Jeff Gere, Storyteller
Jeff Gere is a storytelling activist! He is the Drama Specialist in the Parks Department, talks to thousands of Summer Fun children each summer (new CD: Silly 'N Spooky: Tales of Kids in Hawaii). Jeff directs and hosts the TALK STORY FESTIVAL (Hawaii's largest and oldest storytelling celebration- 3 FREE nights each October).
Jeff hosts/produces TALK STORY RADIO (1/2 hour weekly storytelling show featuring the tales & tellers of Hawaii & the Pacific Rim)(KIPO 89.3FM Mon 5:30, KTUH 90.3 FM Thurs 7pm). Born on Halloween, he specializes in true supernatural tales/ oral histories of Hawaii (3 Haunted Hawaii CDs).
ABOUT JEFF GERE
Jeff Gere is a master storyteller. He blends talents as painter, puppeteer, mime, teacher, and director into a performance style, which has electrified audiences of every age throughout Hawaii and the mainland for two decades. Jeff's physical energy, wide range of voices, morphing elastic face and clear characterizations make his performances unforgettable events. Jeff becomes his stories!
Gere earned a BA in Painting and Art History, spending his junior year in Florence, Italy, and an MA in Inter-relating the Arts (a multi-disciplinary program requiring 4 to 6 original shows a week for 2 years). He returned to Italy in 1979 to caretake a 600-year-old Tuscan villa. He created, produced, directed and acted in Dream Theatre, exploring social issues through experimental puppet, mask and mime pieces. This troupe of seven toured Italy extensively and toured to 13 German cities (6/82).
In 1982, Gere came to Hawaii to study Asian Mask Theatre. He's since established himself as one of its most popular storytellers and puppeteers. He's taught and performed in literally every venue conceivable (all Hawaii's museums, most private & public schools, all ages, audience sizes, & income levels; bars, prisons, homeless shelters, conferences, conventions, beaches, graveyards, retreat & community centers, & state-wide solo and group tours, many of which he produced).
In 1987, Gere was hired as the Drama Specialist, Parks Department, City & County of Honolulu. In 1989, he created the Talk Story Festival, Hawaii's largest & oldest storytelling celebration. It attracts some 3,000 listeners to its broad, diverse offering of local talent and receives excellent publicity. He founded a non-profit and found corporate sponsorship (Bank of Hawaii, Aloha Airlines, LavaNet).
His original programs, often commissioned, include The Arabian Nights (2 musicians & bellydancer; 10 tales over 18 months (03-04) & Hong Kong 6/05), Yo Pharaoh ( 2 musicians & dancer), and Van Gogh's Ghost. He performed in the Vancouver Story Fest. (Arabian Nights 11/04), Turkey (Karagoz Shadow Puppet Fest. 11/04) Thailand Story-In-English Camps (4/03) for kids and teachers. He's taught at the National Storytelling Conferences ('04, '99, '93). Jeff was featured at the Boulder City Folk Festival (9/02 and 03), the Flying Leap Storytelling Festival (Calif. 99), and the National Invitational Storytelling Championship (Idaho 97). In '92 he toured American Samoa, Guam and Saipan and represented Hawaii at the Universal Expo in Sevilla, Spain. He toured the West Coast annually (93-02). He created, directed, & performed "Art Off The Wall", a collaborative interdisciplinary performance series interpreting art exhibits at Honolulu's Contemporary Museum (97-00, funded by the Hawaii Community Foundation) and its Teacher Training Course (00- 04, Maui Arts & Culture Center). Gere also developed a "Tell Well" Storytelling System (Univ. Hawaii 90-97).
Jeff has produced 4 CDs, Haunted Hawaii vols. 1, 2, & 3, retelling true supernatural tales, and Rank Devil Mountain, folk tales of fire with 3 musicians. His children's video of original stories, Silly 'N Spooky, won Honors from the National Parent's Choice Awards (96). He had 2 stories appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul of Hawaii (03). He's in Storytellers: a Biographical Directory of 120 English-Speaking Tellers Worldwide (98). New York Cablevision leased 5 spooky stories for their subscription WEB series (98). He's done extensive radio & TV projects in every capacity, including co-producing and performing in "The Storytellers" series (KITV 4, ABC affiliate, 95-97). He's featured in the Places of Mystery Series (Travel Channel, 8/00) and Haunted History Series (History Channel, 10/00). He was awarded Outstanding TV Performance Arts Series (00) on Olelo Community TV, where he's created monthly programming since '90. He starts Talk Story Radio in spring, '05 (Hawaii Public Radio).
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27th TALK STORY FESTIVAL
Hawaii's oldest and largest storytelling celebration. Hawai i's best storytellers (and a few guests) are featured onin the McCoy Pavilion Auditorium (Ala Moana Beach Park). Storytellers share the stage, 20 minutes each, with dramatic lighting and gifted Sign Language Interpreters.
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