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LAPA Testimonials

“What LAPA means to me is you can be whatever you want to be. No one judges you how to do your parts. You can also be yourself and it doesn't matter how you do it.”

—Ewald, 7th grade


"Before moving to Hawaii, my theater experience had been somewhat pitiful. I wasn't good at what I did, but I desperately wanted to be an actor. LAPA has helped helped me to achieve my goals, it has forced me out of my self-critical shell and has helped my public speaking in so many ways. LAPA has become a sanctuary, and a place where I can be what I want to be. Before LAPA, I didn't like to sing.  Either I was embarrassed and was scared of my voice.  LAPA has helped me learn and be confident. I've found that working under Rick Sperling ( a well known director in Detroit) hasn't helped me as much as working under the LAPA directors.”

—Fiona, 11th grade


"To me LAPA means being able to have help with my singing, dancing, and acting, because those are some things I love doing and want to get better at.  To me, LAPA also means that I get to see my friends and make the really fun memories that I will always remember.”

—Kamiko, 7th grade


"LAPA is a place where I can explore the world of theater arts and improve myself in dance, singing, and acting so I have more options for a future career and wider variety of scholarships.”

—Adam, 10th grade


“What LAPA means to me is someplace where I can be myself and I don’t have to impress anyone.  LAPA is important to me because I get to do what I love: sing, dance, and act.  If I wasn’t in LAPA, I’d probably be getting into trouble because I would still be hanging out with people who are bad influences to me.  I’m glad I’m in LAPA because it’s like a second family.”

—Madison, 6th grade


“LAPA is really important to me because I can be myself around everybody and it’s a safe place for everyone to get along with each other.  It’s also really important to me because it’s a place where I can do what I love and enjoy it. If I wasn’t in LAPA, I probably wouldn’t be doing anything.”

—Asheya, 9th grade



“LAPA has become an instrumental part of my daughters life, as well as a large group of Lāna`i youth.   Living on a small island, we have limited choices of extra curricular activities other places offer.  LAPA offers a creative, positive, safe and fun place for our children to not only act and dance, but gain self confidence, learn teamwork and be part of group that gives back to our community.  

Our directors have given so much of their time to our children, it is truly a blessing! This program continues to grow and improve with each performance.  I know that by my daughter being a member of LAPA, she has gained tools for life that we may not have taught her.”

—Jenna, LAPA Parent/business owner (Local Gentry)


“When Elena was younger, she was so shy with new people, we (her family) and her best friend Mia had to speak for her.  In pre-school she had the lead in the Christmas play and go so nervous that she wouldn't speak and just sat on my lap - the setting was someone's house with only parents in attendance.  She started kindergarten and blossomed a bit, but still relied on Mia a lot.  We went to see LAPA's performance of 101 Dalmatians and Annie Jr. that year.  She loved the shows so much, she joined LAPA in 1st grade and had a speaking part in Getting to Know The Sound of Music. Anyone who knew her when she was younger could not believe that this was the same little girl.  She is now outgoing and loves acting and singing.  She has been able to travel with LAPA to see other shows on Maui - this has inspired her to keep practicing and do her best.  LAPA has turned our shy little girl who refused to speak into someone who is comfortable on stage with a microphone.  Amazing!”

                —Jennifer, LAPA Parent/Manager at Four Seasons Lanai


“There was a time that Cash (my son) was my dancing partner at gatherings.  That didn’t last as he got older, whether it be him getting older or not having as much confidence as before.


Getting him into LAPA was like pulling teeth and I worried because sports wasn’t working too well.  I hoped he would soar.  Soar he did, his confidence and reading went sky high! Not only that, I know he feels comfortable. Comfortable in his own skin and the way he is.”

                —Amy, LAPA parent 


“The Lanai Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA) has given our child, who was  extremely timid, an opportunity to blossom into a confident and matured 12 year old youth. Attending LAPA from 2014 to present has also taught our youth time management, responsibility, patience and being a team player. Thank you LAPA for bringing out the best in each of the children and youth that has participated in LAPA.”

—Denise, LAPA parent


“My son was having trouble fitting in, and LAPA has helped him greatly.  The directors helped him build self-esteem and how to feel like a part of a family.  Since joining, I’ve seen much social and emotional improvement.”

—Kelly, LAPA Parent/LHES Educator


“My children joined LAPA during a very sensitive time in their lives. They were emotionally drained and began to withdraw at school and at home. LAPA has become their safe place. Through each show, workshop, or event during these past 4 years, their self confidence has grown drastically.


These are not the same shy, scared children I once knew. 


These children in LAPA work hard to accomplish the challenges they are given.”

—Amanda, LAPA parent


“We are so grateful for the LAPA program.  This program has given my children the opportunity to express themselves freely. It is a creative outlet for self expression with no judgement. Art programs help children to relax and de-stress from everyday responsibilities and refocus to make them successful in the classroom and life.  The directors are great at their craft as well as role models for our youth.”

—Stacey and George Purdy, LAPA parents/Drone Services Hawaii


“LAPA gives the kids the opporutnity to learn self-confidence and poise. It also allows for pathways in art and performing, while strengthening literacy capabilites in children that attend LAPA.”

—Natalie Ropa,  Director LHES Foundation


“Every child is a star at Lanai Academy of Performing Arts. Over the years, I've enjoyed seeing children who were extremely shy blossom into talented young performers. Being a part of the LAPA ohana has helped them to excel in their classrooms too. LAPA is teaching them skills and values which they wll be able to carry into their future as confident young adults, ready to become contributing members of our society.”

—Alberta de Jetley, Lanai Today


“There are many benefits for students in the general education and especially for students for special education .  Because students with exceptonalities learn in a variety of ways, the kinesthetic, tactile, auditory, visual and multi-sensory approach learning environment that theatre offers gives our exceptional students a chance to learn and shine within the program. I love how the repetition of reading scripts for memorization not only encourages all children to learn to read, but often give all types of students a more confident voice. 


I've witnessed students with dislexia grow to become better readers with the motivation of being a part of LAPA. Studies show that exceptional students need mutlisensory approaches to learning which are easily accomplished through LAPA’s continued effort to educate through the arts for all students.”

—Jamie Hale, LHES Special Education teacher



“My students that are participants in LAPA are more comfortable volunteering in class, communicate their needs effectively, and read for enjoyment.  I wish all kids could have this type of exposure!”

—Kelly Roth, LHES 3rd grade teacher

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