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.
Annie Yoshida is ecstatic to join this incredible production team again this summer. Annie is a choreographer and Adult Company member at 24-7 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, “The King & I” at Paliku Theater. Professionally, Annie is in her 16th 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.
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.
Jade Stice Finley 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. She is married to Windward Chiropractor Dr. James Finley and has three young children.
Lisa Herlinger-Thompson is a Bright Kid who grew up in Hawai`i 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 Ma`iki Aiu Lake tradition with Nā Lehua Melemele. Instagram: @PlateLunchDance
Daphnei Hussein is a graduate of Windward Community College where she earned an AA in Theatre Arts. She has been involved in several different plays and musicals such as The King & I with the IABK foundation, Love Local Style, A Walking Shadow, and Burning Memory with Windward Community College Performing Arts. Daphnei is also an alumni of the Nanakuli Performing Arts Center where she volunteers with kids grades 4-12. She has also studied theatre, dance and vocal performance abroad in England and Los Angeles. Daphnei is very grateful for the opportunity to assistant direct for the IABK foundation and is blessed to be a part of keeping Mr.B’s legacy alive.
Moku Durant was born and raised in Maunawili, and in fact lived two doors down from Mr. B his whole life. He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and UH Manoa, where he earned his BA in English. He has been music director for several Keaka Kamehameha productions including Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and most recently, Into the Woods. Moku has been seen onstage as Piraguero in In the Heights at the brand new Leeward Theatre and as Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas at Diamond Head Theater. Moku is extremely excited and honored to work with the I’m a Bright Kid Foundation this summer.
Alex Durrant began his formal dance schooling at the Royal Ballet School He continued his studies at Elmhurst School for Dance, where he trained in modern dance, musical theater, tap and drama. He then moved to The Hammond School and finished in ballet and contemporary dance. Alex’s’s first job as a very young performer was with Birmingham Royal Ballet in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as the Changeling. He was also fortunate enough to perform with The English National Ballet when he choreographed Swan Lake for performance in The Royal Albert Hall. His first musical was Beauty and the Beast on the West End, taking the role of the acrobatic Carpet and understudying the role of Lefou. He has also danced in the musical Cats where he played three different roles: Mistoffelees, Bill Bailey and Mungojerry. Along with his extensive roles in Cats, he was also part of the musicals The Fantasticks, Peter Pan and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He also worked with the English National Opera in Eugene Onegin.