performer singing

The Hawaiʻi State Theatre Council announced the 2019 Poʻokela Award recipients at “Stars’ Night Out” on Monday, August 12, at a gala at the Koʻolau Ballrooms and Conference Center in Kāneʻohe. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Leeward Community College and Windward Community College theater programs brought home a haul of awards.

The Poʻokela Awards have recognized excellence in local theater since 1984. A panel of three adjudicators selects honorees in 23 theater arts categories, including producing, directing, performing, design and technical theater. Awards are given for excellence in each category. The adjudicators may also recognize excellence outside these categories through discretionary awards.

Excellence in Service Award

Each member organization of the Hawaiʻi State Theatre Council may recognize an individual for service to a program or organization during the most recent production season.

  • UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre—masters in fine arts (MFA) in directing candidate Katherine Altman
  • Leeward Theatre—Marshall Cressy
  • Windward Community College Palikū Theatre—Patricia Brubaker
Three students performing

From left: Qalil Ismail, Jorin Young and Dylan Chace Lee in A Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream at Kennedy Theatre (Photo courtesy: John Wells)

Excellence in Theatrical Design Awards

Hair, Wig, Makeup Design

  • Lisa Ponce de Leon, The Wiz, Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Costume Design

  • Maile Speetjens, UH Mānoa assistant professor, A Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre
  • Anna Foster, Windward CC The Wiz at Palikū Theatre

Scenic Design

  • Michelle Bisbee, UH Mānoa assistant professor, Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre
  • Michelle Bisbee, Allegiance, Manoa Valley Theatre
  • Claire Paul, In the Heights, Leeward CC Theatre

Lighting Design

  • Chris Gouvea, In the Heights, Leeward CC Theatre

Sound Design and Engineering

  • Claire Ranney, In the Heights, Leeward CC Theatre
tinman singing

The Wiz at Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Excellence in Performance Awards

Featured Female in a Play

  • Catherine Ann Restivo, UH Mānoa MFA candidate, The Good Person of Setzuan, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre
  • Christine Lamborn, UH Mānoa MFA candidate, The Country Wife, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre
  • Qiaoer Zheng, UH Mānoa PhD candidate, June is the First Fall, Kumu Kahua Theatre

Leading Male in a Play

  • Dean Mo, UH Mānoa MFA candidate, The Good Person of Setzuan, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Leading Female in a Play

  • Christine Chang, UH Mānoa MFA candidate, The Good Person of Setzuan, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Leading Male in a Musical

  • Matthew Pederson, The Wiz, Windward CC Palikū

Leading Female in a Musical

  • Bailey Barnes, The Wiz, Windward CC Palikū
  • Kimie Fujioka, In the Heights, Leeward CC Theatre

Featured Female in a Musical

  • Kris 10 Misaki, In the Heights, Leeward CC Theatre
Students on stage

In the Heights at the Leeward Theatre (Photo courtesy: Miguel Cadoy III)

Ensemble Performance of a Play

  • Dead Accounts, Chaminade/Loo Theatre, Directed by Tyler Haugen, UH Mānoa MFA candidate
  • The Wolves, Kailua Onstage Arts, directed by UH Mānoa Assistant Professor Stacy Ray

Ensemble Performance in a Non-traditional Production

  • A Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Directorial Excellence Awards

Dance/Stage Combat/Movement

  • Marcelo Pacleb, The Wiz, Windward CC Palikū
  • Sai Bhatawadekar, UH Mānoa associate professor, Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Music Direction

  • Ike Webster, recent UH Mānoa MFA graduate, Something Rotten!, Diamond Head Theatre
  • Ike Webster, A Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Direction – Musical Theatre

  • Paul Mitri, UH Mānoa professor, Allegiance, Mānoa Valley Theatre
  • Christopher Patrinos, In the Heights, Leeward CC Theatre

Direction – Play

  • Ike Webster, The Good Person of Setzuan, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre
  • Stacy Ray, UH Mānoa assistant professor, The Wolves, Kailua Onstage Arts
  • Tyler Haugen, Dead Accounts, Chaminade/Loo Theatre

Direction – Non-traditional Production

  • Paul Mitri/Sai Bhatawadekar, A Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Overall Production Excellence Awards

Overall Production of a Musical

  • In the Heights, Leeward Theatre

Overall Production of a Play

  • Dead Accounts, Chaminade/Loo Theatre, Directed by Tyler Haugen
  • The Wolves, Kailua Onstage Arts, Directed by UH Mānoa Assistant Professor Stacy Ray

Overall Production of a Non-traditional Performance

  • A Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Recognition of Hawaiʻi Resident Playwrights’ Original Works

  • Moses Goods, The Epic Voyage of Kaneʻapua, Palikū Theatre

Adjudicator’s Special Awards

  • Music/Lyric Composition – Ike Webster/Sai Bhatawadekar, A Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre