CTAA and ITS: The Show Must Go On

Isabella Makino, Reporter

     The Central Theatre Arts Academy (CTAA) and International Thespian Society (ITS) continue to educate and involve students in acting activities despite COVID-19. In the past, CTAA has put on productions like “Once On This Island” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Mililani High School’s ITS, a club run by CTAA for acting students, holds events for members to perform and share talents.

     “Just creating with these people is so great because they’re all so talented and imaginative,” ITS Secretary Junior Jacob Beattie said. “And it’s always a good product, even if you have to modify things.”

     CTAA usually did two shows a year, which included a straight play in the fall and a musical in the spring. They also held classes in Play Production, which focused on working on and creating aspects of a production, like making sets and costumes. Due to COVID-19, though, these classes are now online. Instructors teach classes that focus on technical theatre skills like lighting, set design, costume design, or music and dance. The classes go into more depth and are more structured, as students hone in on one or two skills.

     “We’re not like, just dropping our activities—we still have activities and we’re still trying to engage with our members as much as possible,” Events Coordinator Senior Krislyn Miyamoto said. “It’s just moved to a digital platform.”

     ITS has held events such as Art After Dark, which featured students performing songs, dances, and sharing their talents. Storybook Theatre was another project they worked on as well. It gave members an opportunity to record videos of themselves telling stories. The recordings were later sent to elementary schools like Mililani Waena Elementary School for students to enjoy. Other events have been created to adjust to distance learning as well.

     “We’re mainly focused on our club meetings, so we have Fantastic Fridays in which we come together as a club and we play acting games or we just get to know each other, or we share talents, like we’ve had someone share how to cook crepes,” Miyamoto said. “We’ve had someone share how to draw a name plate and things like that.”

     Fantastic Friday is a new social event created because of distance learning.  It happens about twice a month on Fridays to share talents, relax, and have fun together.

     “I see the friendships and the bonds that come out from being in Play Production, and I think students really feel like it’s a special place for them to belong,” ITS advisor and acting teacher Carolyn Chung said.

     The club will continue to do these social events in the future. One project in the works features the Iliad and Odyssey, as well as other elements of Greek Mythology, but more details will be determined later. For more information, visit CTAA’s Instagram, @centraltheatrearts, or ITS’s Instagram, @mhs.its.