down, and load out every time we go to a new school. This is what it all looks like unassembled PICTURE. Assembled PICTURE. In addition, each of us play many multiple rolls, which makes the half hour show quite a mental and technical workout for an actor, However, each group of students is so excited to see us that there is no question our efforts our worth it.

THE PLAY (what it's about):

There is a boy named Devin who is being picked on by bully's at School. His grandpa finds out, and tells him a story about these mean, bullying Ogres named Pink and Brown Nose. These Ogres, led by Pink, are picking on everyone in town - an old couple, a shoe maker, the nobleman of the town, etc. Finally, Momotaro—a popular hero from Japanese folklore—stands up compassionately to the Ogres, and breaks the curse on Pink through a tea ceremony, and she turns back to the nice, good friend she used to be.


Pink - the Head Ogre (played by Becca)

Brown Nose - Pink's lacky (played by Kai)

The old Hitoshi's and Shigeru the Shoemaker (all played by Daryl)

The Nobleman (Played by Kai)

Servant to Nobleman (Played by Becca)

Come check out our daily shows and shenanigans! It’s live theater for children, so no show is exactly the same.

Also, it doesn’t hurt that when we finish our last show, and after we’ve finished discussing some tour logistics, we tour actors get to spend the rest of our day exploring the beauty and adventure Hawaii has to offer. In other words, it’s theater all morning, beaches and hikes all afternoon. Yeah, we pretty much have one of the best jobs ever