Program Director – “Miguel” Michael K. Pa’ekukui is an Educator, Innovator and Curriculum expert who currently serves as the Dean of Personalized Learning at Saint Louis School. He holds a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Technology from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Hawaii (and the University of Guadalajara) and an Associate in Arts degree from Windward Community College.Miguel has worked as an actor with Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY), and was the Education Curriculum Director for ‘Ohi’a Productions bringing Lisa Matsumoto’s environmental shows to a new curricular standard. He helped author a preschool curriculum titled Flying, Floating, Swimming on behalf of ‘Ohi’a Productions for Kamehameha Schools, and managed the teaching and delivery of this program to all Kamehameha pre-school campuses on Oahu. Miguel has also performed in nearly 50 different local productions in the past 30 years, including Mr. B’s production of Les Miserables at Paliku Theatre.
Program Coordinator – Allan J.N. Lau is an elementary school teacher at Ka`imiloa Elementary School in Ewa Beach. A graduate of `Iolani School, the University of Hawai`i and Chaminade University, he has a B.A. in Speech and an M.Ed in Elementary Education, along with dual licensure with the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board in elementary education and special education. He also is the director of the NextGen Company at 24-VII Danceforce Studio in Kane`ohe. Allan began his affiliation with Mr. Bright as a dancer in Flower Drum Song, and performed in numerous CPAC shows under Mr. Bʻs direction. He was the first production manager for the Castle Performing Arts Center from 1985-1991. He then rejoined Mr. B at Paliku Theatre in 2003, serving as production manager again from 2005-2014.
Music Instructor – Moku Durant was born and raised in Maunawili and in fact grew up two doors down from Mr. B. He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and UH Manoa, where he earned his BA in English. In the Fall of 2020, he will begin his MFA program in acting at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. He has been music director for several Keaka Kamehameha productions including Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Into the Woods, and most recently, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, among many others. Moku has also been seen onstage as Piraguero in In the Heights at Leeward Theatre, as Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas at Diamond Head Theater, and most recently as the Bank Manager in Once at Mānoa Valley Theatre. Moku is extremely excited to be back this year teaching music for the I’m A Bright Kid Foundation Summer Program.
Music Instructor – Sarahlea Gamiao Kekuna is the elementary music teacher at Mid-Pacific Institute. She holds a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Masters in Education with a Curriculum and Instruction emphasis from Chaminade University. She served as the vocal director for the Palikū Academy of Performing Arts and also directed, choreographed, and musical directed the middle school musical productions at Mid-Pacific Institute’s School of the Arts. Sarahlea is also a performing artist and a Po`okela Award recipient who studied under the direction of the late Ronald E. Bright since the age of 9. She has performed and played numerous leads with the Castle Performing Arts Center, Army Community Theatre, `Ohia Productions, Diamond Head Theatre and Paliku Theatre. Her favorite roles to date are wife to her husband and mother to her three children.
Acting and Vocal Coach – Jade Stice was born and raised in Kane`ohe and is an alumni of Castle High School. As young child, she participated in local arts education – taking gymnastics and ballet on the Windward side. Beginning in middle school and throughout her early college years, she was fortunate to have worked with Ron Bright. Through Mr. Bright’s guidance and preparation, Jade was cast in the Original Broadway Company of Miss Saigon in 1991. Other notable successes in NYC include a national tour of Jekyll & Hyde, performing solos at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and working with award winning composers such as Brian Yorkey, Jason Robert Brown and lyricist Tim Rice. She is currently the state program manager for Family Hui Hawaii, is a certified natural childbirth educator and an advocate for women and children’s health and well being.
Dance Instructor – Annie Yoshida is ecstatic to join this incredible production team again this summer. Annie is a choreographer and Adult Company member at 24-VII Danceforce where she feels blessed to share the love of music and dance with young people. A few of her favorite shows she has been part of include Miss Saigon, Les Miserables and most recently, Children of Eden at Paliku Theater. Professionally, Annie is in her 18th year teaching Pre-Kindergarten at Le Jardin Academy in Kailua. On Sunday mornings she can often be found singing and teaching music at Harris United Methodist Church, where she has been a member since she was a child.
Dance Instructor – Lisa Herlinger-Thompson (MA, BA) is a Bright kid who grew up in Hawaiʻi and teaches elementary school Dance in the New York City Department of Education. She received her MA in Dance Education from New York University, where she received a Susan Carol Hersh Scholarship, was awarded Outstanding Graduate Student in Dance Education, and participated in the outreach company Kaleidoscope Dancers II. Lisa was a participant in NYU’s first Dance Education Study Abroad Program to Uganda in 2006 and has presented at the National Dance Education Organization Conference on this topic. She was a founding member of LIMBIC SIX, company member of Troika Ranch, and continues to perform and choreograph in NYC. Lisa also dances Hula in the Maʻiki Aiu Lake tradition with Nā Lehua Melemele. Instagram: @PlateLunchDance
Acting and Vocal Coach – Kathleen Stuart always credits her training at local Hawaii theater organizations for her solid foundation; it was her performance as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific under the direction of Ron Bright at CPAC that secured Kathleen a coveted spot at the stage conservatory Mountview Academy in London, England. Favorite roles in New York and regionally include: Eva Peron in Evita, Colleen Dewhurst Theater; Ethel Merman in Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Rainbow Theatre Productions; Mother in Arthur Miller’s After The Fall, The Chain Theatre. The Kathleen Stuart Trio was formed in 2018, performing jazz and blues weekly in Times Square and in venues throughout New York City. Hawaii’s theatre community has continued to be a part of Kathleen’s career. In 2017 Kathleen was thrilled to return home to play Anna in The King and I (Po’okela Award) for the I’m A Bright Kid Foundation. Kathleen was honored to be brought home again last year by Manoa Valley Theatre for the role of Hannah Campbell in Allegiance (BroadwayWorld Award) which made its Honolulu debut at the Hawaii Theatre Center. Kathleen would like to acknowledge the teachers and directors in Hawaii’s theater and music programs. She is delighted to return to share what she has learned through her career and collaborate with the Bright Kids here today.