This adventurous story, featuring students in Grades 6-8, was directed and choreographed by Anna Brink. Also leading was Assistant Director Mara Wright, Vocal Director Adele Enns, Technical Director Jim Jung, and Stage Manager Sherry Rambacher.
Disney’s Moana JR. brings the adventures of Moana and her village of Motunui to life onstage. This thrilling and heartwarming coming-of-age story followed the strong-willed Moana as she set sail across the Pacific to save her village and discover the truth about her heritage. Moana and the legendary Maui embarked on an epic journey of self-discovery and camaraderie. With empowering messages of bravery and selflessness, Moana JR. brought out the hero within each of us.
Georgia Myers was outstanding as Moana. She beautifully carried the role with her strong vocal skills. Alexandra Brown played the part of Maui with a hilarity and unique sass to the role. Both talented students had fantastic chemistry together on stage.
Equally impressive were the four chief ancestors, played by Sophia Thompson, Anna Hillis, Ava Stiglitz, and Anna Browning. Their solos and harmonies together were beautiful and strong. Claire Ballish was charming as Gramma Tala. The parts of Pua and Hei Hei were delightfully played by Jacob Noh and Ellie Meade. Beckham Romanello and Mackenzie Lorenz each did a fantastic job playing the roles of Chief Tui and Sina. Nora Lundgren did a great job playing the villainous giant crab, Tamatoa.
The actors and student production team brought the stage to life with special effects. The ocean was portrayed by students dancing and moving waves, led by talented Claire Fancett. The vision of Te Ka transforming to Te Fiti (played brilliantly by Lucy Beatty) was quite impressive.
Director Anna Brink shared her thoughts of the show in the playbill. An excerpt from this one is as follows:
“What I think is so beautiful, is that Moana doesn’t have it all together when she decides to follow the calling. She’s not sure who she is or why she can’t feel content like everyone else. She doesn’t even know how to sail. But she knows she’s being called, so she goes.”
I love the lyrics in “Song of the Ancestors” as Gramma Tala and the Chief Ancestors sing to Moana toward the end of her adventure:
Sometimes the world seems against you
The journey may leave a scar
But scars can heal and reveal just where you are
The people you love will change you
The things you have learned will guide you
And nothing on earth can silence
The quiet voice still inside you
And when that voice starts to whisper,
“Moana, you’ve come so far.”
Moana, listen…Do you know who you are?
“When she steps out to follow the calling, it’s then and only then that the process begins – it sets in motion the scars, the healing, the experiences, and the learning. The act of going leads Moana to find out who she is…and save her island at the same time.
This is so true of God’s plans for us! The Holy Spirit whispers, “Go.” And we don’t have to have our act together. We don’t have to totally know who we are yet, or what’s going to happen. We only have to obey the calling.”
CHCA’s Fine Arts Director Mona Summers shared of the show, “Congratulations to the cast, crew, and Directors on an outstanding show. Together as one, they all stayed positive through all the challenges and changes and created a fun and great experience for their audiences.”
Bravo to the entire cast, student production team, and directors!
The show is one of seven theatrical productions at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy this year. Mark your calendars now to attend these remaining Upper School productions: 42nd Street (March 11-13), Academy Night Live (April 22-23), and The One Act (May 10).
To learn more about Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, visit chca-oh.org.