Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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11-year-old girl shares connection with Patty Duke

By Ben Wood


KATHRYN JURBALA, 11, has the Helen Keller role in The Actors' Group production of "The Miracle Worker" April 22 to May 15. Director Laurie Tanoura said Kathryn took it upon herself to e-mail Patty Duke, who starred on Broadway in the play and in the movie. Kathryn, a Punahou fifth-grader, wrote: "Before the auditions, I watched your movie over and over. I had to do a five-minute nonspeaking monologue so I took parts of the movie making it into a little script. I studied your every move, trying to imitate you as best I could. I also blindfolded myself and put earplugs in my ears and walked around the house trying to get the real feel of how Helen felt. Believe me, I have practiced for hours and hours! Well, it paid off! I got the part! Thank you so much for your inspiration!" Kathryn added that her "beautiful dog, Rocky, watched the movie" with her repeatedly. She also invited Duke to visit Hawaii and stay with her family. The actress replied the next day, writing: "Congratulations for getting the wonderful role of Helen Keller. All your preparation and hard work will pay you countless dividends. How about this coincidence? At the same time you will be starring in 'The Miracle Worker,' I will be directing a production of it in Spokane, Wash., at the Interplayers Theater. We're both in for an adventure. I know Ms. Keller would be happy to know that a bright, thoughtful girl like you will be portraying her in this powerful story for the human spirit." ...

...The University of Hawaii law school's team of Keani Alapa and Max Kopper won the best advocate category in the National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition held at NYC's Columbia U. last weekend. UH's Elika Stimpson tied for third in the best oralist division. Sixty-six teams from around the country participated in the competition for students interested in federal Indian and tribal law. UH sent five teams and four made it to the top 16. Besides Alapa and Kopper, the other Hawaii teams were made up of Adam Roversi and Sherilyn Tavares, Maria Carmichael and Elika Stimpson, Jeannin Russo and Mark Jensen, and Tyler Gomes and Sarah Kaopuiki. The alternate was Ana Won Pat-Borja. Attorney Michael Green is beaming because Alapa, formerly with HPD, and Carmichael are law clerks in his office. He has already offered Alapa a job when he graduates in May. ... Mike had a role in the Feb. 7 episode of "Hawaii Five-0." He played a defense attorney, of course, and said he received calls from many mainland friends who saw the show. Former police chief Lee Donohue portrayed the judge in that episode. ...

...Congratulations to Lynne Waters, the new associate vice president for external affairs and university relations for the University of Hawaii System. She leaves her position as executive assistant for communications and community affairs for city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro. Lynne was a KITV news anchor in the 1980s and has run her own communications firm for many years. She has also been a host for "Dialog" on PBS Hawaii and served as production and programming director for KGMB. ... A belated tip of the hat to First Hawaiian Bank chief Don Horner for being named to fill an Oahu at-large seat on the Board of Education. Gov. Neil Abercrombie really got down to business with this appointment. It's good of Don to make time for the important post, what with all his banking work. ...

...THE NORTH American Grappling Association was mistakenly called the National American Grappling Association in last week's column. ...

...------ Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things Fridays. E-mail him at

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