Breaking Wave Theatre Company (BWTC) and UOG Theatre are excited to present the staged reading Hita Mane’estoria: We Are Storytellers, a new play written by 5 CHamoru writers based in Guam and the diaspora. Inspired by interviews with elders in the writers’ families, this collection of five intergenerational stories explores stories from the lives of manåmko’ told through the perspective of their children and grandchildren. 

The play Hita Mane’estoria is a result of BWTC’s Oral Storytelling Project, which began in 2022 and included a series of workshops for writers to develop stories from their elders into stage plays. One of the project’s main goals was to be able to create work for and by the indigenous community of Guam, inspired by the island’s manåmko’ and traditions of oral storytelling. 

“Theatre is often dominated by Western stories and practices,” said Project Producer and Co-director Jayna Shoda Meyer. “We wanted to reimagine how we approach creating works of theatre, and to bring more Chamoru representation to the stage.”

A staged reading is a live reading of a script where actors will perform with scripts in hand with no sets and simplified lighting and sound elements. Staged readings are a part of the development process and allows audiences to give feedback and discuss what parts of the script resonate with them.

“The value in having the audience participate in the development process is that their feedback really helps the writers see what in their work is resonating with people and what people are connecting with," said Shoda Meyer, “We created this with the community in mind so we wanna make sure that we’re not creating something in a bubble and that it’s impacting the people that we want it to impact.”

Audiences are encouraged to attend so that they can be part of the development process of this groundbreaking project before the stage play eventually becomes a full fledged production.The play follows memories through different moments in time with stories that would be familiar to audiences. Focusing on themes of family, identity, food, and love, Hita Mane’estoria: We Are Storytellers uplifts the generation that came before us and captures a breadth of CHamoru experiences. 

“We’re really here almost like the vessels of our ancestors and our elders,” shared Mia Alvarez, one of the writers for Hita Mane’estoria. “We have the grace to hold their lives and their stories and now we get the opportunity to tell these stories.”

The staged reading of Hita Mane’estoria: We Are Storytellers will take place from October 5 thru 7 at 7pm at the UOG Fine Arts Theatre. General Admission is $10 and Family Admission (2 adults and 4 children) is $20. Audiences are welcome and encouraged to stay for an audience feedback discussion following each performance. 

Messages from Our Writers

Curtis J. Jewell

I'd like to give a special thanks to, of course, Mary Leon Guerrero Jewell. My mother is a beacon of light and joy; she shared both her love and stories with me, without her, my contribution would not be possible. Thank you to my family, who offer unwavering support on each adventure I pursue, whether it's graduate school, script writing, or becoming the next esports star. Thank you to my advisors and peers at Syracuse University, without them I wouldn't have been able to receive the fellowship that allowed me to return to Guahan and be a part of this beautiful project. They've played an instrumental role in my developing understanding of how I can conduct research that serves the people I care for. Finally, thank you to the beautiful CHamoru souls I've met along the way. I'd like to include a special thank you to the Sagan Kotturan CHamoru, where I learned the chant originally included in my piece, Dakota Camacho, who patiently taught me the chant and its philosophy, and Jeremy Cepeda who wrote the chant. While we won't perform the chant tonight, what they do is invaluable and I can't wait to share their work with you in the future.

Jayna Lizama

To my brothers, Josh and Eddie, thank you for bringing light into my life and for (maybe unknowingly) pushing me to be the best person I can be. You both inspire me with your brilliance, creativity, and silliness. It’s a blessing to be your sister and it’s a gift to learn with you. 

To my family, thank you for rooting for me with my stubbornness and existential dread lol. I savor the times we share a good meal and poke fun at each other out of love. I hope to make you proud through my (maybe sometimes weird) expressions of hu guaiya hao. 

To my friends (special shoutout to Breaking Wave familia) and Kubo (cat), thank you for grounding me and checking in when my spirit needs a little lifting. I appreciate the spaces we create that heal our inner children and honor the people we’re growing to be. I am grateful for your love.

Now to my nåna, Jacinta Mafnas-Atoigue Lizama,

Si yu’us ma’åse for the evenings on your lap remembering our ancestors and our more recent phone conversations practicing fino’ CHamoru. I enjoy watching bad scary movies with you and looking for the moon together. I appreciate your encouragement to channel my inner dudus as I’ve learned and continue to learn so much from you, the blueprint. Your heart reminds me of the beauty in the world and I hope this project can be a way you can see how beautiful you are to me. I love you grandma. Thank you for also teaching me how to prepare and eat chicken,

by loving it down to the bone 

Joni Aguon Lee

To my wonderful sons, Zeke and Logan, thank you for always embracing your crazy and lovable selves. Thank you for being such good sports when Mommy has to attend meetings or work late. I am truly blessed to be your mom. I love you both to infinity and beyond!

To my loving husband, Danny, thank you for your unwavering support in all that I do. Your patience knows no bounds, and I cherish you more with each passing day. I love you!

To my family, you have consistently been my biggest fans. Your unfailing presence means the world to me, and I am genuinely grateful for your constant support.

To my friends, I can't thank you enough for lending me your ears. When life gets overwhelming, I count myself lucky to have you all in my corner, always ready to listen.

The inspiration for my story came from conversations with my beloved grandma, Margaret Santos Aguon. Her passing last year shook my world to its core, and at times, I didn't even think I'd be able to complete this project. But here we are! (Thank you Jayna, Joyce, Jayna L., Mia, Eddie, and Curtis for your love, patience, and support during that difficult time.) 

Now, I'd like to take this moment to express my gratitude to my grandma. Thank you, Grandma, for continuing to reside within me and all around me. Thank you for taking on the form of a butterfly at a moment's notice. Thank you for guiding my hands as they mix the batter for bonelos aga'. Thank you for being the voice in my head reminding me to drive safely, with Grandpa adding, "and watch out for the other drivers." Your ability to find joy in life's simplest pleasures, like discovering a freshly laid egg, continues to inspire us all. I love you, Grandma, and may you rest in eternal love.

Mia Alvarez

Thank you to my parents, Robert and Clarissa Alvarez. With every new opportunity, your encouragement and love formed me into who I am today. You both have always been my constants and I would not be here without you. I love you both to the moon and back.

To my brother, Noah, whose humor always kept my spirits up and whose sincerity inspires me to be the best version of myself. I love you so much Ducky, my ninja reader.

To my friends who have been the greatest cheerleaders I could ever have, thank you melindas for all the pep talks, hugs, late nights, and jokes. I truly would not have made it this far without you all.

My OSP writing group, Curtis, Joni, Eddie and Jayna, I couldn’t have asked for a better group to have gone on this journey with.

Jayna and Joyce, our fearless directors and leaders, thank you for unwavering faith and love. Thank you for holding our stories with such love and for never giving up on our group.

Thank you to BWTC! I’m so honored to continue to be a part of this wonderful family and I can’t thank you enough for changing my life.

Lastly, I want to thank my muse, my Papa, Atanacio Gutierrez. Thank you for the sunset melodies I sing. Thank you for teaching me your confidence. Thank you for planting the tree that holds my history and legacy. Thank you for allowing me to hold your stories. There will never be enough words to express the space you hold in my heart and I will keep searching until I find them all. I love you forever and a day, Papa.

Edward Acfalle Jr.

Dångkolo’ na Si Yu’os ma’åse’ para todu familia-ku yan manga’chong-hu. I would like to express endless blessings to my big little brother, Johnny, my mom, dad, grandma, and all sides of my family. Thank you to all the friends I gained in this opportunity, especially to my fellow writers and the cast and crew in production. In total, I want to thank every soul I’ve come across to share their take on CHamoru identity. I would like to thank Breaking Wave Theatre Company and all those who contributed to the Oral Storytelling Project. Si Yu’os ma’åse’ para este na oppotunidåt.

A Message from Our Directors

Jayna Shoda Meyer and Joyce Torres

When we take the time to truly listen, a story exchange can become so many things — a safe place to find comfort in, a classroom to learn from, a space for joy and laughter and play, a warm spotlight to feel seen and understood, a portal to a different time and place, the passing of a torch, a living history, healing, home. 

Storytelling is the bridge that connects us with the past, the present, and the future. Working on this oral storytelling project has taught us so much about ourselves, about our loved ones, and about how varied, full, and vibrant the CHamoru experience continues to be. 

We hope that this staged reading gives Guåhan audiences a glimpse into what our dream for theatre in the Marianas can look like as we continue forward: More stories written for us by us. Art that brings light to our narrative, our history, and our voices. An opportunity for our artists and audiences to reflect, discuss, and dream. 

Finally, to our talented writers. We are so proud of you. You may have felt unsure and hesitant at the beginning of this process, but we hope you feel it so deeply in your bones now. You were storytellers all along. The time has come for you to take center stage. It’s our turn to listen. Take wings. Biba!

Thank You to Our Supporters and Sponsors

This is a co-production between the University of Guam Theatre and Breaking Wave Theatre Company. 

Breaking Wave Theatre Company is a recipient of the THRIVE! Uplifting Theatres of Color - RECOGNIZE regranting program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for theatre leading for a just and thriving theatre ecology. 

BWTC is also supported by our company sponsor, AltrxEgo Entertainment. The UOG Theatre is supported by the UOG College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the UOG Student Government Association.  

Thank you all for your support! 

Some music used in this production is provided in thanks to: 


  ALL INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS RESERVED & SECURED @ copyrights 1971-2023 Johnny Sablan Chamoru Music.