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Storytellers Spin Very Adult Yarns at New Festival

The Oregonian (Portland, OR), , September 16, 2004


This fall, beginning in late October, members of the Portland Story Theater will open a series of late-night productions at the CoHo Theater in Northwest Portland titled "Love, Death and Other Scary Stuff."

They're going to tell edgy, provocative, disturbing stories, tales that do not necessarily end 'happily ever after.'

For thousands of years adults told stories for adults. The earliest documented forms of storytelling are Chinese and Egyptian, and date to around 2000 B.C. Over the centuries storytelling leapt from Homer to Christian monks to the Brothers Grimm to Mark Twain. And then came the 20th century and its radios, movies and televisions.

Today there's a revival of storytelling in the United States, and such folks as the Portland Story Theater are part of the new wave.

Alton Chung, a member of the Portland Story Theater, talks about storytelling as "sophisticated theater." He explains that in storytelling, unlike traditional theater or TV or the computer screen,

"Someone is actually there, focusing on you and making eye contact and telling you something. A story happens somewhere between the teller and the audience. You meet and make that intimate connection."

Subjects Covered: storytelling festivals

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