2021 SUMMER FESTIVAL & SCHOOL
June 14th-July 23rd, 2021 (6-Weeks)
Virtual & In-Person Options
Welcome to the 2021 Ohana Arts Summer Festival & School! This summer, we are thrilled to announce that we will be offering both in-person and virtual programs! In-person programs are half-day programs (either morning or afternoon sessions), that culminate in acoustic performances of a musical theatre production. Our virtual program includes an assortment of classes, as well as a voice lesson package that can be registered for “a la carte”. Below, please find the links to view the listing of our in-person offerings as well as information on private voice lessons. Our virtual class catalog will be posted on March 14th, so please stay tuned!
We do recognize that one thing students really miss out on during their virtual/socially-distant learning experience is the ability to see/make friends. Connection and friendship has always been important to us at Ohana Arts. Our group managers will be joining us this summer, both in-person and online to ensure that social activities, including virtual coffee houses, movie nights, and other fun activities are still an essential part of the summer experience!
WHAT PARENTS SAY
Just amazing. This program has been a real blessing for my daughter. She looks forward to her summers with OA. She made many new friends throughout the years. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging of each other. The instructors are just so upbeat, talented and come with a wealth of knowledge to share. The college prep programs is really helpful and gives great insight on how to prepare for a career in the arts. I highly recommend this program because it IS the BEST Arts program in the islands.
- 2020 Ohana Arts Online Summer Festival & School Parent
I would give Ohana Arts 1000 stars if I could!!!
- 2020 Ohana Arts Online Summer Festival & School Parent
After 3 weeks my daughter felt like she made new friends and we are still singing the lyrics to their song!
- 2020 Ohana Arts Online Summer Festival & School Parent
I am so pleased with my daughter’s experience. Even though it was under less than ideal circumstances, I was impressed with the quality and quantity of the activities. The teachers and group leaders created a safe and supportive environment that allowed my daughter to push herself out of her comfort zone. I was impressed with the way the teachers and group leaders were able to get the students to become a community despite the challenge of being online. I am hoping my daughter will be able to participate next year in person. I would definitely recommend this program to others.
- 2020 Ohana Arts Online Summer Festival & School Parent
private voice lessons
30-minute weekly lessons for
6-Weeks (Full Session)
Students will work one-on-one with Laurie Rubin on vocal technique, developing vocal range, breath control, support, tone, chest voice, head voice, and mix. Students will have the opportunity to work on a song to hone skills in interpretation, artistry, and technique in presenting an overall effective performance. Students will be given detailed instructions to film performances of their assigned songs to be included in 1 culminating live virtual voice recital at the end of Week 6.
All virtual classes are pending a minimum registration of 8, and in-person classes are pending a minimum registration of 15.
2020 SUMMER FACULTY
(please check back for updated 2021 Faculty List)
CAROLYN CHUNG (Ohana Arts Co-Founder & Co-Artistic Director)
Carolyn Taira is the resident stage director for the Ohana Arts summer musical theatre production workshop. She was born and raised in Mililani, Hawaii, where her passion for theatre began at Kipapa Elementary School with inspirational teacher, Mrs. Yvonne Toma. Carolyn 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 professor 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. Carolyn is currently the drama teacher and production coordinator at Mililani High School/Central Theatre Arts Academy. She has also directed more than a dozen musicals through Hongwanji Mission School and Ohana Arts. Her most recent work includes Hairspray, Little Mermaid JR., Footloose, and Peace On Your Wings.
JENNY TAIRA (Ohana Arts Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director & Executive Director)
Peace On Your Wings composer and co-bookwriter Jenny Taira is known in Hawaii and beyond for her work in several genres, including musical theater, pop and choral music. She and singer Laurie Rubin recently formed the pop duo, PureLand, and she is songwriter and producer on their album, Summer Night in Winter. Jennifer is co- founder of Musique à la Mode Chamber Music Ensemble and the Music at the Bowery Series in Manhattan’s East Village. As a clarinetist and pianist, she has performed extensively throughout the United States. Recent performances include concerts at Ravinia Festival; Stanford University; The 92nd Street Y in New York City; Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble Masterworks Festival; Carnegie Hall; The Kennedy Center; the Greenwich Music Festival; National Press Club; the State Department and French Embassy in Washington, D.C.; Ruth Eckard Hall in Tampa, Florida; West Chester University and Zipper Hall in Los Angeles, California. Career highlights include receiving top prizes in the Hennings-Fischer Foundation Young Artist Competition and Kingsville International Competition, as well as a solo performance with the Burbank Philharmonic. She has performed with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, New Britain Symphony, Hawai'i Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Hawaiian Band. She has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships, including a full fellowship to study at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. A graduate of Yale University and Northwestern University, Ms. Taira is one of the co-founders of Ohana Arts and serves as Executive & Co-Artistic Director.
LAURIE RUBIN (Ohana Arts Co-Founder & Co-Artistic Director)
Voice Teacher/Vocal Coach
Peace On Your Wings lyricist and co-bookwriter Laurie Rubin is an author, motivational speaker and acclaimed mezzo-soprano who performs in a variety of genres, including classical, pop, and musical theater. New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini praised her “compelling artistry,”“communicative power,” and the “earthy, rich, and poignant qualities” of her voice. Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed described her as “a young mezzo-soprano whose voice is darkly complex and mysteriously soulful and who adds intense emphasis to every word of text.” Laurie has performed with the likes of conductor John Williams and opera star Frederica von Stade. She has given concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and the White House, among others, presenting programs that tell her unique story through music. Her album Do You Dream In Color? was release in 2012, the same year as her memoir of the same name, published by Seven Stories Press. The title track of the album, co-written by Laurie and composer Bruce Adolphe, premiered in its orchestral version in a performance she gave at the International Human Rights Conference in Lucerne, Switzerland and in a performance she gave with the LA Chamber Orchestra. Laurie is co-founder and Associate Artistic Director of Ohana Arts. In 2013, she embarked on anextensive North American concert and book tour. She and composer/producer, Jenny Taira form the pop duo PureLand. Their first single and music video, “The Girl I Am,” was released in March 2014.
CYNTHIA KORTMAN WESTPHAL
Cynthia Kortman Westphal has been an associate professor of musical theatre at the University of Michigan for 15 years. In addition to her teaching, she continues to stay active in the Broadway and regional theatre community. Most recently, she music directed the first North American tour of the Tony Award-winning production of Come From Away. Throughout 2018-19, she conducted nearly 500 performances in over 30 cities across the United States and Canada. She was an original company member of The Lion King on Broadway where she was associate music director, conductor, and keyboard player for seven years. In 2011-2012, she was associate music director for the Broadway production of the Tony-nominated A Christmas Story—the Musical. In addition, she music directed the first national tour of A Christmas Story, and played keyboards for the shows' run at Madison Square Garden. Other Broadway credits include: The Gershwins Fascinating Rhythm (music supervisor, music director, conductor) and Miss Saigon (keyboards). Regionally, in 2016, she music directed Man of La Mancha at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, where she was part of the first ever all-female creative team in the history of that historic theatre. Additional regional credits include: Hartford Stage Company and Arizona Theatre Company (The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm), The Goodman Theatre in Chicago (Randy Newman's Faust), and North Shore Music Theatre (Shrek). Ms. Westphal toured as a pianist with opera singer Andrea Bocelli on two U.S. tours and has also worked as an orchestral pianist with Eos Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, and Flint Symphony. As a keyboard player for Broadway National Tours in Detroit, she has played for such shows as Wicked, In The Heights, Les Miserables, Legally Blonde, Sister Act, Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby, The King and I, and Annie. Of the over 50 musicals she has music directed, additional favorites include: She Loves Me, 1776, Carousel, Company, Caroline, or Change, Ragtime, and The Who’s Tommy. Television appearances include Good Morning America, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Rosie Show on OWN, and Great Performances: Copland's America on PBS. She can be heard on the Grammy Award-winning cast album of The Lion King and the Grammy nominated album Celluloid Copland with Eos Orchestra. At the University of Michigan, she has developed new musicals with the band Air Supply, and with Glenn Frey of the Eagles. She is also a Certified Master Teacher in Estill Voice Training.
Acting Instructor, Musical Theatre Techniques (Pre-College)
Candace Brown is Associate Professor of Theatre at Boston Conservatory, a member of the Actors' Equity Association, and is a Boston based-actor, director, and voice and dialect coach. Regionally, Brown has performed with Lyric Stage Company, Cape Rep Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, New York Theatre Workshop, American Repertory Theater, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Bristol Valley Theatre Company, and Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival. In addition, Brown has directed several productions for the Conservatory, including the Boston premiere of Theory of Relativity in 2016.
Prior to teaching at Boston Conservatory, Brown held positions as head of voice and movement at Wheaton College and voice and speech instructor in Brandeis University's M.F.A. acting training program. Additionally, Brown earned tenure at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where she taught voice, movement, and scene study, and directed musical productions and plays for five seasons. Brown is the owner and operator of VoiceWorks in Milton, Massachusetts, and coaches acting and voice privately in and around the Boston and New York area.
Nicholas Brown is a Theatre for Young Audiences MFA Candidate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He graduated from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina in May of 2017 with degrees in Marketing and Theatre for Youth. He currently works as the Director of Publicity at Kennedy Theatre. Previously he has worked for a musical theatre conservatory program called Musical Theater Center in Charleston, South Carolina as well as the Spoleto Festival, USA. In addition to working in offices, he can be seen performing onstage in local theatres. Recent on-island credits include Man 3 in Diamond Head Theatre's "A Gentleman's Guide to Lover and Murder", Nick the House Manager in Kennedy Theatre Late Night's production of "Tony the Fantastic Fireman!", an Officer in Kennedy Theatre's "Fights & Delights: Three Chinese Comedies", and as Nate in a play reading of Paul Donnelly's "Memorial Day" at Kumu Kahua Theatre. Off-island credits include Angel in the College of Charleston's production of "Rent", Demetrius in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Pedrolino in a new production called "Lovers and Players", and more.
Rachel MacKenzie is a NYC based Singer, Music Director, Accompanist, Teaching Artist, and general enthusiast of all things arts. Rachel is a Professor at the University of Albany, works as an accompanist and coach at NYU Steinhardt, and serves as a Voice Teacher at NYC Vocal Studio. Her students have performed Off Broadway, in National Tours, Regional Theaters, and Karaoke Bars around the country. You can also find her singing backup for some of Broadway’s favorite voices, acting in shows, learning new instruments, and having jam sessions with her friends and family. Instagram: @ramackenzie, @racheldoesthesingthing
Acting for Song Instructor
Kirsten McKinney joins us from The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. Before that Kirsten taught for 23 years at the highly acclaimed Walnut Hill School for the Arts near Boston, MA. There she assisted in the development of their 9-12 musical theater acting and dance curriculum and served as the Musical Theater Community Director for over 10 years. Recently, her production of 9 to 5 , in which she was the director/choreographer for The Kinkaid School earned 10 Tommy Tune Nominations including Best Direction, Best Choreography and Best Musical. Kirsten is an award- winning choreographer with an extensive list of direction and choreography credits. She served as the resident choreographer for SpeakEasy Stage Company for over 10 years and was a guest artist and /or lecturer in dance for Boston College, Emerson College, Harvard University, The Boston Conservatory among others. She received a Tony Nomination for Excellence in Theater Education and holds her B.F.A. in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory.
DANIELLE HANNAH BENSKY
Danielle is a Manhattan native who regularly grande Jetés her way across New York City’s, Upper East Side, where she currently resides. She has choreographed/staged over 30 full scale musicals in addition to various other original works for The New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMF), Stagedoor Manor, York College (CUNY) and the Afterwork Theater Project in conjunction with the 14th street Y. This is Danielle’s 4th year working for Disney Theatricals. Starting with the company in 2011 as a performer for Disney Cruise Line, Dani has since moved to the theatrical events department. Most recently, Dani has concluded productions of Rent, Once on this Island and All shook up. Her favorite past projects include but are not limited to Carousel, Cabaret, Dreamgirls, Les Miserables, Spring Awakening and a new work that was created specifically for NYMF with TONY winner Lena Hall. She can be found teaching at The Harbor Conservatory, Just Off Broadway Academy and Elements fitness studio. Dani’s training consists of all styles and genres from The Joffrey Ballet School, Alvin Ailey, New Jersey Ballet, Professional Perforning Arts School (PPAS) and the Neighborhood Playhouse. She was a 2010 Princess Grace Award nominee and is staffed as an adjudicator for the OnPoint National Dance Competition.
Liz Piccoli (SDC Director/Choreographer/Performer/AEA) -- Past performance highlights include: performing as a ballet dancer with Romeo et Juliette and the First Emperor with Placido Domingo at the NYC Metropolitan Opera, back-up dancer for P!NK, Club La Bomba with Sofia Vergara and West Side Story at the Lyric in DC. Directing/Choreography, select credits include : SDC Observer for Lysistrata Jones which transferred to Broadway with Dan Knechtges, Director/ Choreographer for Billy Elliot at the Axelrod Theater (Outstanding Choreography Perry Award Nomination 2017,) and Director/Choreographer for Cinderella and Footloose at the Okoboji Summer Theater. She has also choreographed for Bare Opera in NYC, the NY Jazz Choreography Project at Alvin Ailey and was the Assistant Choreographer for the TVLand Awards with Liza Minnelli. She is currently working as a dramaturg and Director/Choreographer on a new 80's aerobics themed musical with Daniel Levin entitled Spandex the Musical, which had an Off-Broadway run at 777 Theater and a regional run in Minneapolis. (www.spandexmusical.com)
For more info. go to www.lizpiccoli.com, www.facebook.com/lizpdance, Elizabeth R Piccoli (@epdanzer) • Instagram photos and videos
Jackie Dowsett was born & raised in Honolulu, growing up dancing at Hawaii State Ballet, 24-VII Danceforce & early years with Punahou Dance School, where she also graduated from. She left for Dallas, TX, receiving her BFA in Dance Performance & Elementary Education at Southern Methodist University (SMU) & became a professional dancer soon after, living in NYC, LA, Las Vegas, & Miami. She retired from performing & came home to Hawaii after touring as a back up dancer for Cher in '14 & was blessed with a baby girl in early 2017. Prior to the 6 years dancing for Cher, she “kicked it up” as a Radio City Rockette for 6 seasons, did multiple Musical Theater productions during her time in NYC, & also danced in numerous films & on TV in LA, including being a “Cheerio” on the first 3 seasons of Glee. She enjoyed dance doubling for Cher in “Burlesque” & Cameron Diaz in “What to Expect when You’re Expecting.” Jackie has loved teaching, coaching, & choreographing around town, where it all began, with the next generation of young performers who are eager to learn & grow their love for the performing arts! With dedication & hard work, dreams can come true!
ZOOM Comedy Instructor
Jill Bolstridge is a director, actor, and teacher with 17 years of experience in the field of theatre education. In her six years with Ohana Arts, she has taught acting to hundreds of students, directed "The Lion King" and "13," and collaborated as an acting coach on a plethora of shows, including Ohana Arts' original new musical, "Peace On Your Wings." She currently teaches drama and directs at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, New York, where she has directed dozens of shows. She has directed more than 100 productions at the Children’s Theatre Company in Manhattan, as well as at the CTC regional chapters in Boston, Peekskill, Valley Stream, and Los Angeles. Jill has directed hundreds of shows at dozens of theatre companies, schools, camps, and arts programs all over the country, including The Reynold’s Arts Magnet School in Bristol, Rhode Island and the Drama Training Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. Jill has been performing since she was six years old. Most recent acting credits include Mother in “After Magritte” and April Green in “The Hot L Baltimore.” Jill holds a BA in Theatre and English Literature from Roger Williams University, and a MA in Theatre from C.W. Post.
Improv and Comedy Writing Instructor
Shannon Winpenny has been an educator in performing arts for over 15 years. With multi experience in different forms of theatre. Shannon studied at the Second City in Chicago where she honed her craft in improv and comedy writing. After opening her own theater in 2008, Shannon began to direct at other theaters as well as teach. Currently she teaches performing arts at Momilani Elementary, St. Louis and Diamond Head Theater. She also loves performing and can see her on local stages and TV. Shannon is a proud recipient of two Po'okela Awards.