Dear DHT Ohana,
What I wrote in 2008...during the Great Recession.
“We are cautiously optimistic here at DHT. The year ahead is anybody’s guess. We have tightened our belts, but we are committed to not cutting our production values. What we put on our stage is our most important asset, from the actors to the orchestra to sets to the costumes. Theatergoers have come to expect professional quality here at DHT and we will uphold that standard. That means we will work even harder to generate contributions from our supporters, both corporate and individuals.
The arts are important to the health of our city. If we abandon the arts, we will emerge from this economic crisis, a diminished community.”
Wow. I thought we had challenges eleven years ago! The Great Recession looks tame compared to a pandemic! But the news is that we endured. We survived then and we will survive again. And today, we still believe in the arts and its importance to our community.
So, what’s next at DHT? We are still hoping for “Elf” for the holidays, but it looks a bit shaky. We’ll make that decision in a few weeks. Maybe we’ll offer another parking lot Drive-In, but holiday themed.
For January, we’re still planning a socially distanced “Steel Magnolias” with the priority of safety first. If that becomes problematic, we’ll substitute a smaller cast, one-act, drama. We’ll pivot, and then if we have to, we’ll pivot again.
My new mascot is a boxfish. His name is “Nimble” because that’s what boxfish are – agile and nimble. We need to be agile and nimble too. Happy swimming!
It was the second year of DHT's Broadway Bound Tour when a young 30-ish couple, Reynold Hong and his girlfriend Susan, showed up at the Bon Voyage party. We thought they had wandered into the wrong room at the Pacific Club. Practically everyone else in the room was, to put it delicately, quite a bit older and mostly retired! Turns out they were in the right place and were going on the trip for a very good reason... Reynold was planning to propose in Central Park! (which he did).
Old and young, the travelers on that 2006 trip really bonded over their NYC adventures, shopping, seeing shows—Reynold and Susan even went to a Giants game—and when they returned, many kept in touch, especially Reynold & Susan, Bert & Ellie Yamaguchi, and Clay & Jean Nagao. After the trip, the three couples exchanged numbers and agreed to meet for dinner, which evolved into bi-monthly get togethers coinciding with a show at DHT, as all were subscribers here.
Reynold and Susan's connection to DHT continued to grow with the birth of their daughter, Aspasia.
The Hong's introduced Aspasia to DHT when she was two years old with her first show "Annie" and their love for the theatre sparked an interest, as Aspasia took her first DHT class, beginning ballet/tap, at five years old. A series of classes in tap, hip hop, Broadway vocals followed, and Aspasia eventually auditioned for and was accepted into the DHT's Shooting Stars, where she is an active and enthusiastic member.
Now fourteen years after that first NYC trip, Reynold and Susan are proud parents of a Shooting Star and full-fledged volunteers, most recently seen directing traffic at our Sunset Serenade Drive Ins. They still keep in touch with their NYC-connected subscriber friends and affectionately remember that first Broadway Bound trip. It was most certainly the right room they walked in to, leading to a wonderful and continuing journey here at DHT.
Stuck at home with no performance outlet. What's a Shooting Star to do?
The Shooting Stars troupe does what it always does, which is to pivot with poise. Alumni and students, both new and seasoned, got creative with its annual "Broadway Medley" that brings together generations. We may be apart but we're still all in this together.
Press play and enjoy this collaboration of collective Shooting Stars talent. Mahalo to so many including the volunteers and performers. Alumnus Kira Stone served as dance instructor. Accompanist Judy Yoshioka recorded the backing track. Luke Ellis edited and produced the video.