Donna Blanchard is a native of Northwest Indiana. She was recruited to join the Kumu Kahua team because of her unique background in both performing arts and business development and management. She joins Kumu Kahua with her passion for “theatre of place,” recognizing that this theatre is singular in its geographic and cultural commitment.
Most recently the Managing Director of Chicago Street Theatre in Valparaiso, Indiana, Donna has a BFA from the Professional Actors’ Conservatory of Wright State University. An award winning actor, director and producer, she has worked with theatres throughout the Continental Midwest.
Donna was named Distinguished Hoosier by Governor Mitch Daniels for her work as Managing Director of Chicago Street Theatre. Additional achievements include: Editorial Writer and Member of Editorial Advisory Board for the Northwest Indiana Times (second-largest newspaper circulation in Indiana); Speaker at Elmhurst College MBA Program on “Diversity in the Workplace, An Actor’s Perspective”; Speaker for Various Organizations on Art and Volunteerism in Our Communities; Past Board Member and Artistic Committee Chair of Chicago Street Theatre; Past Chair of Diversity Task Force, Merrillville Chamber of Commerce; Leadership Northwest Indiana Class #27 Graduate.
In addition to her career in the arts, Donna has 15 years of experience in the world of staffing and recruitment and has managed business development for 14 staffing offices across Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. She has also worked with the consultant team at Insight Strategic Concepts in Elkhart, Indiana to facilitate strategic alignment and success for their clients.
Harry Wong III was a Kumu Kahua Board member from 1989 to 1997. In 1990 Harry received an Associate of Arts Degree from Honolulu Community College in 1987, a Baccalaureate in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii Manoa and in 1993, and went on to receive a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Direction from University of Hawaii Manoa. Harry has been the Artistic Director of Kumu Kahua since 1997.
While a guest lecturer at Windward Community College and Guest Director for Honolulu Theatre for Youth and The Actors Group (TAG), Harry has overseen all season selection and direction of productions, as well as the annual playwright contest, and also directs at least one production each year at Kumu Kahua.
Harry’s honors include:
Po‘okela for Play Directing for Topdog/Underdog, 2010
Outstanding Alumni Award, Honolulu Community College, 2010
Hawai’i Shakespeare Festival, Co-founder and Director, 2000
Individual Artist Fellow Grant for Theatre Directing, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, 1999
Princess Grace Award for Directing, 1996
Participant in the Young Director’s Lab at Lincoln Center Theatre, New York, 1996
Allen Lee Hughes Fellow, Arena Stage, Washington, DC, 1995-1996
Masako Sakamoto Scholarship for Acting, Kennedy Theatre, UHM