Dates: July 29th through August 2nd, 2013

Events: Once again Eth-Noh-Tec brings national storytellers to Orcas Island with a wonderful treat for the San Juans.

Featured tellers will be Judith Black (Massachusetts), Heather Forest (New York), Kirk Waller, and Ruth Halpern (California) and Doug Banner (Washington), including Orcas Island’s own Anji Ringzin and Antoinette Botsford, and of course island part-timers Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo of Eth-Noh-Tec of San Francisco.

“Be ready to relish in the great tradition and fine art of storytelling!” beams Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, proud of it’s 5th cycle of this biennial festival started in 2004.

The art form is by no means a ‘dying art’. Though the word ‘storytelling’ has been eagerly absorbed by modern media (e.g.: “That film director is a great storyteller!”), traditional, oral, live storytelling has in fact experienced a rebirth through its thousands of annual festivals, conferences, guilds, networks, and organizations found throughout the world. The world is truly a world of storytelling, preserving traditions, honoring ancestors and history, informing and inspired listeners, but most importantly, igniting peoples’ imaginations.

Robert adds: “As humans, we are wired for stories. We even communicate with stories. To quote Robert Bellah: “Narrative … is more than literature; it is the way we understand our lives.”
Nancy brightens up with: “We are very excited to share our colleagues and friends with the island. Whether through a wisdom tale, a journey tale, even a silly or ghost tale, there is always a lesson to learn. Yes, stories are entertaining, and it is this non-threatening entertainment in which people are relaxed and open enough to learn and deepen their sense of self, their sense of their world.”

“And, in the end, the question is which story do you choose to live?” asks Robert.
Six public programs sponsored by Friends of the Orcas Island Library will be as follows:

– Mon., July 29, 6:00 pm: “Pajama Tales”, Library, – wear your “jammies”! (Free)

– Tues., July 30, 1:30 pm: “Wisdom, Wit, and Wily Ways”, Senior Center, (Free)

– Tues., July 30, 7:30 pm: “Ghost Stories”, Funhouse (Donation)

– Wed., July 31, 7:30 pm: “Sacred Stories, Sounds of Spirit”, Emmanuel Episcopal Hall (Free)

– Thurs. Aug 1, 7:30 pm: “World of Stories” Odd Fellows Hall (Sliding Scale Donation)

– Fri. Aug 2, 7:30 pm: “Why Stories? Why Sing?” Senior Center (Donation)

Of special note are three new fesatures. First is: “Sacred Stories, Sounds of Spirit”– at the Emmanuel Episopal Parish Hall. These stories will guide the listener home to a place of compassion, spiritual awareness and draw from the sages and saints from various religious traditions as well as enlightenment found in dailiy mindfulness. Special musical guests will be the harmonic encantations of “The Bhajans”. They are local. They are vocal. Sometimes electric, definitely spiritually eccletic!

The second storytelling program of note is the end-of-the-week, event: “Why Stories?, Why Sing?”, a “fishbowl” forum discussion in the round, sharing examples of storytelling in action, in community settings. Each of the tellers will share various storytelling projects they are doing in their neighborhoods and abroad to improve well-being in communities. To underscore the theme of community-building, the event will culminate with a sing-along! Partake of the stories. Join in the singing! (Senior Center Aug 2, 7:30pm)

Lastly we need to mention the musical guests that will embellish the festival. Aforementioned are the Bhajans and their spiritual harmonies appearing at the evening of “Sacred Stories”. Also at the Senior Center’s “Wisdom” afternoon concert will open with the oldies but but goldies repertoire of the Senior Center Songbirds. The final evening show, “World of Stories” will take musical flight with the doo-woppin’, guitar strumming, foot-tappin’ four part harmonies of the Parking Angels.

Nancy and Robert wish to thank all the wonderful islanders who donate meals, produce, lodging, friendship and activities to our tellers who donate their time and talents to the festival! A special thanks to Mindplace and The Friends of the Library for their sponsorship of the festival. Please consider joining their ranks with a contribution.
For more details visit: www.ethnohtec.org (click on ‘Fifth Orcas Storyfest’) or look for A-frames and flyers around town!

Producer: Eth-Noh-Tec is an award-winning, national and internationally recognized Asian American performing arts non-profit founded in 1981 by Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo. They present ancient Asian folktales and contemporary Asian American stories that inspire and reveal our universal truths. Eth-Noh-Tec has created an exciting new blend of storytelling and kinetic theater – a mixed alchemy of music, theater, dance and the spoken word to challenge the borders between theater, movement, mime and storytelling.

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