Kahilu presents world-renowned ‘spoken word’ artist Shane Koyczan

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“I’ve been shot down so many times, I get altitude sickness just from standing up for myself,” says Shane Koyczan, one of the world’s premier spoken word performers who will grace the stage of Kahilu Theatre 7 p.m. May 12.

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“I’ve been shot down so many times, I get altitude sickness just from standing up for myself,” says Shane Koyczan, one of the world’s premier spoken word performers who will grace the stage of Kahilu Theatre 7 p.m. May 12.

Koyczan began creating and performing award-winning material in 2005 and has since become an international spoken word superstar. His powerful anti-bullying video, “To This Day,” was released in 2013 and has garnered more than 18.5 million views.

“I saw Shane perform live in Vancouver last year,” said Tim Bostock, artistic director of Kahilu Theatre. “He was immediately captivating and geeky, but completely comfortable on stage, even as he’s revealing intense truths and emotions. I found him so affecting. I laughed and I cried.”

Koyczan is an artist who powerfully molds words and presents them to audiences, both visually and verbally. His performances are described as emotional, witty, sincere and inspirational. He also has the honor of being the first poet outside the U.S to garner the acclaimed USA National Individual Poetry Slam.

Far from traditional poetry, Koyczan’s work is politically and socially charged, and slays audiences from Europe to Australia. He takes the traumatic experiences kids face in school and spins them into tragically beautiful prose that rips the hearts out of every audience member. Koyczan also takes on the contemporary issue of cyber bullying and critically peels back layers of pain to expose the deep-seated wounds of today’s younger generation.

“He has an extremely rare gift,” said Bostock. “Without histrionics, he performs meticulously layered poetry that uplifts your soul. I urge North Hawaii to come and experience this unique artist.”

Koyczan digs deep for the truth and shares the wisdom of his experiences to which everyone can relate. His performances are for anyone who has experienced the pain of bullying or societal discouragement. Koyczan feels that children are pressured to define themselves within the confines of a very small box — that they are told who they should be, while at the same time asked what they want to be.

Koyczan is excited to perform on Hawaii Island.

“I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Hawaiian hospitality and the depth of culture. It is my first time performing in Hawaii, and I am looking forward to experience the beauty and kindness Hawaii has to offer,” he said.

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Tickets range from $16-33 and can be purchased online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office.

Info: www.kahilutheatre.com. ■

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