What a great drama teacher meant to us

By Vicki Machado posted 03-03-2014 19:53

Jim Nakamoto, drama teacher extraordinaire who continued into retirement as a community theater director, passed away last October. His wish was that his alumni and friends reunite not for a funeral but for a show — a "celebration," to use one of his favorite words. Having done one reunion show before, in 1998, many of us grads knew this was always his way.

"Mr. Nak" taught and directed for decades at McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has directorial ties to East West Players in Los Angeles and community theater in the islands (Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Kumu Kahua).

On March 29 we will be "Celebrating Mr. Nak!" in a tribute show. We are raising money on Kickstarter to pay bills, primarily, but we're hoping there will be a sizable amount left for the school's use in reinvigorating its theater program.

As everyone knows, arts education has suffered in budget cuts nationally. Perhaps our fledgling fund can provide after-school support for a theater education experience.

Please check out our campaign here:


For more about our favorite teacher, visit the website,

email: celebratenak@gmail.com