Mark your calendars March 13-15 for the Mariposa County Arts Council’s 28th Mariposa Storytelling Festival, featuring six internationally acclaimed storytelling performers spinning tales for all ages.
The festival will feature cozy, old-fashioned stories told by some of the finest storytellers in the country, from National Public Radio contributors to award-winning authors, recreating the craft of famed storytellers like Mark Twain, Garrison Keillor, and Will Rogers.
The festival offers two evening events, more performances throughout the day on Saturday, a special Yosemite Concert on Sunday, and magical adventures for every story fan.
Producer/Director Marilyn Rudzik has invited six master storytellers to this year’s festival Listeners from ages 8 – 108 will discover that even in this fast world of technology, the mesmorizing voices of storytellers continues to be something we all need. And on the second weekend of March, stories from a wealth of cultures, traditions and styles will once again fill the town of Mariposa.
One of the master storytellers, Beth Horner, will share her many journeys of adventure, haunting eeriness and farmyard escapades. Horner’s lively, traditional storytelling style often incorporates music for a dynamite performance sure to please the multitude of interests of her audience. She encourages her listeners to dip into the wealth of their own creative minds.
“When you watch a story on television or in a movie theater, you see one person’s (the film maker’s) depiction of the image - of a monster, a prince or an enraged tiger. When you hear a story, you create that image yourself,” Horner said. “When I’m telling stories to 50 different people, there are 50 different movies going on in the minds of listeners. Nothing is as powerful or vivid as your own imagination.”
A National Storytelling Network Circle of Excellence Oracle Award winner, Horner has been sought after as a storytelling performer and teaching artist since 1983. She has performed multiple times at the National Storytelling Festival, on Live From National Geographic, at Miami’s International Art of Storytelling Festival, and as narrative consultant for NASA/Johnson Space Center’s Story Mining project for which she collected the stories of the scientists behind the Apollo Space Missions.
Plan to join Horner and the five other equally outstanding storytellers and challenge the wealth of your own imagination. Saturday’s Storytelling performances take place at Mariposa County High School, Sunday’s events take place in the Park Service’s East Auditorium, in Yosemite National Park.
Other storytellers to appear at the festival include:
Michael Parent: A native Mainer of French-Canadian descent, Parent has performed stories and songs in English and French since 1977. He is currently performing three original one-man shows: One More Thing”, “A Beautiful Game” and “The Goofy Show.” From New England to New Zealand, he has been featured at many events including hundreds of schools and libraries, the National Storytelling Festival, and several international festivals.
Anne Rutherford: Rutherford has loved a good story ever since her mother read her the Wizard of Oz. She grew up in a small Pennsylvania town - a lively child who read stories to find her place in the world. She’s gone on to develop and perform a number of original and vintage stories of humor, adventure,and the supernatural. Rutherford is also two-time first place winner in the NW Folklore Festival Liar’s Contest - so don’t believe everything she tells you.
Tim Lowry: Lowry has been telling stories of the people, by the people, and for the people for 25 years. Telling a variety of folk tales and stories from American history. At the National Storytelling Festival audiences loved joining him for a ride through history and listening to his engaging stories of colonial tavern tales, and Civil War ghost stories.
Sarah Saulter: Saulter grew up in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. She told her first original story at the age of three. She has appeared at the Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival, served on the Healing Arts Staff at Rady Children’s Hospital, and performed at local and regional festivals. The magic in Saulter’s storytelling is the absolute feeling that you’re there. You’ve been transported to some other time or place, and you believe in the most unlikely magic.
Antonio Rocha: A native of Brazil, Rocha came to the US to perform and deepen his mime skills with Master Tony Montanaro, and also to study with Master Marcel Marceau . Antonio’s unique shows of stories and mime have been performed in 14 countries on 6 continents.
Have a story to tell?
Come tell your story at the Mariposa County Arts Council’s second Story Slam 7 p.m., Thursday, March 12, at the Mariposa Methodist Church. It’s free, and the Story Slam will feature you telling a five-minute true story based on the theme: my favorite childhood memory. my favorite childhood memory.
Stories will be judged and cash prizes will be awarded to the top three tales. Rules for this pre-festival event, performed the night before the festival begins, can be found on the website of the Mariposa County Arts Council. You can also find information on the Mariposa Storytelling Festival Facebook page. Sign-ups for telling your story will be from 6:30 - 7:00 pm, at the door. Practice your story on your family, your friends, your dog, but never your cat.
The Mariposa Arts Council, sponsor of the Mariposa Storytelling Festival, is funded in part by Mariposa County, the California Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Mariposa County Arts Council, Inc. is an incorporated not-for- profit organization, created to promote and support all forms of the cultural arts, for all ages, throughout Mariposa County.
The festival begins at Mariposa High School (5074 Old Highway North at Eighth Street) with events on Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14. On Sunday, March 15, the festival moves to Yosemite National Park for the festival finale in the Park Service Auditorium at the Yosemite Valley Visitors Center.
The evening shows typically sell-out prior to the festival.
Admission prices range from $4 to a two-day special package price of $64 for Arts Council members. Seniors and students receive 10% off. call the Mariposa County Arts Council at (209) 966-3155, or visit mariposaartscouncil.org.
-Mariposa County Arts Council