Virtual program

Storytellers wanted for the UH Hilo virtual program

EUH Hilo Communications professor Randy Hirokawa was a featured Wailau storyteller in the episode, The importance of communication in love.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent so many from reuniting with loved ones and friends, the need for connection has perhaps never been greater. A virtual storytelling program underway at the University of Hawaii in Hilo provides a space to make connections across the Hawaii Island campus and community.

EUH The Hilo Wailau program is looking for candidates from EUH Students, faculty, staff, alumni and Hawaii Island community members of all ages will be featured in its storytelling event on Saturday, May 7. This spring will mark the fourth event of the program and will focus on the theme Tales of misunderstandings. Organizers encourage people to share their experiences when they feel misunderstood in a situation or when miscommunication of something has resulted in a funny, sad, ridiculous or perhaps disastrous result. Applications for storytellers will be accepted until Friday February 11.

In ʻŌlelo Hawaii (Hawaiian language), Wailau means where water from various sources comes together to mix and become a more powerful and unified whole.

“Wailau is a project of EUH Hilo’s Relationships Doing Committee, a group that consults widely and forms partnerships to turn ideas into results, ”said Kathleen baumgardner, who helps organize Wailau and is the strategic planning project manager at EUH Salvation. “This small group of faculty, staff, students and community members has been tasked with examining EUH Hilo’s relationships with stakeholders and identifying potential actions that would improve campus culture while having a positive impact on student success.

Successful applicants will be offered coaching, participate in an on-stage reunion / rehearsal, and then pre-record their stories before the online premiere. If storytellers cannot attend the recording on stage, self-recorded stories will be accepted.

EUH Hilo students play a major role in staging Wailau, from the use of lights, sound and cameras, to participating as hosts and storytellers. The students of the English club determine the themes of Wailau, review the applications and select the storytellers.

“I have seen the students’ confidence grow in leaps and bounds,” said Justine Mattos, director of Wailau and associate professor of theater. “They start out knowing nothing, very hesitant and nervous. It gives them a wonderful opportunity to practice working as professionals on set and throughout the production process.”

Visit the Wailau website to see previous episodes.