Board of Directors
Jason has been ingrained in the theatre since the late 1980’s. Ever since he stepped on to the stage, theatre has been an obsession. After a hiatus of two-plus tours in the US Coast Guard, Jason was back in the production business in San Diego, California where he was the President of the Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego for several years. Jason then followed his family to the San Francisco Bay Area where he continued his desire to be a part of the theatre by working on productions of Little Shop of Horrors, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Hairspray and many others for the prestiges Bishop O’Dowd Theatre Program. After moving to the Big Island in 2017, Jason met Larry Reitzer and quickly got involved to become a founding Board Member of the Hilo Education Arts Repertory Theatre (HEART). He has worked on the productions of Aladdin, HiloDays, Biloxi Blues, Beauty and the Beast and Avenue Q. Jason hopes to continue the successes with Mr. Reitzer on many future productions while also growing HEART to become a recognized, positive name throughout the Big Island of Hawaii for giving back to our local communities. Jason lives full time on the Big Island with his husband David.
Erin Healani Chung is a Hawai'i-born and raised actor and collaborator. She received her BA in Theatre from the University of Hawaii - Mānoa and pursued further training at Atlantic Acting School in New York City. Television credits include The Sinner (2018), Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan (2019) and Katy Keene (2020). She has developed new works with Brontosaurus Haircut, The Movement Theatre Company, Pipeline Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, New Georges, Capital Repertory Theatre, UglyRhino and Primary Stages, among others. Erin is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA. When she isnʻt acting, Erin works in the non-profit sector, engaging in aloha ʻāina work, and does her best to honor the ʻāina on which she lives.
Ku'uhiapo Jeong has been considered a performer since the age of 2. Whether it be dancing a variety of different dance styles or acting in a handful of notable productions on the Big Island, there is really no denying his familiarity and deep love for the performing arts. Being one of the inaugural actors of the theatre company, he has starred in a number of productions under the direction and mentorship of Larry Reitzer. Theatrical stage credits include Aladdin in Aladdin Jr (2019), Eugene Morris Jerome in Biloxi Blues (2020), and Lumiere in Beauty & The Beast (2021). He was a hula student of 17 years under the direction of the late Kumu Hula Johnny Lum Ho and has also studied other genres of dance like hip-hop and contemporary through N2Dance Hilo and Center Stage Hilo Dance Alliance. He received his B.A in Psychology and Communication from the University of Hawai'i at Hilo and is currently furthering his education at Biola University where he hopes to attain his M.A in Public Relations & Reputation Management. He was recently awarded the Overall Ka Lama Kū Student Leadership award; the highest and most prestigious student leadership award at UH Hilo– being only the fifth student in UH Hilo history to receive the award.
Erin Smith has been a singer and actress in community productions since high school in Sacramento, California. She received a Bachelor’s in Finance, and an MBA from Florida State University, and moved to the Big Island in 2007, where she has been employed as the Firm Administrator for a Certified Public Accounting firm. Since arriving, she quickly became involved in local theater productions, performing in Kiss Me Kate, Peter Pan, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Patience, Ruddigore, and Nunsense with KDEN in Volcano; Best of The Bard, Hamlet, and Next to Normal with Hilo Community Players; Little Shop of Horrors, La Cage Aux Folles, Mary Poppins, and Willy Wonka at The Hilo Palace Theater; and in Spoon River Project, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and Miss Saigon at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center. The pandemic put a squash on her public performances until 2022, when Larry reached out to her to audition for Cabaret, where she landed the role of Fraulein Schneider. Erin was so impressed with the talent of HEART’s production team and performers that she wanted to help HEART not only on stage or back stage, but “way way behind the scenes!” with its mission to develop and employ local talent.
Heather grew up dancing and singing in Phoenix, Arizona. In high school, she started performing professionally, and for college, moved to New York City to attend Columbia University. While getting her BA in Astrophysics, she took time off to perform as a Radio City Rockette and in the Broadway National Tour of A Chorus Line (Judy). Heather also has a Master's degree in Space Engineering. She now lives in Hilo with her husband and daughter and works remotely for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She's worked on the Perseverance Mars rover, NISAR Earth-observation mission, and SPHEREx astrophysics observatory. Heather has performed in Biloxi Blues (Rowena) here in Hilo and still loves taking dance class and singing at home with family. Heather is thrilled to be a part of HEART with such an amazing team.