Let your light shine

All year long, the Gates Performing Arts Center (GPAC) radiates creative energy as Lower, Middle, and Upper School students take the stage. Through classes, co-curricular activities, and mainstage productions, HPA offers all the opportunity you need to explore theatre for the first time or deepen your performance skills. Theatre builds confidence, cooperation, and creative thinking—abilities that serve our students well in every subject. Whether you are on stage or in the audience, stepping into the story of another place, time, or character gives us all a greater understanding of the world and ourselves. As a community, we celebrate these moments when the curtain goes up and our students find the spotlight.

Lower School

As part of performing arts class, every child plays a part in their grade’s annual musical. Production themes connect to topics being discussed in the classroom each year. In addition, students offer a beautiful May Day performance that is the highlight of our Hawaiian Studies program. During these early years, theatre and music help our students recognize their creative talents and develop their skills step-by-step in each grade of our integrated curriculum.

Middle School

In sixth to eighth grades, students begin to access a wider range of electives in addition to required performing arts class. Seventh- and eighth-graders can choose acting or musical theatre, along with related topics of public speaking and debate. They are introduced to expanded forms of expression such as monologues, interpretive readings, puppetry, and mime. Like their Lower School counterparts, they also mount musical and dramatic productions in GPAC.

Upper School

All first-year students are introduced to foundational theatre skills in our Fundamentals of the Arts class. With this base, they can take intermediate electives in acting, acting for camera, technical theatre and improv comedy, as well as other specialties. Advanced students form the core of our Ka Makani players, who present the fall musical and spring dramatic productions each year. Our students graduate ready for college-level theatre programs and for a lifetime of poised public presentation.

People of HPA

Every opening night at Gates Performing Arts Center gives me chicken skin, even after all these years. Seeing all of our hard work and the actors’ efforts up there on that stage, coming to life for a live audience.”

Jared Terpak, fine arts department chair

I believe that the best stage managers are people who easily adapt to difficult situations. From rehearsals to performances, unpredictability is a major factor in everything you do, no matter your role. Being able to keep a cool head and positive demeanor helps everyone else stay calm.”

Violet Stevenson ’21
Alice: A Wonderful Musical at HPA

Take center stage

Discover the depth of our Upper School performing arts classes.