Second of two articles (Part two)

Greg Zane, director-choreographer of “A Chorus Line,” center, is flanked by Dwayne Sakamoto (Paul) and Kira Stone (Cassie), right, in the Diamond Head Theatre musical opening July 16 at Diamond Head Theatre.

Kira  Stone, who considers herself a dancer first and foremost, makes no bones about portraying
Cassie, in the Diamond Head Theatre revival beginning Friday (July 16).

“John (Rampage,  DHT’s artistic director) contacted me, while I was in school at New York University,”
said Stone, 20, who called Cassie “the dream role for a triple threat.”

She has island roots and had been studying acting at Tisch School
of The Arts in the Big Apple, but the opportunity to embrace this bountiful
as dancer, singer and actor – hit a nerve.

She was at NYU when rehearsals started here, back in early
June, so it wasn’t till June 12 when she returned to Hawaii to join her cohorts
in the flesh.
“I’ve been dancing since I was 2 and doing the role (rehearsing) in a 5-foot
space in my apartment was challenging, since dancing drives this show,” said
Stone. “But I also was still finishing a prior project at school, so viewing
the footage was exciting.”

Early provisions were made locally to tape rehearsal
footage, which she would watch late at night, and try to do some of the

With two more years of academic training remaining at NYU,
enacting the Cassie part provides her practical life lessons to tap her
triple-threat skills.

“Honestly, a lot of the feeling of the music is in the body,
and it’s what I love about dance,” she continued. “We move to the music, and I
love the freedom inside. The movement is in touch with the body, expressed by
what you feel.”

Because she was invited to play Cassie, rather then going
through the anticipatory wishes of “I need this job, I hope I get it,” as
expressed by the ensemble of the performers in “A Chorus Life.”

She realizes she’s building up to the point of her solo
whirls and twirls in front of the show’s iconic mylar backdrop, that multiplies
her movements as she prances from one end of the stage and back, reflections of
which she experiences and relayed to the watchful audiences.
At 9, she played Marta in DHT’s “The Sound of Music.” Among her unique credits
here:  she was a back-up singer for
Broadway musical star Matthew Morrison, who staged a concert in 2020 at the
Hawaii Theatre, before the lockdown due to the pandemic.

Besides dancing, she is a pop songwriter and has staged
performances at the New York Muiscal Festival, 54 Below and other venues. She
enjoys the process of creating and composing music and lyrics which lead to  tunes/stories for vocalists. Her first Spotify
single, “Peter Pan,” drew more than a half-million plays when first released on

At Tisch, she is seeking a well-rounded academic portfolio. “It’s
about acting, voice, movie work,” she said. “Even clown improv, and voice
lessons, and academic theater. Last Semester, I studied playwriting. I want the
full experience.”

Though she has family in the islands, the ohana is making a move
to Washington state, since her brother has graduated from high school. “At
home, I do cardio, running, some time at the beach,” said Stone. But with a move
imminent, and her singular plans to head back to NYU,
“I’ll be bi-coastal,” she said.

“A Chorus Line” begins Friday (July 16) at Diamond Head Theatre.
It’s a defining musical about chorus line hopefuls, who yearn to land a role in
an upcoming show. Performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, at 3
p.m. Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays, extended through Aug. 8. Social distancing
protocols in place. Greg Zane directs and choreographs. Detai

Earlier: an interview with Greg Zane, director-choreographer of “A
Chorus Line.”

The famous line-up, in “A Chorus Line,” which runs Jul;y 16 through Aug.8, in what looms like a sellout.

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