Photo by Faustine Miura
On Oct. 31, the International Thespian Society (ITS) hosted their Storybook Theatre event at the Mililani Public Library. The purpose of the event was to read and act out story books for little kids to enjoy in hopes of inspiring them to gain an interest in theatre.
“Obviously, we want to keep kids entertained, but we want to give back to the community and find people who have a passion for theatre that may want to join us when they’re old enough in the theatre community and be inspired by the way we do our simple little books and exaggerate a book into an actual performance and then maybe they can come and follow up in our footsteps later on,” said ITS Vice President Junior Ian McCarty.
Since the event fell on Halloween, the club made an attempt to fit themes that focused on the holiday. They also chose stories relating to the fall season. “We chose these types of stories because they emphasize the fall/Halloween (theme). We tried to make it a Halloween-theme with creeping them out with The Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and Pumpkin Day was a harvest festival kind of thing,” said McCarty.
Time constraints were a big challenge the club had to deal with. In hopes of overcoming this, ITS members practiced their individual parts during their own time and focused their rehearsals on finalizing details and fixing mistakes. “There were times where we weren’t able to get all the lines memorized in time, so we were cramming last minute. Sometimes, we just messed up on the lines altogether, messed up on the blocking, which is the movements. And sometimes, people just didn’t show up, so we had to work around that,” said ITS member Junior Marcus Otaka. ITS President Senior Rina Oseto added, “We had a lot of rehearsals, but it was just a little bit hard for all of us to concentrate sometimes, and a lot of us have other classes to work about, other things to worry about, and so that might have also been a little hard for people to concentrate on this one thing that’s just a club.”
Not only did the kids enjoy the event, but so did the performers. They loved the kids’ reactions, and even the parents’ positive feedback. “I think the most enjoyable part about preparing these stories is the thought that, ‘Oh, we’re going to perform for little kids and they’re going to enjoy it.’ Even though it may be kinda hard for us, to practice and make time for this with our schedules and stuff, in the end, kids will be able to enjoy this and have fun,” said Oseto. McCarty added, “But I feel the parents there were very supportive and they were the ones who really brought the show together in a sense of making it all feel like a complete circle. We put in our effort, parents came and they enjoyed it, so I feel like that’s our reward and our payback.”
Despite the issues with time management, the members felt that the event itself was a success. They had managed to grow closer as a club and put together a good performance. “I’d say we worked together pretty nicely. We get stuff done, and we get it done working together,” said Otaka. McCarty added, “It’s just an experience of, you’re not just putting on a performance, but you’re making something out of it yourself, you’re building something out of what you have from nothing.”
The next Storybook Theatre is set for Feb. 14 at the Mililani Public Library, and the club is also hoping to host a Storybook Theatre for Waena Elementary School sometime during the spring.