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PROGRAM: STORIES FROM NEAR AND FAR

Of Asian and Native Hawai‘ian ancestry, “Tutu Nyla” (Ching) Fujii-Babb has been a professional storyteller, artistic director, voiceover talent, teacher, and actress for over 50 years in Hawai‘i. She has produced shows, performed in, and directed concerts for numerous organizations in Hawai‘i, including several of the campuses in the University of Hawai‘i System, the Volcano Art Center on the Big Island, the Hawai‘i State Public Library System, and the Lana‘i Art Center. She is on the Board of Monkey Waterfall, a non-profit dance/theatre company. A retired librarian, Nyla is also adjunct faculty for the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

She has appeared on stage with Kumu Kahua Theatre, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and the Hawai‘i Pono‘i Coalition’s annual Mai Poina performances. On the mainland she has performed at the Aratani Japan America Theater in Los Angeles, and the Emerson Majestic in Boston. She has appeared in a few locally produced movies and has been a voice-over talent for a number of Hawai‘i Public Television specials. She has been a featured teller at several mainland storytelling festivals including: the Illinois Storytelling Festival, the San Juan Capistrano “Once Upon a Story Festival”, the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, the Oregon Multi-Cultural Storytelling Festival, and the St. Louis Storytelling Festival at the Arch. She is the only storyteller from Hawai‘i to be both an “Exchange Place Teller” and an invited “Featured Performer” at the prestigious National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Tutu Nyla often performs with her husband, “Gentleman” Jeffry Stephen Babb who was the lead singer, blues harpist, and rhythm guitarist for the bands ‘Trane Wreck and Gambler’s Roll. He has toured as a musician and storyteller with Nyla, to Illinois, California, and to most of the islands in the Hawai‘i chain.  He has appeared as a solo featured teller in the Red Dirt Storytelling Festival at the Hawaii United Okinawan Center, and on the statewide tour of Talespinners of the Pacific sponsored with a grant from the National Storytelling Network in Jonesborough, Tennessee. He has toured the state as the featured musician in Three Kinds of Shame, an original reader’s theatre play about hard times in Hawai‘i. Now affectionately called “Papa” Jeff, he has toured the State with “Tutu” Nyla since 2005 and appeared on live-streamed performances during the Covid Pandemic for Kumu Kahua Theatre Company and the Statewide Cultural Extension Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

 

PROGRAM DETAIL

Talespinners and Word Weavers
Performances for all ages crafted from international folktales and folksongs; and/or featuring literary, historical, family, and original stories. Duet performances with Musician Jeffry Stephen Babb available.

For Moppets and Poppets
Interactive stories and songs that delight preschoolers and their families. Duet performances with Musician Jeffry Stephen Babb available.

Stories from My Island Home
Celebrates our islands’ cultural roots with emphasis on Native Hawai‘ian, Pacific Islander, and Asian folklore and historical stories. Literary and original stories in “Pidgin-English” may also be requested. Adaptable to various audiences from Elementary school age to senior citizensDuet performances with Musician Jeffry Stephen Babb available.

 

PERFORMANCE NEEDS

Technical: Microphone for audiences of 100 or more
Age Level Appropriateness: Preschool – Adults
Type of Program: Lecture/Demonstration, short and long-term residency

 

For booking inquiries, email us at csinfo@hawaii.edu