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Festival Presents Storytelling as Theater

New York Times (New York, NY) , August 5, 2007


The seventh annual Mohegan Colony Storytelling and Music Festival, to be held on Saturday in Crompond, is not just for children. While the program includes events for families and a separate venue for children’s performers, the focus is on stories for adults. A roster of storytellers will entertain grown-up audiences from the historic Martha Guinsberg Pavilion stage, where Paul Robeson, Isadora Duncan, Theodore Bikel and Pete Seeger once stood.

“People think storytelling means reading stories to children,” said Judith Heineman, a storyteller and actress who is the founder and producer of the festival. “This is storytelling along the lines of Eric Bogosian, Spalding Gray, Garrison Keillor. This is storytelling as theater.”

The festival, which will be held rain or shine, takes place at Mohegan Colony, built on Lake Mohegan in 1923 by utopians who wanted to educate their own children. The festival’s family programming will be held in the original stone schoolhouse. Ms. Heineman, who owns a home there, established the event to “help revive the spirit and culture of the colony,” she said.

Subjects Covered: storytelling festivals

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