The Story of Everything is the culmination of Hawaii Poet Laureate Kealoha’s lifetime work, as he puts it himself. It is an original creation story that starts with the Big Bang Theory (Kealoha graduate in Nuclear Physics from MIT) and takes the audience on a journey spanning 13.7 billion years through the science of how we got to be here as human beings. With a cast of ten, The Story of Everything combines poetry, storytelling, music, Hawaiian chanting, dance, and visual arts and inspires responsibility for our planet and our actions as it pertains to global climate change.
The Story of Everything was one of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Community Inspiration Pilot projects. It premiered two years ago in Honolulu, Hawaii, but this is the first time that the production will be performed in its entirety on the continental U.S. as part of the 2017 Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California.
Kealoha has been working on The Story of Everything for the past five years. He’s written and rewritten several of its movements, and since the premiere in October of 2015, he has performed segments of the piece to diverse audiences throughout the country. Through all of this Kealoha has learned a great deal about the performance and how it could be tightened and perfected.
With that in mind, Kealoha sought out director Harry Wong to direct the newest iteration of The Story of Everything. Wong has been the artistic director for the Kumu Kahua Theatre for 20 years. He is dedicated to the idea that the history of Hawaii and the way that people live on the islands is as rich a source of theater as any other place or culture, and is committed to ensuring that writers have a place to express themselves through theater and drama and helping them tell their stories.
Wong was struck by The Story of Everything when he was first exposed to it, and said that one of the reasons he was attracted to the production was the fact that it takes what we know from science and combines it with images and metaphors as to what it could mean to us in our daily lives.
As a director, Wong wants to make sure that the production impacts the audience as hard as possible. “My goal is that the performance will reveal things you don’t know about the people that you knew at the beginning of the play,” he states. “And that you end up realizing that you have so much in common with the people [in the audience] that you don’t know.” Wong believes that The Story of Everything is just the perfect vehicle for this kind of experience.
Click here to watch a special message from Kealoha about this performance!
This performance of The Story of Everything is part of the 2017 Bioneers Conference. In addition to the performance, Kealoha will take part in a special panel on October 20: Rights of Nature: Codifying Indigenous Worldviews into Law to Protect Biodiversity, as part of the Indigenous Forum. During this 90 minute session, world-renowned Indigenous environmental leaders will share their approaches to this game-changing strategy for protecting Mother Earth and Indigenous rights. Hosted by Kandi Mossett, (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara), Native Energy and Climate Change Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network. With: Maui Solomon (Moriori), attorney, Chairman and CEO, Hokotehi Moriori Trust; Kealoha (Hawaiian), Hawaii’s Poet Laureate; Tony Skrelunas (Diné), Native America Program Director, Grand Canyon Trust; Tom Goldtooth (Diné/Dakota), Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network; Leila Salazar-Lopez (Chicana/Aztec), Executive Director, Amazon Watch. Click here for information about this panel.
When: Sunday, October 22
Doors open 4:30pm
Performance begins promptly at 5:00 pm
Where: Marin Center Showcase Theater, San Rafael, California
10 Avenue of the Flags – San Rafael, CA 94903
Click here to learn more about the Bioneers Conference and its Indigenous Forum – a powerful and unique gathering of Native Peoples, building bridges with non-Native allies and each other. We are so thrilled to support Bioneers by bringing this powerful and thought-provoking performance to a new audience.
Thank you to the Ford Foundation, Kalliopeia Foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Engaging the Senses Foundation, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation for their support of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Community Inspiration Program and this production of The Story of Everything.