Ascending peculiarities

Ascending Peculiarities, Wuggly Umps, Nosebleeds, and Other Happenings:
The Sublime, Absurd, and Mystical Mr. Gorey

Curious and Enigmatic Interpretations directed by Tim Slaughter

Through poetical prose and short narratives accompanied by obsessively crosshatched drawings, Edward St. John Gorey (1925–2000) invented a gothic world of Victorian/Edwardian interiors and remote landscapes with stylishly dressed characters entangled in provocative and humorous tales of mystery, peril, and bizarre twists of fate. The Manoa Readers/Theatre Ensemble presented some of these sublime, absurd, and mystical tales in October 2010 at Orvis Auditorium on the UH–Manoa campus.

In addition to the Manoa Foundation, sponsors of this event were the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa College of Arts and Humanities; University of Hawai‘i Art Gallery; Department of English; University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Library; Outreach College; Rianna M. Williams; Hawai‘i State Public Library System; Barnes and Noble Booksellers; Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day; Manoa Arts & Minds; Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture & the Arts; Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities and the “We the People” initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities; and Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing.


Tim Slaughter is the director of the Community Services Division of University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Outreach College. Slaughter has studied and worked in the performing arts for over twenty years. He earned a PhD in theatre from the University of Hawai‘i–Mānoa in 1992. He was production manager for Manoa Valley Theatre from 1983 to 1987, taught for Fresno State University in 1988 and 1989, became coordinator of the University of Hawai‘i–Manoa’s Statewide Cultural Extension Program in 1992, and became director of the University’s Community Services division in 1999.

Left to right: Wayland Quintero, Faye Ann Chun, Nyla Fujii-Babb, and Dann Seki.


Nyla Fujii-Babb has been a storyteller, actress, voice-over talent, and producer for over forty years in Hawai‘i. Noted for her collaborations, she has combined storytelling with dance, theatre, music, and the visual arts. In 2009 she toured statewide with choreographer Yukie Shiroma in Bones. She has appeared on stage for Kumu Kahua Theatre and the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, the Japan-America Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Emerson Majestic Theatre in Boston. Her television credits include voice-over narrations for the KHET/Tom Coffman production of Nation Within: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and Coffman’s The First Battle: The Battle for Equality in War Time Hawai‘i.

Faye Ann Chun has a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Scripps College in Claremont, CA. She has studied and performed with Dances We Dance, Bluewater Dance Company, and Tangentz Performance Group.

Wayland Quintero earned his MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. He is co-founder of the Mahalohalo Kolintang Ensemble, a group that researches, presents, and teaches native percussion music and dances of Southern Philippine and Malay gong cultures. Also a co-founder of the Slant Per­formance Group, a resident artist ensemble with La Mama Theatre–NYC, he performed and toured with Ping Chong & Co., Gus Solomons Dance, Chen & Dancers, and Tandy Beal & Co. He has acted in Off-Off-Broadway shows, directed at La Mama Annex Theatre, appeared locally in Kumu Kahua Theatre’s The Romance of Magno Rubio, and read for Hawaii Public Radio’s series Aloha Shorts. Recently he published “Transmission Through Misrepresenta­tion: Philippine Royal Court Dancing and Playing Indigenous in New York City” through the Interna­tional Council for Traditional Music and University of Malaya.

Dann Seki is a stage-and-screen actor and storyteller. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He has appeared in numerous plays for most of the theatres in Honolulu. His TV and film credits include many productions filmed in Hawai‘i: The Informant, Max’s Special Delivery, Lost, Hawai‘i, North Shore, Baywatch Hawai‘i, Magnum, P.I., Crowfoot, And the Sea Will Tell, Savage Beach, and numerous local commercials. He was also on the air at KUMU-FM for 15 years.