Summer Stars 2016 Staff

Rebecca  Hanson (Program Director/PM “James and the Giant Peach JR.”, Director)


Rebecca Hanson is returning for her third year of Summer Stars to lead the PM production of ‘James and the Giant Peach, Jr.’!  She previously directed ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland, Jr.’. She is also excited for her HCT ‘After Dark’ director debut with ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’!  Since earning her Bachelor’s Degree in theater in 2005, she has performed internationally with ‘Sesame Street Live!’ with fan favorites Zoe, Prairie Dawn, and the lovable fairy, Abby Cadabby, as well as performing as several mascots in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota. On Kauai, she has appeared as Sylvia in ‘Sylvia’, Kate Monster in ‘Avenue Q’, and more recently as Lizzie in ‘The Rainmaker’.

Bailey Hutton (Program Director/PM Stage Manager)

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Bailey has been involved with Hawaii Children’s Theatre for many years, both on and off the stage. He joined the PM staff of Summer Stars 2009-2015 as Intern, managed stage right tech crew in ‘Willy Wonka’, was the Assistant Director of ‘Scrooge, the Musical’, appeared as Thenardier in ‘Les Miserables’ and Franz in ‘The Sound of Music’. Bailey worked as Stage Manager for ‘Shrek, the Musical’, in 2014 and ‘Mary Poppins’ in 2015. He’s also appeared as a dramatic actor in many shows with KCP and WIT.  He presently works for Easter Seals Hawaii as a Program Assistant. He’s looking forward to helping create a magical GALA event and Broadway JR. production with our Summer Stars students!



Ed Eaton (AM Acting Teacher)

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Ed Eaton (HCT Executive Director) holds a degree in theatre from American University. For many years, he worked as a professional director for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Programs in the Mid-Atlantic States, after enjoying a professional acting career in both commercial theater and social outreach theater.  He returns to Kauai and Hawaii Children’s Theatre after a two-year absence. He had moved with his family to the Mainland in order to support his daughter’s (Raina Silver) acting career. Prior to moving to the Mainland, Ed directed Annie, Big River, Cinderella, Willy Wonka, Scrooge! The Musical, Godspell, and Les Miserables for Hawaii Children’s Theatre. He also directed the Pono Players program for HCT. Under Ed’s direction, Pono Players created successful anti-meth and anti-bullying programs, which toured Kauai’s schools. He was also a middle school and high school teacher at Island School. Ed is currently pursuing his Masters of Science in Education. His favorite roles are “Dad” to his two children Raina and Riley Silver and “Husband” to Jessica Silver. Ed feels extremely grateful to Hawaii Children’s Theatre for this opportunity to come back home to Kauai.


Carol Culver (AM Dance Teacher)


Carol Culver moved to Kauai in 1998 after a long successful career as a Broadway, TV and film dancer, choreographer, singer and actress. She has danced for many famous choreographers including Michael Bennett and Bob Fosse, and coached and choreographed many celebrities. She was assistant choreographer to Patricia Birch on several shows including the hit movie “Grease” in which she was also a featured dancer, and the Broadway production in which she also played Patty Simcox. In addition to running her own dance school on Kauai, Carol Culver Dance Academy, teaching ages 3 through adult, she has choreographed over 20 musical productions for Kauai Performing Arts Center and Hawaii Children’s Theatre. Last fall Carol directed and choreographed HCT’s successful production of “Mary Poppins”. 


Nina Saraos (AM Music Teacher/PM Musical Director)


Nina Saraos, who grew up on Kauai, is a pianist, composer and conductor. When she graduated from UH-Manoa with a degree in music a million years ago, she had no idea that she would get pulled into musical theatre. Most recently she served as the musical director for Hawaii Children’s Theatre’s production of ‘Shrek the Musical’ and ‘Next To Normal’ and Kauai Community Players’ production of ‘The Last Five Years’. She has also served as the musical director for HCT’s ‘The Sound of Music’, ’25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’, ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Rent’ and this will be her 8th adventure with Summer Stars. When Nina is not at the helm of the pit, at the piano or the podium, she can be found playing the violin with the Kauai Community College Orchestra. Nina currently works with Kauai High School’s band and chorus program and is the pianist for KPAC’s 2016 production of ‘Legally Blonde’. It’s no secret to her friends and family that she loves to procrastinate by cooking and baking.

Cher Ellwood (AM Workshop Teacher/PM Choreographer)
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Cher has always loved to dance, sing, act, and write for stage and/or film!  In 1977, after receiving a BA in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, NY, Cher embarked on an eight-year dancing career performing in musical revues in Las Vegas, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, and Japan.  Cher was an assistant choreographer for the Folie Bergere in Las Vegas and numerous productions of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and other musicals in CA, TX, and NY. She attended Regent University, in VA, where she choreographed a few musicals, wrote an original musical, earned an MA in Communication (scriptwriting), and met her husband of now 30 years, Gary Ellwood.  Together, she and Gary owned and operated a film and video production company in So Cal for six years. During this time, Cher also taught drama, wrote and/or directed and choreographed musicals, plays, or short scenes for private elementary, middle, and high schools and churches.  Since Cher moved to Kaua’i in 2009, she has performed with Kaua’i Chorale, Kaua’i Voices, and Kaua’i Community Players, worked as a technical assistant for Miss Saigon, and earned an Ed.D in Instructional Leadership from Grand Canyon University. She has also taught mathematics at Waimea High School, scriptwriting at KCC, and is currently teaching mathematics at Kaua’i High School and online education courses for the University of Phoenix. She taught acting classes for KPAC at CKMS and Kaua’i High School, and choreographed the HCT 2014 summer production of the Wizard of Oz and KPAC’s 2016 spring production of Legally Blonde.  Cher is excited to have this opportunity to participate in the Summer Stars Program and the HCT production of the James and the Giant Peach, Jr.

Dolly Kanekuni (AM Workshop Teacher)

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Dolly Kanekuni has been mastering voice her whole life.  Born in Italy and raised in Ohio, where she was active in theatre, choral ensemble and solo singing, Dolly received many awards from state performance competitions at an early age. She spent 15 years in Los Angeles, where she studied with Seth Riggs and was one of the founding members of his legendary Speech Level Singing Technique Teacher’s Association, served on their Education Management Team and taught vocal technique at the SLS International Summer Performance Camp for 8 years. She later deepened her study of vocal pedagogy by becoming an authorized instructor for Vocology In Practice (, a network of today’s leading voice professionals. In 1993, Dolly moved to Kauai to raise a family and has been working with students here and remotely worldwide for 24 years. She’s worked with every theatre company on Kauai as either Musical Director or vocal coach and her students continue to reach their vocal goals. She serves as President of the Hawaii Children’s Theatre and performs at special events, in musical theatre and with several local bands. When not teaching, performing or furthering her vocal knowledge she can be found with her family, learning songs on a sun-drenched beach on Kauai’s west side.

Jarhett Gaines (AM Workshop Teacher) 


Jarhett’s been doing theater on Kauai for almost 20 years, both onstage and off. In recent years, he’s spent more time behind the scenes; teaching students to build sets for the last 12 High School productions with KPAC, and working the technical side of HCT’s ‘Shrek’ and ‘Mary Poppins’. He also recently played Capt. VonTrapp in HCT’s ‘The Sound of Music,’ Brian in ‘Avenue Q,’ Kaffee in KCP’s ‘A Few Good Men,’ and Kenny in ‘Laughter on the 23rd Floor.’ By day, Jarhett works as a contractor and Handyman, and raises his own two melodramatic sprouts with his wife Erin Gaines (also a familiar face to the Kauai stage.) This will be Jarhett’s 5th year working with Summer Stars.

Bobbee Downs (AM Workshop Teacher)

Bobbee was the first Artistic Director and co-founder of HCT, which was preceded by Kauai Kids at Play, beginning in 1987. A graduate of Yale University Children’s Theatre program, she brings forty years of experience to the program. She’s old! Though retired she is always interested in the ongoing development of the aesthetic values and activities for kids in HCT. With an undergraduate degree in Hair & Makeup she loves coming back once a year for this workshop. Having directed over 300 productions she still finds it amazing to get paid to play!

Corissa Barrett (AM Keiki At Play Teacher)
Corissa has been enamored with theatre since the age of 5 and has worked toward a well-rounded comprehensive theatre experience through ‘hands-on’ learning. From Costume Assistant to Stage Manager for many of HCT’s big fall productions and lots of theatrical roles in between, she’s discovered this is where she’s meant to be. Her early years as a Summer Stars student led to  her program involvement as assistant teacher/intern, and now leading a class of her own. she looks forward to the opportunity to pass on her knowledge, theatre skills and love of story telling to this year’s Keiki. She’s thrilled to work with the next potential batch of Thespians,  through the fun of Summer Stars!

Isaac Worth (Intern Capt. and PM Asst. Stage Manager)
Isaac has been working with Hawaii Children’s Theater now for three years. “I can’t help it, the kids are great!”, he often chuckles. From child wrangler, to Asst. Stage Manager, Props Mgr. and Acting coach, HCT keeps him very busy, dubbing himself a “Summer Stars ‘swiss army knife'”. He’s also appeared in many fantastic acting and singing roles for HCT, KCP and WIT. Isaac is very much looking forward to another year of Summer Stars!