MRS. GENEVA ESGUERRA (PROGRAM DIRECTOR/TECHNICAL THEATRE INSTRUCTOR) is honored to be the new CTAA Drama Program Director for the 2022-2023 season. A CTAA alumni, she has been an instructor since 2007 with a brief hiatus in the 2014-15 season. She studied theatre at Leeward Community College and achieved her Bachelors Degree from Chaminade University. Geneva has been involved in the construction and production of various shows across the Island including Tony and Tina’s Wedding (MVT), Little Shop of Horrors (MVT), It’s A Wonderful Life (MVT), The Importance of Being Earnest (HPU), and Alice In Wonderland (DITR).

SHANNON NAKATA (CHOREOGRAPHER) began dancing in 1989 at DanceWorks, under the direction of Simeon Den and Marie Takazawa.  Shannon has performed with DanceWorks, Big City Productions, SLAM Dance Company, and Dance Central.  She has also been a cast/crew member in Lisa Matsumoto’s  The Princess and the Iso Peanut, the Once Upon One Time trilogy, and The Christmas Gift of Aloha. She graduated from the University of Hawai’i with a degree in elementary education, and currently works at Kipapa Elementary as the performing arts assistant. She also teaches and choreographs for Leeward YMCA’s Dance Central, The Paliku Academy of Performing Arts, and The Movement Center.

ELIZABETH BAKER (VOCAL DIRECTOR) is thrilled to return to her alma mater with the program that cultivated her love for the performing arts. She spends her days as the Choir Director of ʻIlima Intermediate School. If you remember the time when CTAA shows were held in the MHS Cafeteria, you may recognize Elizabeth from some of her favorite credits including Mary Poppins (Mary), Little Shop of Horrors (Roxie), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia). Elizabeth graduated with her B.Ed. in Secondary Music Education (Choral) from UH Mānoa. Professionally, she serves the Western Region of the American Choral Directors Association as the Communications Coordinator, is an active member of both the Hawaiʻi Music Educators Association and the National Association for Music Education, and sings with Nā Wai Chamber Choir.

On Leave – CAROLYN TAIRA (PROGRAM DIRECTOR) Cari Taira is the Director of Central Theatre Academy of Arts.  She is also a Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director and resident stage director for Ohana Arts.  She was born and raised in Mililani, Hawaii, where her passion for theatre began at Kipapa Elementary School with inspirational teacher, Mrs. Yvonne Toma. She attended Mililani High School, and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama from the University of Portland. Her principle instructors were acting professors Ed Bowen and Mindy Logan, and voice processor Jill Sotero. She has performed in productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sweet Charity, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Crucible, and The Wiz.  After spending 9 years as the director and program coordinator of the Hongwanji Mission School drama program, and 2 years at Pacific Buddhist Academy, she is excited to be back at Mililani High School.  Some of her directing credits include Peace On Your Wings, Seussical Jr., Peter Pan Jr., Annie Jr., Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Footloose, Oliver, The Wizard of Oz, Once On this Island Jr., and Little Mermaid Jr.