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Raised in Michigan and Vermont, Daniel A. Kelin II earned a level in theater on the College of Vermont after which determined to proceed his training on the College of Hawaii at Manoa.
In 1987, Kelin acquired a Grasp of Nice Arts in theater from UH-Manoa and, diploma in hand, was provided a part-time summer season job with Honolulu Theatre for Youth. The job was prolonged for a yr, and HTY then provided him a full-time job as training director, a place he has held for the previous 35 years.
Kelin’s contributions as an actor and playwright embrace starring as Seymour in “Little Store of Horrors” at Manoa Valley Theatre in 1987, and writing and starring in “Shipwreck’d on the Physique Lovely, or the Tats Dancing Man” at Kumu Kahua Theatre in 2019. Kelin wrote “Shipwreck’d” after studying Irish sailor James F. O’Connell’s autobiographical account of being shipwrecked on the island of Pohnpei in 1828 and returning to “civilization” 5 years later coated with Pohnpeian tattoos. The present earned Kelin a Hawaii State Theatre Council Po‘okela Award for finest main male in a play later that yr.
A information story in regards to the extinction of a species of Native Hawaiian tree snail sparked Kelin’s most up-to-date undertaking. “After the Endling” is a brief movie that makes use of shadow puppets to inform the story of Lonely George, the final member of his species, who died on New Yr’s Day 2019.
Kelin, 61, wrote, produced and directed the movie, which premieres as a part of the “Made in Hawaii Shorts 2” program within the Hawai‘i Worldwide Movie Competition. It screens at 6 p.m. Monday on the Kahala Theatre. The shorts program additionally could be considered just about from Nov. 14 to 27. For extra, go to hiff.org.
For extra info on “After the Endling,” go to DanielAKelin.com.
This dialog has been edited for size and readability.
How did you change into concerned or how did you uncover the snails?
I came upon the story of Lonely George (by chance) … and it was simply an unimaginable story that blew up as a metaphor for the challenges to Indigenous populations. I believed I’d actually love to inform the story in a means that’s slightly extra creative and interesting so I may attain populations that possibly don’t get an opportunity to listen to about this specific character or know a lot in regards to the land snails.
Is there something we are able to do to scale back the extinction?
David Sischo, who’s the director of the Snail Extinction Prevention Program, was a advisor on this. I feel (supporting) that program is actually considered one of them. There’s additionally a program at Bishop Museum. These two packages are all the time in search of folks to donate, contribute and help. Actually, the Snail Extinction Prevention Program is within the midst of constructing a brand new facility that’s going to be arrange so folks can come into the constructing and look by glass home windows to see the work happening with the snails.
What made shadow puppets the best medium for telling the story?
That is what I wrote in my movie proposal: “A shadow display world can seize recognizable island imagery concurrently in actual and fantastical manners whereas permitting for, the truth is requiring, the artists to interrupt the boundaries of scope, measurement, perspective and motion. We can current the vastness of a mountain vista concurrently an intense close-up of an in any other case tiny pupu kani oe (Native Hawaiian tree snail). It can invite viewers to sense the enormity of the tiny land snail’s world and, extra importantly, expertise the hazards snails face, all throughout the house of a single leaf.”
What’s subsequent for you now that the movie is out?
I’m engaged on a smaller set of movies by a corporation known as Girls of Imaginative and prescient, which is ladies from the Micronesian islands. I’m working with them to create two or three extra casual, brief puppet movies which might be going to be constructed off of tales they’re sharing with me ‘trigger they have a look at it as a option to attain a youthful inhabitants in a unique medium. … The tales are cultural folklore that every lady remembers from rising up or that considered one of their older kinfolk shared with them. They’re a mix of cautionary tales and ‘just-so’ type tales that supply fantastical causes for why sure islands are situated the place they’re, or how a selected place turned so foggy. These will not be private experiences … somewhat conventional tales that the group thinks will assist their efforts to carry the tales to new generations.