I’ve honestly never really given storytelling much of a thought, despite the great tales I’ve heard from family and friends and the fact that I once shared a stage with local favorite and internationally known storyteller Khabir Shareef. Stories have just been, well, those moments that stitch together time when hanging out with friends and the words I’ve read in books. In reality, they are, if I think about it for even a second, so much more. They preserve family history, make people laugh (cry, weep, want to give you money), and are just one of the ways to bring a community together. My next chance to hear professionals who believe fiercely in the power of the story is September 24, when Donald Davis and Carmen Agra Deedy take the stage at the Indiana History Center (450 W. Ohio Street) at 7:30 p.m.
Davis and Deedy are, among other things, a former minister and a children’s lit author, respectively. They’ll present Mama Mia! as the opening performance of the Storytelling Arts of Indiana’s season. With such strong familial ties — Deedy immigrated to America from Cuba with her parents in 1960 and Davis was inspired by his uncle to become a storyteller — I would guess that their anecdotes will revolve around those wacky folks known as relatives, especially given the stories the two will tell on the next day: Free Range Childhood (2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.) and The People That We Love (7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.). Check out the following video of Deedy sharing a story at a TED conference in 2005. I was hooked in to the comedy and poetry in her performance and was surprised the audience didn’t react more. Hopefully the audience at Friday’s event ($20 in advance and $25 at the door) will be more appreciative. Visit http://www.storytellingarts.org or call 317-232-1882 for more information.