From father to son, from mother to daughter, from generation to generation, from dawn to dusk, from East to West…there were storytellers. Before the printed book, before radio, TV, the VCR, and DVD, there was storytelling. The ancient art of storytelling is the up-close and personal transmission of ideas, traditions, dreams, humor, wisdom, and love. Every culture has its stories, and it is the storytellers who pass them from one generation to another. Long ago the storyteller held a position of honor within the community – his/her words were held in reverence. Now, after a long absence from our cultural consciousness, there is a revival of storytelling and a resurgence of the role of the storyteller.
The 19th annual Rockland County Storytelling Festival celebrates the art and the age old tradition of storytelling on Sun Nov 16 from 1:30-4:30p at the Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library in Garnerville. Hear professional storytellers Elise Krakower, Julie Pasqual, Pamela Schembri, and Chuck Stead joined by high school students who will also tell their stories. There will also be storycrafts for children–but storytelling is not just for kids.
Storytelling is not the same as reading a story aloud or reciting a piece of literature from memory or acting out a drama. The storyteller looks into the eyes of audience members and together they venture into the tale. The teller recreates, through expert voice and gestures, a series of mental images. The listener squints, stares, smiles, leans forward and enters the enchantment of the teller’s imagination. Each individual, teller and listener alike, conjures up a unique set of images and feelings associated with words, gestures, and sounds as the stories come to life. The experience of storytelling can be profoundly moving, thought provoking, and supremely entertaining.
November 16th is Storytelling Day in the County of Rockland, by official proclamation of County Executive Ed Day. Come celebrate with us at the Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library on Route 202 (behind CVS) in Garnerville at this free, multicultural, family event!
Deborah Studnitzer is the Director of School, Technology, Arts, and Resources (STAR) at the Rockland Teachers’ Center. For more information about the Rockland County Storytelling Festival, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Facebook.com/RCNYStorytellingFestival.