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Local theater company will host story circles to create play about caregivers

Playbuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company
Community members perform alongside PlayBuilders professional actors for productions. Earlier this year, PlayBuilders partnered with Mānoa Valley Theatre and provided caregivers with free acting lessons.

PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company is producing a play based on actual caregiving experiences.

Terri Madden, founder and executive director of PlayBuilders, said many of her staff have been caregivers to family members, including herself. She cared for her dad when he fell several years ago.

“So it's coming from a very personal place… And so I thought, you know, this is something that we should all be talking about,” she said. “And this is something that maybe a play, doing the research and interviewing others, could possibly help us as a community know what to expect and know if we find ourselves in situations like that, what the options are.”

Madden said they are looking for caregivers to participate in upcoming story circles to share their experiences. That includes caregivers of keiki, kupuna and those with disabilities, as well as doctors and nurses.

Story circles on Oʻahu will begin this weekend, with upcoming sessions across the state through next year. They plan to finish the play in November 2023.

Earlier this year, the state Legislature adopted a measure that designates this September as Child Care Provider Appreciation Month. And November is National Family Caregivers Month.

Since 2011, PlayBuilders has been creating productions about community-based issues and experiences in the islands, including homelessness and foster care.

“We have provided a platform for folks to share their personal stories so that we as a community at large have an understanding of others, where they are in their lives, and how we, as community, can better serve the needs of others in our community," Madden said. "It's just about sharing stories and walking in other people's shoes.”

For more information, click here.

Jayna Omaye is the culture and arts reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact her at
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