A decade after disbanding, this once-great school theater group is raising the curtain

After more than a decade, the show will go on once again at McKinley high. This weekend, the school is celebrating the grand return of its theatre program...
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 4:49 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 5:19 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For more than 40 years, McKinley High School’s theater program flourished under the direction of renowned drama teacher James Nakamoto.

But after he died in 2013, the McKinley Theater Group disbanded.

“Unfortunately, ever since then we haven’t quite had the director that was able to carry and fill in those large shoes,” teacher Natasha Taketa-Kim said.

After a 10-year lapse, McKinley’s once again building its performing arts program under Taketa-Kim’s direction.

“Even though I might not necessarily have the background as an actor or director, I have the heart to help them come together and bring all the wonderful people from the past and those who are currently at McKinley together to make this happen,” she said.

This month, MTG returns to the stage with its production of the off-beat musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Thirty students are involved in the show and they are raring to go.

“I’m actually really excited because I’ve always loved theater, and to see it be here at McKinley is so awesome,” sophomore Aaron Lam said.

“I plan on going to college for performing arts. I really hope to become something in the future,” added senior Alii Faleafaga

Taketa-Kim is so committed to the performing arts program, she pays out of pocket for set supplies and snacks for her cast and crew.

Now, the kids are crowdfunding through GoFundMe to help her and to help MTG grow beyond this year so more McKinley students can develop their show biz skills.

Seeing their musical is the quickest way to show support.

“Tickets are $15 each for the general admission to help fundraise and bring back funds to the program to bring it back to life,” Taketa-Kim said.