KPAC is one of 29 Hawai`i State Department of Education Student Learning Centers (SLC); it is the only SLC on the island of Kaua’i. SLCs are designed to expand educational opportunities for students with special talents and interests. KPAC is NOT a club, but rather it is a COURSE for elective credit offered to all public and charter middle and high school students on the island.
KPAC was founded in 1986 by Arnold Meister. Arnold Meister served as the KPAC director until he retired in 1999. In 2001, Dennis McGraw became the KPAC coordinator and served until he retired in 2017. Rachel Lasky has served as KPAC Coordinator since January of 2020, following Chere Ellwood, who served from Fall 2017 to December 2019
By Patrick Green
Kaua’i High School is the host school for the high school program, but KPAC includes students from all three public high schools (Kapa’a HS, Waimea HS, & Kaua’i HS) as well as students from the charter school (Hawai’i Technology Academy). Therefore, classes are held after school.
Each Fall Semester, a play is produced and performed, usually at Kaua’i HS, to give students experiences in acting.
Each Spring Semester, a musical is produced and performed, usually at War Memorial Convention Hall, to give students experiences in musical theater (singing, dancing, and acting).
KPAC also offers courses in music (orchestra for the spring musical), scenic design and construction to students who attend the host school.
KPAC serves the three public middle schools on the island (WCMS, CKMS, and KMS). A teacher from each school is selected to direct a 30-minute play during the first semester of each school year. The three middle schools come together each fall to present performances of the Three 30-minute Middle School Plays at the War Memorial Convention Hall.
KPAC is dedicated to fostering the artistic and personal development of our students.
KPAC strives for excellence in theater training for middle and high school students. The medium of theater is used to engage, enlighten, and motivate our youth towards responsible, productive, and fulfilling lives as community members. We aim to provide broad access to theater experiences by reaching out across diverse backgrounds to engage youth from all across the island as both actors and audience. We work to ensure that each and every student who has the curiosity or the passion for theater has an equal opportunity to experience this life changing art form.
Experiences in theater build confidence, teach collaboration, and help young people to become better students and citizens. Theater provides a unique chance for self-discovery and individual expression through an open, supportive, and productive environment.
Artistic expression connects diverse groups of young people from different ages, races, ethnicities, genders, orientations, and socio-economic backgrounds. KPAC’s arms are open to all public middle and high school students. KPAC builds community by accepting and supporting each individual as a critical component of the whole.
Quality theater is achieved through maintaining and understanding artistic discipline and working toward a common vision. Dedication and commitment to personal excellence and authentic collaboration are essential in classes, rehearsals, and productions.