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Auditions for Disney’s Moana Jr. start today

PUHI — The Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre announces auditions for “Disney’s Moana Jr.” will take place today and Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Puhi Theatrical Warehouse.

The casting call is for anyone 12 years and older, and potential cast members must wear face masks during the audition, and if selected, during the performances that take place in November. They must also be vaccinated against COVID-19. HCT invites experienced performers as well as novices who love the story to audition.

The performance is scheduled for Nov. 19 through 28 at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in adherence to the prevailing COVID-19 rules at that time.

“We are so excited for the opportunity to bring Moana to the stage for the Kaua‘i community,” said the production director Rebecca Hanson. “This production will not only be the Kaua‘i premiere but the premiere in the state of Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre will be presenting ‘Disney’s Moana Jr.’ for the first time in the state.”

HCT President Dolly Kanekuni said the board selected this one-hour version of the show to allow for social distancing and no intermission as compared to the usual full-length version with a 20-minute intermission.

“This version of the show tells the full story, and is open to children ages 12 and older, and adults,” Kanekuni said. “It takes a village to create the world of Moana, and we are excited to tell this story of resilience, this year.”

“Disney’s Moana Jr.” tells the thrilling and heartwarming coming-of-age story of following the strong-willed Moana as she sets sail across the Pacific Ocean to save her village and discover the truth about her heritage. Moana and the demigod Maui set sail on the epic journey of self-discovery and camaraderie as the pair learn to harness the power that lies within.

“Moana is a wonderful message of self-discovery and believing in who you really are,” Hanson said. “Giving our kids and the community the opportunity to explore that through this show and live theatre is a blessing. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘Junior’ in our show title. The ‘junior’ merely indicates how long the show is. Selecting a ‘junior’ production means that we have a one-hour show that will allow for more featured parts.”

Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre has successfully presented performances over the past year, including virtual and in-person performances to be compliant with the COVID-19 pandemic requirements for health and safety. The Fall Show — this year being “Disney’s Moana Jr.” — was not held last year. This year, the show has been modified to allow for more social distancing and be in compliance with all state-required and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended guidelines because the safety of children and parents is paramount.

“The pandemic put a huge stop on the arts, and live theatre,” Hanson said. “We are now in a place where we can produce a theatre production with safety protocols in place. Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre did a superb job this summer with social distancing, small cast sizes, and outdoor performances that allowed our keiki to participate in our theatre programs once again. Now, we are excited to move forward with our Fall Show.”

Kanekuni said HCT is working closely with the County of Kaua‘i to meet all required parameters, and monitoring changes in the pandemic so the program can take place safely while creating an environment inspiring the island’s youth to build their skills, share teamwork, and express their individual creativity.

One of those conditions is all performers must be vaccinated that limits Fall Show participation to ages 12 years and up.

“If anyone can do it, Hawai‘i Children’s Theatre can,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack of the HCT board. “We’ve eight successful productions done during this pandemic.”

Information: 246-8985, visit www.hawaiichildrentheatre.org., or email info@hawaiichildrenstheatre.org.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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