The show goes on: Aloha Theatre announces new artistic director, 2020-21 season

  • The Ancestors dance with death in the Aloha Performing Arts production of Addams Family: A New Musical at the Aloha Theatre in October 2018. (Laura Ruminski/West HawaiiToday)

  • Tracey

  • The Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file)

  • All of the beloved characters from the classic tale are gathered for Alice’s “examination” in the Aloha Performing Arts presentation of “Wonderland” at the Aloha Theatre in June 2018. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today, file)

  • The ensemble dances to ABBA songs in the Aloha Performing Arts Company production of Mamma Mia! at the Aloha Theatre in February 2019. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today, file)

  • Booth

The Aloha Theatre has selected its next artistic director.

Following a months-long process, Courtney Booth was selected from an extensive pool of applicants for her passion for theater, experience, and commitment to Hawaii’s diverse community, according to theater officials. She will assume the role July 1.

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“On behalf of the Aloha Theatre, I am pleased to welcome Courtney Booth as our new artistic director. Courtney’s vision and leadership will play a critical role in the next stage of the theatre’s growth and service to the West Hawaii community,” said Christe Edwards, chairperson of the theater’s Board of Directors.

Most recently, Booth served as Upper School Theatre Arts Director at the American Renaissance Academy School of the Performing Arts in Kapolei, Oahu. She has performed and directed in Honolulu and in regional theaters on the mainland.

Booth holds a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from the University of Houston with a focus in acting and directing. She also has certification in theater arts instruction.

Booth will follow retiring Artistic Director Jerry Tracy.

“I am ecstatic to be named incoming artistic director of the Aloha Theatre, and it is an honor to inherit such a wonderfully rich legacy of artistic excellence in the community. I have a fierce passion for theatre and an extensive professional background in performing arts, and I’m thrilled to bring my creativity, experience, and knowledge from Ewa Beach to Kainaliu,” Booth said.

The theater also recently announced its upcoming 2020-21 mainstage season that’s slated to kick off in August.

“We’re excited to announce our selections for the new season. We may need to make more changes as we all experience the new normal, and appreciate your patience. We are planning carefully to make sure the theatre is as safe as possible for our theatre ‘Ohana, and will be following cleaning and distancing protocols recommended by the CDC and state and county officials,” an announcement on the theater’s website reads. “We’re looking forward to taking the stage again for a new season of great theatre!”

• Opening the season is the “Laramie Project” directed by Tracy and set to run Aug. 14 to 30. This powerful drama by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project examines the impact of the death of Matthew Shepherd, brutally beaten and left to die simply because he was gay. It is a breathtaking collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable. This performance will be Tracey’s farewell production at the Aloha Theatre.

• Next up is the “Voices from the Ring of Fire Series,” which will run Oct. 9 to 25. The second installment features two one-act plays by Bryan Wake celebrating Hawaiian surfing legends: “Eddie Would Go” and “Queen of Makaha Rell Sun.” Originally developed for Honolulu Theatre for Youth, the plays tell the stories of Eddie Aikau and Rell Sunn, whose courage and determination gave hope to many throughout the state and beyond.

• The theater will present “Frozen Jr.” from Dec. 4 to 20. Based on the 2018 Broadway musical, Frozen Jr. brings Elsa, Anna, and the magical land of Arendelle to life onstage. The show features all of the memorable songs from the animated film, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. The Aloha Theatre’s young actors will tell this story of true love and acceptance between sisters, expanding on the emotional relationship and journey of Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood.

• The first show of 2021 will be “Little Shop of Horrors,” which is slated to run Feb. 12 to March 14. One of the longest running off-Broadway shows, this charmingly tongue-in-check comedy has devoted the hearts of theater-goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken created this deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash. The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn, but its true intent is global domination.

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• Following “Little Shop of Horrors” will be “Noises Off,” which presents a manic menagerie of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called Nothing’s On. Doors slamming, on and offstage intrigue, and an errant herring all figure in the plot of this hilarious and classically comic play by Michael Frayn. This performance will run June 4 to 20.

The Aloha Theatre serves the West Hawaii community by producing live theater, providing performing arts education for all ages and abilities, and offering a venue for creative expression for all genres of the performing arts. For more information, visit www.alohatheatre.com.

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