Thursday, June 18, 2009

Storytelling and the WV State Folk Festival

Unknown musicians performing in a doorway at Glenville.
A big weekend coming up: Storytelling all day Friday, the WV State Folk Festival Oral Traditions tent (not to mention lots of good music!) in Glenville, WV on Saturday, my birthday AND Father's Day on Sunday, and storytelling all day Monday. Whew!

First is tomorrow morning, storytelling at the two libraries in my county. I've thought about what stories to share, worked on some new ones and I think I've got a good program ready to go. This will be the same program I will be using at several libraries this summer:

Since this summer's theme is Get Creative! , I've got lots of room for...creativity! Here are my choices:

Swapping Song-- this is a fun, interactive song that comes from the British Isles and was shortened a bit in the Appalachians.

Magic Paint Brush--a story from China. I will tell it using a whiteboard to draw the various parts of the story--not a draw and tell story, but more a story with illustrations. It teaches the benefit of helping others instead of serving your own greed, but like all good stories the message doesn't beat you over the head.

The Perfect Pet--this is an original story I wrote to go with my three dragon puppets, fairy puppet and king and queen puppet. I think it is going to be a lot of fun to tell. There is a participation chant and of course children from the audience will use the puppets to help tell the story.

How the Dog Chose its Master--a simple tale from India that allows audience participation and again, audience members using puppets to help tell the story.

The Tug of War-- a comic trickster tale from Australia. This story will again be audience participation and the only prop I need is a rope.

Bar the Door-an old British ballad that traveled to the mountains, this is funny and fun, with a lesson about being stubborn.

Fill Bowl! Fill! --a Jack tale from the Appalachian Mountains, and like all Jack tales great fun to tell and to listen to.

How the Vulture Got its Color--a tale from Burma that makes a point about vanity and gratefulness. This is the story I prepared as a flannelboard story, so children can help with the telling.

Aiken Drum--from Scotland, a story and a song about a funny little man. The original ballad was a political statement, but became a nonsensical children's song over the years. I tell the story of the brownie Aiken Drum who came to help out but was insulted by the gift of new clothes, then close the story with the song and a flannelboard. It's good fun and lots of participation in the song and flannelboard.

Of course, I may mix it up with a few alternate stories. I keep a ready supply to be sure what I tell is right for the audience in front of me. But I like this mix of world folktales, Appalachian stories and ballads, flannelboard stories and participation stories. I think it's going to be a lot of fun for all of us, listeners and storyteller.

Saturday is Glenville and the West Virginia State Folk Festival! Traditional mountain music, crafts, country people in town to celebrate, friends, and a lot more at the oldest folk festival in West Virginia. Click here and here to see my posts about last year's festival in Glenville.

So what does the festival have for writers and storytellers?

Plenty! The Oral Traditions Tent at the WV State Folk Festival in Glenville, WV this weekend will feature some of our state's best writers. Here's the schedule of presenters, and remember, the festival is free!

Fred Powers, telling last year as a coal miner. Powerful.

Friday, June 19th:
11am:Kirk Judd (poet)
12:00 Laura Treacy Bentley (poet)
2:00 pm Marc Harshman (poet, storyteller, writer)
3:00 pm Mountain Echoes (storytellers)

Saturday, June 20th:
10 am Fran Schmetzer (local Gilmer County author)
12:00 Susanna Holstein --that would be me :-) (storyteller, poet, writer)
3:00 pm Cat Pleska (storyteller and writer)
4:00 pm Suzi "Mama" Whaples (storyteller)

Here's a link to the festival:

Will I see you there? I hope so!

Oh, and the birthday/Father's Day? I think we'll see in the summer solstice with a fire in the firepit and a few glasses of wine, then on Sunday morning we'll make pancakes with homemade strawberry syrup, drink coffee on the porch, and maybe get those cabbages in the freezer--and who knows? Maybe I'll get the kraut made too.

If that doesn't sound like a real celebration, remember that I work away from home most of the week, and for me this kind of day is a perfect celebration of why we live in the country.


Rowan said...

The Folk Festival sounds like a lot of fun and so does your way of celebrating your birthday. Hope you have a lovely time both days.

Granny Sue said...

Thank you, Rowan. I believe I will. Music, stories, friends and gardens are a very good combination.

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