Brandon Hagio and Dylan Leming
Brandon Hagio and Dylan Leming in Oriental Faddah and Son

The Hawaiʻi State Theatre Council honored the 2020 Poʻokela Award recipients in an online livestream on Facebook and YouTube on August 10. In the virtual award show, “Stars’ Night IN,” a spin-off of last year’s theme, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Leeward Community College and Windward Community College theatre programs garnered a multitude of awards.

This year, Windward CC ranked just below Diamond Head Theatre for the most awards, garnering a total of 14 awards for productions Children of Eden and Oriental Faddah and Son and an Excellence in Service Award for Brandon DiPaola, a Windward CC alum. Recognition for Oriental Faddah and Son included five acting Poʻokela Awards earned by students.

“Performing poetry in a vocal chorus takes astonishing precision,” said Taurie Kinoshita, theatre director and instructor at Windward CC. “In order to communicate the meaning of the poem, certain words or phrases need to be emphasized. These actors had to alternate phrases, then share a single word, then individually speak a line, then come in together at the exact same time for another phrase—achieving this kind of unison is stunningly difficult. The accuracy in their vocal choral work these actors achieved was phenomenally impressive. They did this while speaking from the heart, staying focused and in character and adapting to the changing line divisions I kept giving them in order to aurally and visually communicate (author Lee A.) Tonouchi’s powerful poetry to a theatrical audience.”

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.

  • Chelsea Yamashiro, Leeward Theatre
  • Brandon DiPaola, Windward CC Palikū Theatre
  • Rachel Sorensen, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Design

Costume Design

people dancing in balinese clothing
The Last King of Bali (Photo credit: John Wells)
  • Maile Speetjens, UH Mānoa assistant professor, I Made’ Widana and Anna Reynolds, The Last King of Bali, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre
  • Anna Foster, Children of Eden, Windward CC Palikū Theatre
  • Carlynn Wolfe, The Secret in the Wings, Leeward Theatre
  • Cindy Fukushima and Samantha Fukushima, Nocturnal Emissions, Leeward Theatre

Sound Design

  • Steve Nelson, Children of Eden, Windward CC Palikū Theatre
  • John Signor and Sam Willis, The Secret in the Wings, Leeward Theatre
  • Emma Torgrimson Lee, The Last King of Bali, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Lighting Design

  • Brian Shevelenko, ʻAuʻa ʻIa: Holding On, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre
  • Sarah Whitehead, The Secret in the Wings, Leeward Theatre

Set Design

  • Michelle Bisbee, UH Mānoa assistant professor, Murder on the Orient Express, Diamond Head Theatre

Hair, Wig, Makeup Design

  • Samantha Fukushima, Nocturnal Emissions, Leeward Theatre
  • Maile Speetjens, UH Mānoa assistant professor, Murder on the Orient Express, Diamond Head Theatre

Performance in a Play

Leading Male

  • Dylan Chace Lee, UH Mānoa alumnus, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Mānoa Valley Theatre​
  • Nicolas Logue, assistant professor at Windward CC, Macbeth, Hawaii Shakespeare Festival

Featured Male

  • Adrian Khactu, from UH Mānoa’s english department, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Mānoa Valley Theatre​

Featured Female

  • Kirstyn Galius, UH Mānoa alumna, Macbeth, Hawaii Shakespeare Festival
  • Ann Brandman, public information officer at UH Mānoa Outreach, Cinderella Waltz, TAG–The Actor’s Group

Performance in a Musical

Leading Male

  • Matthew Pennaz, UH Mānoa alumnus, The Sound of Music, Diamond Head Theatre
  • Michael Bright, Children of Eden, Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Leading Female

  • Jade Stice and Jade Bright, Children of Eden, Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Featured Male

  • Miguel Cadoy III, Children of Eden, Windward CC Palikū Theatre
  • Will Thompson, UH Mānoa alumnus, Kinky Boots, Diamond Head Theatre

Featured Female​

  • Lauren Cabrera, Children of Eden, Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Performance in a Non-traditional Production

Leading Male​

  • Bandon Hagio and Alakaʻi Cunningham, ​​Oriental Faddah and Son, Windward CC ​​Palikū Theatre

Leading Female​

  • Marilynn Bellinger, ​​Oriental Faddah and Son, Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Featured Male

  • Noah Nakachi and Michael S. Lau, ​​Oriental Faddah and Son, Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Featured Female​

  • Meenakshi Kutty​​, ​​Oriental Faddah and Son, Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Ensemble Performance

Ensemble Performance in a Play

  • Faʻalavelave “The Interruption”​ by Kiki Rivera, UH Mānoa alumna, Kumu Kahua Theatre

Ensemble Performance in a Non-traditional Production

  • The Last King of Bali, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre
  • The Secret in the Wings, ​​​Leeward Theatre
  • Nocturnal Emissions, Leeward Theatre

Directing

Director of a Play

  • Taurie Kinoshita, Macbeth, Hawaii Shakespeare Festival
  • Harry Wong III, theatre lecturer at Windward CC, Ua Pau (It is Finished, Over, Destroyed)​, Kumu Kahua Theatre

Director of a Non-traditional Play

Dancers
Secret in the Wings
  • Betty Burdick, The Secret in the Wings, Leeward Theatre
  • Taurie Kinoshita, ​​Oriental Faddah and Son​​, Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Musical Director

  • John Signor, The Secret in the Wings, Leeward Theatre
  • Clarke Bright, Children of Eden, Windward CC Palikū Theatre

Dance/Movement/Combat Choreography

  • Alex Durrant, dance lecturer at Windward CC, and Nicolas Logue, Macbeth, Hawaii Shakespeare Festival
  • Marcelo Pacleb, Children of Eden, Windward CC ​​Palikū Theatre
  • Nani Marcos and Kira Moriguchi, Nocturnal Emissions, Leeward Theatre

Overall Production

Overall Non-traditional Production

  • The Secret in the Wings, Leeward Theatre
  • Nocturnal Emissions, Leeward Theatre
  • The Last King of Bali, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Pierre Bowman Award

  • Thomas Tochiki, UH alumnus (posthumously)

Playwriting

  • Alani Apio,​​ UH alumna, Ua Pau (It is Finished, Over, Destroyed)​, Kumu Kahua Theatre
  • Tammy Hailiʻōpua Baker, ​​ʻAuʻa ʻIa: Holding On, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre
  • Rasa Fournier, UH Mānoa alumna, and Kevin Keaveney,​ Woman’s Triumph: Celebrating 100 Years…, Hawaiian Mission Houses

Guest Artist

  • Greg Zane, UH Mānoa alumnus, The Sound of Music, ​Diamond Head Theatre
  • I Ketut Wirtawan, I Made’ Widana and I Made’ Moja, The Last King of Bali, UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Adjudicator’s Award

  • Props Designer – Sara Ward, UH Mānoa alumna, Once​​, Mānoa Valley Theatre
  • Guitar Performance – Honybal Sosa, ​The Secret in the Wings, ​​Leeward Theatre
Noah Nakachi and Victoria Kinard
Noah Nakachi and Victoria Kinard in Oriental Faddah and Son