It’s A Wrap For LCC’s Paul Cra­vath

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - Front Page - By CHRIS FLECK

Hav­ing been the drama di­rec­tor for Lee­ward Com­mu­nity Col­lege for the past 34 years, Paul Cra­vath has de­cided that his lat­est the­atri­cal pro­duc­tion, Arg­onau­tika, also will be his last. But he knows he is leav­ing on a high note.

“In a sense I am leav­ing at the top of my game,” said Cra­vath. “I had been the lynch­pin or hub of the wheel for so long, and now I’m leav­ing with a tremen­dous, ca­pa­ble pro­duc­tion team in place.

“Our pro­duc­tions have got­ten big­ger and more profitable — it’s won­der­ful what we have here. This theater is filled with en­ergy.”

Arg­onau­tika, which pre­mieres Fri­day and runs through Nov. 20, is an­other un­pub­lished work writ­ten by Tony Award-win­ner Mary Zim­mer­mann that LCC will bring to life. This will be the fifth play by Zim­mer­man’s that LCC will per­form, the last of which was Jour­ney to the West in 2008.

Arg­onau­tika is the clas­sic Greek tale of Ja­son and the Arg­onauts’ quest for the Golden Fleece. Aided by the gods, the Arg­onauts thwart treach­er­ous kings, ma­t­ri­ci­dal women, harpies and sea ser­pents.

Among the Arg­onauts are mighty Her­a­cles, twins Cas­tor and Pol­lux, and fa­thers of the yet-to-be-born Achilles, Odysseus and Ajax.

It is said the tale is a tes­ta­ment to the Arg­onauts’ re­silience as well as a chron­i­cle of the sig­nif­i­cance of their sea ves­sel, Ar­gos. By leg­end, it de­notes the first use of sails al­low­ing for travel be­yond the sight of shore. The im­me­di­ate threat the Arg­onauts face is that trav­el­ing in this man­ner is seen as a chal­lenge to the gods of sea and wind.

It is the start of a new era of free­dom for mor­tals and per­haps a change in re­la­tion­ship with the gods.

“ Arg­onau­tika is a fan­tas­tic spec­ta­cle with mod­ern im­agery, live or­ches­tra, un­usual in­ter­na­tional in­stru­ments, in­ter­est­ing cos­tum­ing and a cast of 38, which is quite rare in the­atri­cal pro­duc­tion these days,” said Cra­vath.

Cra­vath, who has lived in Hawaii for 40 years, will be launch­ing an ad­ven­ture of his own af­ter this show.

“I am ac­tu­ally go­ing to be leav­ing Hawaii be­hind and head­ing to Min­nesota, to the land of my an­ces­tors, hav­ing in­her­ited land and prop­erty that has been in my fam­ily for 160 years,” he said.

Show times are 8 p.m. Nov. 12-13 and 18-20, and 4 p.m. Nov. 14. Tick­ets cost $10 for chil­dren un­der 10, $15 for stu­dents, se­niors and mil­i­tary, and $18 for adults.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to pur­chase tick­ets, call 455-0385 or visit etick­

There will be an open­ing­night re­cep­tion from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Fri­day in the theater court­yard with Greek food, cham­pagne, wine and the op­por­tu­nity to meet Cra­vath and fight chore­og­ra­pher Tony Pis­culli.

Cost to at­tend is $50, with a $25 tax-de­ductible do­na­tion to be made to the per­form­ing arts depart­ment through the UH Foun­da­tion.

Dead­line for reser­va­tions is Nov. 8. Call 455-0380.

(Front, from left) Jonathan Ju­mayao, An­thony Czu­malowski, Harold Wong, Daniel Grif­fin, (back) Ka‘ui Leleo and Ikaika Cleghorn play myth­i­cal Greek he­roes in ‘Arg­onau­tika,’ premier­ing Fri­day at LCC The­atre. Photo by Don­ald J. Ran­ney.

Paul Cra­vath

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