UH Hilo’s Wailau seeks storytellers for first live event

Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo invites the public to be a part of the first live episode of Wailau, a storytelling event meant to build connections across the UH Hilo campus and with the wider community. The first four episodes of Wailau were pre-recorded and this upcoming event will premiere live on November 18, 2022 with the theme, New Beginnings. The application deadline is Tuesday, September 6, 2022 with applications accepted until the storyteller lineup is set.

“As we begin reconnecting and seeing each other in person again, Wailau will be staged live in front of an audience on UH Hilo's campus,” noted Kathleen Baumgardner, strategic planning project manager. “The theme New Beginnings might explore a life change, recovery from a loss, a career change, or a new adventure. Perhaps telling your story will mark a new beginning!”

Wailau means “where water from diverse sources comes together to commingle and become a more powerful, unified whole.” Organizers for Wailau aim to spotlight voices and stories that fit themes in interesting ways, showcasing five storytellers: a UH Hilo faculty member, staff member, student, alum, and an Hawaiʻi Island community member. Submissions are also welcome from former faculty and staff and storytellers of all ages. Storytellers will be offered support prior to sharing their story on stage.

UH Hilo students play a major role in staging Wailau, from selecting the theme and stories, to operating lights, sound and cameras, to participating as hosts and storytellers. Students from the English Club determine Wailau themes, review applications, and select storytellers.

For the live episode, Wailau introduces two new student hosts: undergraduate performing arts major Dane Dupre and undergraduate English major Tori Matsumoto, who is also a former Wailau storyteller.

“Being a part of Wailau continues to inspire me toward personal and artistic growth,” Matsumoto said. “I’m so grateful to co-host with Dane, and to collaborate with our brilliant technicians, storytellers, and director. It truly is a new beginning for all of us, together.”

Those interested in being a Wailau storyteller have an opportunity to view earlier episodes before completing their applications. Visit https://hilo.hawaii.edu/wailau/archives/.

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