By Paul Drewes
KANEOHE (KHNL) - While the lights of Broadway are bright, the lights of windward Oahu theatre are also "bright". Thanks, in part, to the decades of devotion by one man.
When Oahu residents talk about windward theatre productions - many talk about Castle High School.
And at Castle High, you'll not only find the Ronald Bright Performing Arts Center, you'll also find Mr. Bright.
For 50 years, Ron Bright has been at Castle High, helping kids take to the stage, and develop a love of the theatre.
"Mr. Bright loves the stage and he teaches you how important it is to love the art." says Enola Mutch, a student of Bright in the 70s.
"I see what happens to kids, it changes their lives!" says Ron Bright.
This transformation takes place on stage and off. Young students develop self confidence, public speaking skills and a strong work ethic.
"He's taught me responsibility, you have to be at rehearsal on time and learn lines by a certain time." says current Bright student, Melody Mutch.
Melody Mutch, currently the lead in the King and I, is singing and dancing across the windward stage. But you can understand just how much the theatre can change a kid, if you knew her just three years ago. "When I first started in theatre I was really shy, really shy."
Bright brings out the best in these young actors and actresses. Some may one day take these directions all the way to Broadway, its already happened with a number of his students.
"I tried to keep a list of the kids who went on to professions related to theatre, its well over a hundred and something already." says Bright.
The theatre bug bit Bright himself back in "his" high school days, and now he's made sure, that bug has turned into a theatrical epidemic for the windward side of Oahu. And he plans to keep sharing his love of theatre for years to come.
"How can I ever give this up?"