Ohana Arts seeks to provide opportunities for students at varying levels of experience, ability and skill levels in a nurturing yet disciplined environment in which they can develop to the fullest artistic, ethical and intellectual standards as individuals and responsible members of a changing global society.
MEET THE FOUNDERS
Executive & Co-Artistic Director
Jenny Taira is a composer, pianist,
and clarinetist based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Most recently, she composed, orchestrated, and co-wrote the book for the Ohana Arts original musical, Peace On Your Wings, which recently premiered in New York City. Peace On Your Wings has been the subject of two mini-documentaries by NHK, and has been featured on Broadway World, Huffington Post, and Playbill.com, amongst others.
An active performer, she has performed extensively throughout the United States as a clarinetist and collaborative pianist. Recent career highlights include international recital tours throughout North America and Europe, and performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Ravinia Festival, the Philharmonic Hall in Brasov Transylvania,
Greenwich Music Festival, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City; and a Lucas Artist Residency at Montalvo Arts Center. As a clarinetist, she received top prizes in the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Young Artist Competition and Kingsville International Competition, and has performed with the Burbank Philharmonic, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, New Britain Symphony, and the Royal Hawaiian Band.
In 2013, she and Laurie Rubin also branded as a new pop duo under the name, PureLand. Jenny is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Yale School
Cari Taira is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director and resident stage director for Ohana Arts. She is also Director of Central Theatre Academy of Arts.
She was born and raised in Mililani, Hawaii, where her passion for theatre began at Kipapa Elementary School with inspirational teacher, Mrs. Yvonne Toma. She attended Mililani High School, and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama from the University of Portland. Her principle instructors were acting professors Ed Bowen and Mindy Logan, and voice processor Jill Sotero. She has performed in productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sweet Charity, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Crucible, and The Wiz.
After spending 9 years as the director and program coordinator of the Hongwanji Mission School drama program, and 2 years at Pacific Buddhist Academy, she is excited to be back at Mililani High School. Some of her directing credits include Peace On Your Wings, Seussical Jr., Peter Pan Jr., Annie Jr., Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Footloose, Oliver, The Wizard of Oz, Once On this Island Jr., Little Mermaid Jr., and Almost Maine.
Singer and author Laurie Rubin has concertized internationally at such venues as Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the White House. Recent career highlights include duet concerts with world renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica Von Stade at DePauw University in Indiana and the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, a solo appearance with the LA Chamber Orchestra, and a performance at the International Human Rights Conference in Lucerne Switzerland.
She has performed numerous operatic roles, including the witch/voice in Lisa Bielawa’s episodic TV opera, “Vireo,” Elle in Poulenc’s one-woman opera, ‘La Voix Humane,” Penelope in Monteverdi’s “The Return of Ulysses,” and the title role in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola.
After the publication of her memoir, “Do You Dream in Color?” in 2012, Laurie embarked on a national concert and book tour, weaving stories from her life with relevant musical selections. She served as lyricist and co-bookwriter for the groundbreaking new musical, “Peace On Your Wings” which has toured Hawaii, Los Angeles, and New York. Laurie also joined with composer Jennifer Taira to form the pop duo, PureLand, writing and performing original music. Laurie is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Yale School of Music.