Some of the region’s best storytellers will come together Sunday for Tellabration! at Proctors.
“Our nation is fragmented . . . I want [to tell] stories that will help people,” said Kate Dudding, a producer of the storytelling event.
It’s a national project organized by the National Storytelling Network. Story Circle at Proctors has been organizing a local version of the event for several years. Starting at 3:30 p.m., storytellers will focus on challenges.
While some stories will be tragic, others will be lighter and show a more humorous side of dealing with challenges. According to Dudding, the aim of the event is to give hope in a time of fear.
“It’s a very intimate art form,” Dudding said.
Storytellers will often interact with the audience, sometimes curtailing or changing their planned stories depending on the audience’s reactions. The ancient art is also how we’ve come to understand our culture, said Dudding.
“The old stories define our culture and [they’re] not just for children,” Dudding said.
There comes a point in adulthood when many become uninterested in stories, either because they get busy and don’t take the time to listen, or they start to believe stories are for children and teens.
“A story should entertain in the moment and give memories worth keeping,” Dudding said, quoting a book of Irish stories.
With Tellabration!, Dudding and fellow producer Alden (Joe) Doolittle are hoping to turn the audience into story-listener converts by telling tales that will stay with the audience for years.
“One of the goals of Story Circle at Proctors is to bring one of the oldest performing art forms, storytelling, to the attention of the public,” Doolittle said.
The storytelling roster for Sunday includes Dudding, Margaret French, Marni Gillard, Christie Keegan, Bonnie Mion, Claire Nolan, Nancy Marie Payne, Karen Pillsworth and Sandy Schuman.
Ticket sales from Tellabration! go to other local storytelling events. According to Doolittle, profits from the previous 21 Tellabration! events have underwritten more than 100 storytelling events in Capital Region.
Dudding promises a story for everyone in the audience, whether they’re seasoned storytellers or new to the tradition.
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Proctors’ GE Theatre (432 State St. Schenectady)
TICKETS: $12, $10 for groups, $6 for students.
BUY: Proctors box office
MORE INFO: storycircleatproctors.org