After being in recovery of meth for over ten years I had an opportunity to use (I saw it as an opportunity anyway). Instead of hitting the pipe I wrote. I wrote for every addict out there, every person that has used batu, and every person that has known someone that has used batu. I wrote my experiences, my friends experiences, my o'hana's experiences, and my community’s experiences. I changed names and facts to protect the innocent, and in doing so, I found myself no longer consumed with the burning need to satisfy my addiction. I found myself in a place where I could work through it. Although not one person can be truly free of addition, it's a choice we make every day to be better. I want the people of Hawai'i to know that our choices matter and our choices affect every single person in our lives.
We have such strong cultural ties with our communities. I first visited Aloha Center Chicago seeking a partnership for the production. However, I found so much more with Lanialoha Lee, her students, and her family. I found an o’hana. It is difficult being so far away from my homeland and though I know I will return to O’ahu again and again, it’s never enough. I was restless, tired, and homesick. I did not know that my soul was missing a piece until I found it again in the sacred space of Aloha Center Chicago.
With the Chicago production of Not One Batu, I wanted to bring that feeling to the mainland, to bridge the gap of my two homes. Selfishly (or perhaps not) I wanted to build my Pacific Islander community in Chicago. I wanted to bring our people to the front, to our stages in Chicago, both by flying out an actor from Hawai’i, and collaborating with local Chicago actors. I wanted the Not One Batu team to know that our cultures not only exist, but are significant, important, and essential to our way of being. We are here. I want to people of Chicago to know that we are not grass shacks, white sandy beaches, and fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas. We are a fully realized people. We have strong voices. We prevail.
Not One Batu is about addiction...and it's not.
It's about the Hawaiian meth culture...and it's not.
Not One Batu, like all great scripts, is more than the sum of its parts. Through the lens of the Hawaiian meth culture and addiction, Hannah Ii-Epstein introduces us to a world filled with people we can root for in a setting that mainlanders like to think of as paradise. In truth, that "paradise" is home/prison, beloved/resented, opportunity/shackles, just like any other place on the face of the earth.
The ohana (family) is strong and loving, but also enabling. The friendships are substantive yet dangerous. Just like family and friends everywhere.
Seeing addiction through the eyes of a different culture, in a land so different from our own, allows us to reexamine our own lives, relationships, and addictions with a fresh (and, hopefully, empathic) perspective.
So, Not One Batu is about addiction...and it's not.
LELEA'E “BUFFY” KAHALEPUNA-WONG (Ma) hails from Kaimuki, O’ahu, Hawai’i and is a proud graduate of HOEA (Hawaiian ‘Ohana Education in the Arts). A multiple HSTC Po’okela Awards recipient, her previous credits include: Demigods Anonymous, Wild Birds, Ihula, Not One Batu (Kumu Kahua Theatre), Happily Eva Afta, Lysistrata Jones, Rent (Manoa Valley Theatre), Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Once on this Island (Paliku Theatre). Kinolau, Ku A Mo’o (Honolulu Theatre for Youth). Buffy makes her Chicago debut here with Nothing Without a Company and is thrilled to return to the role of “Ma.”
MARIE TREDWAY (Honey Girl) is an actor / director / choreographer / blogger. Chicago theatre performance credits: Chicago Afterdark (Artistic Conspiracy), Wild Boar (Silk Road Rising), Poetic Forum Collective's All-femme St Joan, Pericles (Muse of Fire) and Wherever You've Been (Three Brothers Theatre). She holds a B.A in Theatre Performance from Carthage College. Favorite college credits include: A Seat at the Table: The Regina Taylor Project, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and The Rocky Horror Show. Upcoming projects: directing a devised piece with Three Brothers Theatre in the fall. Endless love and gratitude for Carl, Amaya, and Alexis. Thank you to Rachel, Hannah, and Anna for this amazing opportunity!
SCOTT HANADA (Uncle Makana) is a kama`aina, born and raised in Hawaii, and there he performed and taught improv for 8 years before moving to the Mainland 5 years ago. Since his move, Scott graduated from iO and Second City’s Conservatory, and toured in New York, San Francisco, and throughout the Midwest with Chicago Improv Productions Touring Company. Scott has previously been seen in Soap Box Derby King and Hawaii Five-0. You can also catch Scott performing with Chicago’s longest running all Asian improv troupe, Stir Friday Night. He is honored to make Not One Batu his first production with Nothing Without a Company. #localboyinsummer2018
KROYDELL GALIMA (Max) is happy to be working with Nothing Without a Company for the first time. Kroydell recently appeared in Strawdog Theatre Company's production of Pillars of The Community dir. Elly Green. He has worked all over Chicago’s stages including The House Theatre's Jeff Award Winning production of United Flight 232. He has also worked with Timeline Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Lookingglass Theatre, The Hypocrites, Adventure Stage Chicago, and Victory Gardens. He has co-starred in an episode of Chicago Fire and numerous commercials. He holds a B.F.A in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Coming up, he will be starring in the short film, My Name Is Alex. He would like to thank his friends and family, as well as everyone at Gray Talent Group, and finally, Siobhan, for their continued love and support.
IAN VOLTAIRE DEANES (Braddah) is excited to be a part of Not One Batu, grateful to work with Nothing Without a Company, and thrilled to work with Rachel Slavick again! He is a native of Chicago's south side and a 2017 graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. When not acting, Ian coaches Muay Thai and improvises across the city. Previous theatre credits include The Cell Phone Play (a part of Ten.2018 at The Gift); Displayed (New Colony's Associate Company); The Black Slot (Aston Rep); and Company Policy (a part of Cutting to the Chase at the Artistic Home)
GLORIA ALVAREZ (Sherrie) is excited to be working with Nothing Without a Company for the first time. She's done theatre for a couple years now, other Chicagoland area credits include, Archie's Christmas Shopping (Elgin Theatre Company), A Prayer for the Sandanistas (Subtext Theatre Company), Comedy of Errors (Saltbox Theatre Collective), and Hot Dog Stand (Dandelion Theatre). She has also done a variety of short student and Indie films and taken several classes at Acting Studio Chicago, and is extremely grateful to Nothing Without a Company, family and friends for their support.
TONY ROSSI (Toully) is making his Nothing Without A Company debut! He previously worked understudying with Steep Theatre (Hinter) and Broken Nose Theatre (At The Table) Other credits include Eclipse Theatre, Factory Theatre, Waltzing Mechanics, and Halcyon Theatre. When he’s not performing, you can probably find Tony posting far too often, via articles and social media, reminding himself and his peers that “We are enough, regardless of what our resume says or doesn’t say.” You can find his work, musings, and #notperfect stories on Backstage.com, as well as on the “Tony Rossi Show” podcast. (For more, visit www.tony-rossi.com.)
BOBBY WILHELMSON (Jason) is thrilled to be doing his first show with Nothing Without a Company! Credits include: The Doppelganger (U/S Steppenwolf), Tecumseh (Tecumseh Outdoor Drama), Aladdin, Wizard of Oz (Hampstead Stage Company). Bobby received his MFA from Western Illinois University in May of 2017. He gives endless thanks to his family, friends, and his beautiful new bride, Jessi! Iniibig kita bebot!
HEATHER JENCKS* (Ma and Max - Understudy) is happy to participate in Hannah Ii-Epstein's wonderful play, Not One Batu. Some of Heather's previous credits include: Down the Moonlit Path (Nothing Without a Company), Nanay (Free Street Theatre), Six Characters In Search of an Author (Ghostlight Ensemble), King Lear (Eleusis Collective), Patria Libre (Prologue Theatre Company), The Benchmark (StepUp Productions). Many thanks to Nothing Without a Company and her supportive friends and family.
RACHEL SLAVICK (Director) is an actress, director, and teaching artist who is honored to be working on this luminous play in this stunning location with this delightful theatre company. Rachel is currently understudying the role of Fiona in The Light Fantastic at Jackalope, where she proudly serves on the board. She is a founding teacher at ChiArts, she has also been teaching at The Theatre School at DePaul for the last 22 years. She is the proud mom of Isabelle and Leo, who are all grown up now.
HANNAH II-EPSTEIN* (Playwright and Co-Artistic Director) was born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, and recently received her MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage at Northwestern University. She is a writer of fiction, poetry, screenplays, plays, and musicals. She is a Co-Artistic Director, Board Member, and a Founding Member of Nothing Without a Company. Since 2007, over ten of her plays and musicals have been produced by Nothing Without a Company, About Face Theatre’s Babes on Stage, Fury Theatre's SAST, Mary-Arrchie's Abbie Fest, and Nothing Special Production's Fight Night. Hannah has written for many 24 Hour Fests for Nothing Without a Company, Silent Theatre, Columbia College Chicago, and Northwestern University. She was awarded 30 under 30 in Windy City Times in 2014. Hannah's film, Sweet, won Best Film Runner Up in Chicago's 48 Hour Film Project. In 2016 Hannah and her play, Not One Batu, was honored by Hawai'i State Theatre Council Po'okela Awards in the categories of Non-Resident Guest Artist and Overall Play.
ANNA ROSE II-EPSTEIN* (Producer and Co-Artistic Director) is a actor, director and has performed, directed, assistant directed, and produced over 35 new plays with Nothing Without a Company and various other companies including Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Mary Arrchie Theatre, The Inconvenience, About Face Theater, Pride Films & Plays, Silent Theatre Company, Windy City Performing Arts, and The Center on Halsted. Over the past 4 years Anna Rose has been dabbling in acting, producing and directing short films. Her first short film, Sweet, won Best Film Runner Up at 48 Hour Film Project 2015, which you can check out on YouTube. Her film production company BearCat Productions’ queer short film The Box is also on YouTube. Look out for another short film debuting in July 2018 written by her wife Hannah Ii-Epstein. She most recently joined the Columbia College Chicago Advisory Board and she would like to thank all her O’hana. Blood and chosen. You keep me strong.
LANIALOHA LEE (Cultural Specialist) is a native Hawaiian born and raised in the Chicago area and third generation descendant of the first Polynesians who migrated to the Midwest. Currently, Lanialoha is the Executive Director of the Aloha Center Chicago since its conception in 2015. Her most recent achievement as Kumu Hula (Master Hula Teacher) was her haumana (students) of Ke Kula Kupa`a O Ka Pakipika, Kupa`a's School of the Pacific's participation in the Ka `Aha Hula o Halauaola, 2018 World Hula Conference Opening Kuahu Ceremonies held in Hilo, Hawai`i. Her artistic aim is to facilitate cultural and ethnic understanding through the development of educational cultural arts, music, and dance programs made accessible to all, while expanding her professional experiences and knowledge as an Arts Administrator/Management of representing cultural traditions of Chicago’s ethnic and Fine Arts communities.
RAY GOLDBERG* (Production Manager) is a Chicago-born-and-raised freelance producer and writer. She graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with a bachelor's degree in Screen Arts and Cultures, and is about to begin her MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage at Northwestern University. She is a staff writer for the award-winning podcast "PleasureTown", content producer and editor for the gaming podcast "Tabletop Potluck", and a Media Educator at Facets Multimedia. Ray has previously worked with the filmmaking nonprofit Full Spectrum Features, where she served as Production Coordinator on their films The Orange Story and Signature Move. She is the staff Production Manager for Nothing Without a Company, where she also worked on the plays Bobby Pin Girls and Cornerstone.
CHRISTOPHER SYLVIE (Stage Manager) is glad to be working on Not One Batu. He graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana where he earned his B.S. in Theatre Performance/Directing. Christopher has held the title of stage manager for the staged reading of Black and Blue, 10th Anniversary Pop-ups Agreed Upon Fictions and Menorca (16th Street Theatre), Ohio State Murders (Dandelion Theatre), The Complete History of America [abridged] which toured to Lenexa, KS (Theatre-Hikes), and regionally was an Assistant Stage Manager for the productions Photograph 51 and The Diary of Anne Frank (Jewish Ensemble Theatre). He would like to thank Anna, Rachel, Hannah, the cast and crew for all their hard work. Christopher is a proud member of the Equity Member Candidate program. www.christophersylvie.com
MARK J. BRACKEN JR. (Set and Lighting Designer) is thrilled to be working on his first show with Nothing Without a Company. Mark currently serves as the Production Manager and Technical Director for The Chicago High School for the Arts and the Director of Production for Refuge Theatre Project. He also works as a freelance designer, production manager, and technical director. Recent credits include - How I Learned to Drive (Lighting), Les Mis (TD) Lysistrata Jones (TD), The Spitfire Grill (TD), Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon (Scenic), Things to Ruin (Lighting) Nocturne (Scenic and Lighting), and West Side Story (Scenic and Lighting). Upcoming: The Maids (Lighting) at The Artistic Home. Many thanks to the entire production team and ensemble, as well as Nothing Without a Company.
WHITNEY MASTERS* (Costume Designer) is a model and actress based in Chicago. She enjoys working in collaborative environments and testing her limits through performance. In Chicago, Whitney has appeared as Bad Penny in Handled (Stage Left Theatre), Martha in A Piece of My Heart (Chicago Danztheatre), Madame Louise in Iron Mask (Theatre Hikes) and Pirate in Charred (Muse 10). Television credits include Performance Artist in Easy (Netflix) and on film she can be seen as Madeline Reed in Valley Inn (Kickstarter Films). Whitney holds a BA from the University of Arkansas in Theatre.
JAQ SEIFERT (Fight Choreographer) is excited to be back working with Nothing Without a Company. Previous Nothing Without a Company credits include Bobby Pin Girls. Previous Chicago credits include work at Victory Gardens, Theater Wit, A Red Orchid Theatre, and DePaul. Jaq is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors and a Chicago area fight, theatrical firearms, and intimacy choreographer. www.jaqseifert.com
ALMANYA NARULA (Assistant Fight Choreographer) is an international actor, fight choreographer, writer, director and combatant. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the recently launched bi-annual zine, Chicago Theatre Now. You may have seen some of her violence design in MONSIEUR D'EON IS A WOMAN (Trap Door), THE LIGHT FANTASTIC, FRANKLINLAND, and 1980 (Jackalope), and THE INVISIBLE HAND (Steep). She was also the fight choreographer and lead actor for Nickelback's music video, FEED THE MACHINE and is the stunt coordinator for the upcoming feature film MOLLYWOOD. She was last seen wielding a sword in CAPTAIN BLOOD (First Folio), understudying QUEEN (Victory Gardens), portraying the snarky combat ready police officer in the post apocalyptic world of FIGHT CITY (Factory) and playing the young ingénue turned zombie in GHOSTS AND ZOMBIES (Akvavit)
VAL GERARD GARCIA JR. (Dramaturg & Box Office Manager) is making his Chicago dramaturgical debut with Not One Batu! Earning his B.S. in Natural Sciences and Minor in Theatre Arts in 2016 from the University of Pittsburgh, Val found the art of dramaturgy fascinating alongside his science work. His last instance of dramaturgy was in 2016 with the U.S. Premiere of Three Days in the Country with Kinetic Theatre Company in Pittsburgh, PA and a Literary Internship with City Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA. Usually an actor, Val is back in his dramaturgy boots with this production. ValGerard.weebly.com
Habits are hard to kick. For me, I have smoking. It makes an obstacle a bit easier to conquer, when I light up a cigarette. Hell, I’m probably smoking outside while you’re enjoying the show. I’ve been trying to quit for a while but when the environment around me is okay with smoking, not exactly encouraging it, the goal of quitting gets a bit difficult.
With Not One Batu, we see Honey Girl’s struggle to stay clean as she is surrounded by her former addiction, methamphetamine. It’s ironic as she is dealing this drug to people as well. It’s as if she is playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette where anything can make her go back into the world of addiction. And to me, my guttural question is why. Why? Why is she walking that risky line when she is already making strides to better herself? Reflecting that question onto the real world, why do we like to take risks? What is so enticing? Not One Batu investigates that question, answering it in both positive and negative lights.
hat is also so enticing about Not One Batu is the representation in this show. Eight of the nine actors are actors of Color, seven of them identify as Asian/Filipino/Pacific Islander/Hawaiian, and four of them will be playing their own race for the first time. In 2016, a study from the Asian American Performers Action Coalition, determined in the last 10 seasons (2006-2016) approximately 4% of Asian-identifying actors were casted in Broadway shows. This show is, what I consider, groundbreaking as a Filipino-American Theatre Artist. While I think this is awesome, it goes to show that we, as theatre makers, have much more work to do when it comes to diversity and representation. I hope that theatre people, such as yourself realize the importance of representation in theatre.
Finally, what I urge you to do when watching this show is to react. Laugh, cry, get immersed (safely) into this show. You are the final piece of the puzzle for this cast.
Val "Jay" Gerard Garcia Jr.
ALOHA CENTER CHICAGO
ALOHA CENTER CHICAGO is a unique innovative and upscale multi-media resource cultural center dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian & South Pacific Arts.
Their mission is to create a Chicago-based sacred space of aloha, and a shared outpost of Pacific Island culture that fosters teaching, learning, fellowship, gatherings and cultural connections among visiting and community-based Pacific Islanders and islanders-at-heart.
E Hula Mau Haki Kino
This is an entry to the intermediate level hula program. Haki Kino is a hula practice of physical body exercises for establishing uniform hula basics and technique, natural movement development, plus an introduction to basic Hawaiian language.
Tahitian Drum Talk™
Tahitian Drum Talk™ is a complete drum lab for basic Tahitian Drumming, and instructional method developed for students of to`ere, fa`atete, and pahu.
Tahitian `Ori (dance)
To develop a Tahitian `Ori (dance) line, we look to Tahitian Drum Talk™ drum tracks. A rigorous and invigorating workout!
Building a solid foundation for playing `ukulele centered on strums characteristic of the south pacific island repertoire. Suggested for the self-taught and beginning level student with no or little experience.
Fitness! Island Style™
Haki Kino! Break a Sweat! A rigorous traditional work out of upper, core, and lower body exercise. A concentrated, intensive workout of three 20-minute rotations of three cultures: Hawaiian, Maori and Tahitian.
Ukulele Cigar Box Making Workshop
DIY! Make and play a cigar box `uke! This hands-on workshop teaches a better understanding of how `ukulele are made. Learn to maintain your own `ukulele and manage the small fixes.
Lehua Ii-Michaelson and Geoff Michaelson, Lanialoha Lee, Cale Manning, Ellan Read, Edgar Pinto, Corey Pond, Savannah Cannistraro, Frank Pullen, Jae K. Renfrow
Aloha Center Chicago, The Waterfront Cafe, The Theatre School at DePaul University, Berger Park Cultural Center, Kuma Kahua Theatre, Northwestern University, The Hawaii Meth Project, Silk Road Rising, Aloha Eats
Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Greater Houston Arts, Hawai’i Community Foundation
The MacArthur Funds for Arts Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
DRUG ABUSE HOTLINE
THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE