SUNDAY, MAY 7
Aloha and welcome to the Keiki Stage for Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival #12! I’m ELM and I’ll be em-ceeing this stage for the next two days, and let me tell you, the line-up of performers who’ll be up on this stage Saturday May 6 and Sunday May 7 is absolutely spectacular. This amazing 2-day celebration of story and song just gets better and better, and as you can see from your programs, here at the Keiki Stage, we’ll offer one terrific entertainer after another—keep your eyes on us! – Eden-Lee Murray, Emcee
MR. STEVE aka Steve Songs
We’re kicking off Day #2 of Hawaii Book and Music Festival #12 in high style, with none other than the one and only MR. STEVE! Steve Roslonek of Steve Songs has been writing and performing his award-winning music for kids and families for the past fifteen years. Steve has delighted audiences throughout the country, including at prestigious venues like Symphony Space in New York City, Wolftrap in Vienna VA, the Kennedy Center and the White House in Washington, D.C., and Fenway Park in Boston. Anyone who’s attended a SteveSongs concert appreciates Steve’s ability to connect with his audience. It’s no wonder he's been called a modern day Pied Piper!
Steve is also "Mr. Steve," National Co-host of PBS KIDS, which features the popular shows Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Super Why, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That and Peg + Cat. Steve performs original interactive songs that reinforce the day’s curriculum theme. Steve recently released his latest CD Orangutan Van (2014) which can be heard regularly on Sirius XM Radio.
Steve has performed at over 3000 shows across the country. He’s won numerous prestigious awards, including 2 Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, a Nappa Honor, 2 iParenting Media Awards, and 2 Children’s Music Web Awards. His critically acclaimed CD is Marvelous Day (2006). Combining his two passions, music and kids, has yielded what Steve calls “the coolest job ever.”
Yasu Ishida – Magician
Inspired by the Robin Williams’ movie “Patch Adams,” Yasu Ishida came to the United States intending to become a professional hospital clown. After graduating from the Chavez Studio of Magic (the most prestigious magic school in the world!), and getting an M.F.A. with UH Manoa’s Theatre for Young Audiences program, he has been enchanting audiences all over the country, from Disney Summer Stage Kids to Talkstory Festival. He is currently touring Hawaii as a featured performer for the 2017 National Library Week.
Diamond Head Theatre Shooting Stars
Up next, a very special troupe of young performers that has been with HBMF from the very start—the HBMF Keiki Stage wouldn’t be complete without the DHT Shooting Stars! Under the direction of Diamond Head Theatre’s award-winning Artistic Director John Rampage and his talented staff, the Diamond Head Theatre Shooting Stars feature some of Hawaii’s most talented musical theatre performers, ages 7-17. The Shooting Stars have entertained audiences for over 20 years with an extensive repertoire of show tunes and choreography. They have performed in New York at City Center, as well as locally at Washington Place, Hilton Hawaiian village, in Jim Nabors’ Christmas show, at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ‘Ilima Awards, and with the Honolulu Symphony. The Shooting Stars have also staged their own productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Damn Yankees, Cinderella, Hello, Dolly!, Into the Woods, Hairspray, and 42nd Street. This is their 12th appearance at the Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival. Can’t wait to see what Mr. John has in store for us this time around!
Miss Hawaii Competition
The lovely young ladies who will be up next on our Keiki Stage are contestants for this year’s Miss Hawaii Competition. As we have done in the past, we are going to ask each of them to take her case to the toughest set of judges possible: the keiki in our audience today! Each of these remarkable young women will talk about the particular cause she believes in and would use her platform as Miss Hawaii to promote. The keiki in the audience will then vote on their favorite contestant.
Back for his second time today.
Uncle Wayne & The Howling Dog Band
Uncle Wayne, a musician and early-childhood specialist, has shared his original music with Hawaii’s keiki for over two decades, releasing two CDs. He formed the family folk group, Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band, six years ago. Since then, they’ve created a positive musical ruckus at schools, libraries and their monthly Family Pau Hana events on Oahu and Maui ever since. The band will release their second CD in late 2017.
Craig Jenkins – Storyteller
Our next guest up is an AMAZING storyteller, Craig Jenkins. He had me spellbound a few weeks ago. Craig Jenkins is an internationally renowned storyteller, having performed in England, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. During his ten year career, Craig has performed for the BBC, the British Museum, The British Film Institute and the High Commission of India, as well as in countless schools across the UK, community centers, children’s hospitals, refugee centers, orphanages, South Indian slums, churches, temples, mosques, festivals, and theatres around the world.
MR. STEVE aka Steve Songs
Back for his third and final time today!
Yasu Ishida – Magician
His second show of the day.
Central Theatre Arts Academy--The Little Mermaid
Central Theatre Arts Academy, formerly known as Tri-School Ensemble Theatre Company, has been located at Mililani High School for over 20 years. In 2009, Tri-School became Central Theatre Arts Academy to more accurately reflect the comprehensive nature of the program as well as the geographical location of the majority of our students.
Cari Tiara is the Director of Central Theatre Academy of Arts. She is also a Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director and resident stage director of Ohana Arts. She’s now based at the Mililani Performing Arts Center. I’m going to throw the focus over to her to let her tell you about the highlights from Mililani’s recent production of The Little Mermaid that she and her talented young performers will be sharing with us this afternoon. Please welcome Cari Tiara!
Kapolei PAC Kids
The Performing Arts Center of Kapolei (PACK) is a program for students of all ages. In operation since 2004, PACK is funded through production fees, ticket sales, and outside contributions, under the outstanding leadership of Rachelle Amparo and Meagan Olsen. In 2016, 28 members of PACK, ages 7 - 18 performed at the National Performing Arts Festival in Orlando Florida, and took a top level Superior rating. Today the high energy PACKids are very excited to share with you favorite numbers that they have prepared for you.
Uncle Wayne & The Howling Dog Band
Second show today!
Tony Pisculli–Fight Choreography
Tony Pisculli is the co-founder and producer of the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, now entering its 15th season. This summer at HSF he will be presenting Romeo and Juliet, A Comedy of Errors, and one of Chekhov’s most beloved plays, The Seagull, which he will direct. As an extra treat for Chekhov fans, in addition to The Seagull, during that portion of the HSF season Tony will also present two of Chekhov’s short stories that he’s adapted into 1-act plays.
Tony is a Master Teacher with Dueling Arts International and during the course of the past 20 years has choreographed over 100 productions including stage, indie film, opera and burlesque. He lives in Hawaii and is a graduate of the Stonecoast Creative Writing program. I can bear witness first-hand that he is a terrific writer of really creative fiction. Today, Tony and his helpers will be demonstrating how fight choreography can be a powerful storytelling tool. This is Tony’s 12th appearance at HBMF.
The Hawaii Pacific University Young Actors Ensemble
Eden-Lee Murray, Dir.
For last 11 HBMF’s, Eden-Lee has brought in the company of talented high school actors she trains in classical theatre from Sept. thru May. In the past, they have culminated our year with a full Shakespeare production on the stage of the Hawaii Theatre in April, with enough time to create an abbreviated (and slightly less serious) version to present here at the Keiki Stage. However, this year, changes scheduling have meant that the full-on Midsummer Night’s Dream will be presented up at the HPU Paul and Vi Loo Theatre in Kaneohe next weekend, May 12, 13 and 14, and Eden-Lee could not let the students work with anything less than the “real” script before our legit performance.
That said, we are still in luck! Shakespeare himself created a lovely bit of fun in Act V of Midsummer, when he has the aptly-called Rude Mechanicals strut and fret their roughly cobbled together production of Pyramus and Thisby in honor of Duke Theseus’s wedding, and this is what they will present on the Keiki Stage.
Please bear in mind that this scene is intended as the epitome of really bad community theatre acting, from players who, despite the best possible intentions, have no performance skills whatsoever. For the young performers playing the Mechanicals, this exercise is something akin to clown diving. They have to know what they’re doing well enough to be able to appear to do it badly, for the delight and amusement of the audience.
(Just to bait the hook: in the “real” production going up the next weekend, these young players have created a band of faeries who will descend on the HPU theatre in order to tell the story of what happens when mortals (for whom they have little or no respect at the outset) get caught in the battle raging between the King and Queen of the Faeries. If you want all the bells and whistles, come up and see for yourself next weekend!)
Eden Lee Murray, Emcee of the Keiki Stage, is a professional actor and author, with credits on stage, television and film. She has won numerous Po’okelas for roles played in all the major Honolulu theatres. She was Education Director at the Hawaii Theatre Center in Honolulu, where she produced plays for children, She now teaches at Hawaii Pacific University and is Director of the Paul and Vi Lo Thetare. From HPU she also runs the Hawaii Theatre Center’s Young Actors Ensemble from, in which the participants are given pre-professional training, including master classes by Honolulu’s top professionals, culminating in a Shakespeare play every Spring. Eden Lee has been Emcee of the HBMF Keiki Stage since 2006.