The Lightning Thief: A Percy Jackson Musical at Punahou


Kathleen Connelly / Punahou Communications

Center trio from left: leads Shane Nishimura ‘25 (Grover), Miles Kroeker ‘23 (Percy Jackson), and Seanalei Nishimura ‘23 (Annabeth Chase).

“The things that make you different are the things that make you strong.”

That’s a quote from The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, the Punahou Theatre Department’s choice for their fall production, which opened on November 3rd for a run of 5 shows. Through well-executed song and dance numbers, the show told the story of Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, and his quest to find Zeus’ lightning bolt. 

The Lightning Thief was different from some of Punahou’s other productions, but there was no doubt that it was a great display of students’ talents. Its whimsical take on Greek mythology made it far more cheerful than the most recent spring performance of Radium Girls, which was based on tragic historical events. The Lightning Thief still touched on some serious issues – throughout the show, the protagonist, Percy Jackson, struggles with learning differences and the challenges of having an absentee father – but the overall tone was lighthearted, thanks to frequent puns and upbeat songs like “The Campfire Song,” “Drive,” and “D.O.A.” 

One thing that set this production apart was the caliber of the lead performers. Miles Kroeker ‘23 (Percy Jackson), Seanalei Nishimura ‘23 (Annabeth Chase), and Shane Nishimura ‘25 (Grover) all demonstrated incredible vocal and acting talent, even while coping with technical issues like microphones cutting out. The trio’s chemistry worked to really bring the story to life. Noah Raquino ‘23 also amazed audiences as Luke, using his acting skills to capture the character’s duplicitous nature. 

However, the actors wouldn’t have been able to put on such wonderful performances if it wasn’t for the work of the backstage crew. The sets were designed and constructed primarily by students. Students also worked in day-of roles like audio engineering, lighting, and stage crew.  

Kaitlyn Scrivner ‘24 helped backstage, creating sets as well as performing as the Minotaur and in the Featured Dance Ensemble. “I felt really attached to Percy as a show,” Scrivner shared, “because I spent so much time creating sets and props and rehearsing for the show. It was a really fun production and I loved getting to know everyone who participated.”

There’s no doubt that The Lightning Thief was a ringing success. It showcased the well-rounded nature of Punahou’s students and gave them an opportunity to display their artistic talents.