Connecticut Storytelling Festival

Connecticut Storytelling Festival
Saturday, Apr 27, 2024 at 9:00am


9:00 - 10:30 am - Performance by Kevin Johnson, “The Life and Times of William Webb"

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation - Unity Hall

An African American Civil War Soldier from Connecticut”. An emotional and exciting first-person perspective that vividly illustrates the struggle of the African Americans in the Colored Infantry during the Civil War. Kevin tells of Webb’s early life in Hartford, his recruitment and training, and the traumatic final battles of the Civil War.

9:00 - 10:30 a.m - Workshop with Rona Leventhal, “Moving the Body, Freeing the Mind: The Art of Storytelling”

Thames Club Dining Room

Experience a story from the inside out! Through movement, voice, visualization, and exploration we will play with a story, discover its essence, delve into characters, explore imagery…and see how this stew influences your telling! Come ready to play, explore and take risks in a safe environment. Appropriate for beginners (even if you’ve never told a story!) or as a “story tune-up”! Wear comfortable clothes for moving…and let’s dig in!

9:00 - 10:30 a.m - Workshop/Performance with Peter Chand, “Puzzling Stories”

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation - Nash Classroom

Cunning conundrums, labyrinthic stories, and conversations about the role and creative power of riddles in the 21st century.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - The Gathering of Tellers

A potpourri of stories and tellers

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation - Unity Hall

Oz Morse will provide music as the audience enters and between each teller.

Leeny Del Seamonds will emcee and tell “A Gift for the King” - A Persian king receives a bounty of gifts.

Bonnie Gardner - “The Red Thread” - The journey to parenthood can be full of twists and tangles.

Vijai Nathan - “McGoddess” - A journey about faith and why we believe what we believe.

Presentation of the Barbara Reed Award

Rona Leventhal will tell a tantalizing traditional folk tale from her rapturous repertoire!

Peter Chand will tell a traditional Indian tale from stories he collected while visiting India.

12:30 - 2:00 p.m - Lunch on your own

2:00 - 3:30 p.m - Bonnie Gardner, Leeny Del Seamonds, Oz Morse

Thames Club President’s Room

Bonnie Gardner will tell three stories of transition, change, understanding, and hope:

“Alexis’s Big Reveal” - During the pandemic and in the digital age, how do we share important news?

“Crashing” - Learning to let go when life doesn’t unfold the way you’d thought.

“The Sign” - In a politically divided culture, a disturbing event provokes a powerful reaction.

Leeny Del Seamonds will tell “Suki” - A Japanese crane returns a kindness.

Oz Morse will play a medley of the world.

2:00 - 3:30 p.m - Rona Leventhal, “The Prince of Pirates and the Witch of Wellfleet”

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation - Unity Hall

Wander the bluffs of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and you might hear whispers of the ghost of Marie “Goody” Hallet, calling for (or cursing) her lover, “Black Sam Bellamy”. Rona’s version of this classic Cape Cod tale, set in the early 1700’s is an interesting intersection between legend and history…and truths that are both factual and real. Playing fifteen characters, Rona offers an engaging, powerful look at life in Puritan New England through the lens of story. It addresses the history of the era, universal themes, “gang mentality”, hypocrisy and resilience. Come hear their tale…this is not your average ‘happily ever after’ ending!

2:00 - 3:30 p.m - Vijai Nathan - Workshop, “The Truth Hurts But It Is Funny”

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation - Nash classroom

Exploring personal narrative - Through a series of interactive exercises, participants will learn elements of a good story, story structure, and uncover many story ideas.

2:00 - 3:30 p.m - Youth Tellers

Public Library of New London

Come hear the next generation of storytellers!

Presentation of Kate McClelland Librarian’s Award

3:45 - 4:45 p.m - Peter Chand - “Grimms Sheesha”

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation - Unity Hall

Many of the stories we know as European tales are widely believed to have origins in the East, having reached here through travelers, gypsies, merchants, and those who were just fond of a really good yarn…

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Artists Meet and Greet - FOR MEMBERS ONLY

Thames Club President’s Room

6:00 - 7:30 p.m. - Dinner on your own

7:30 - 9:00 p.m. - The Scattering

Peter Chand and Vijai Nathan

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation - Unity Hall

Presentation of Spencer Shaw Educator’s Award

Peter Chand will tell “The Clever Daughter In Law” - A beautiful and dark tale from South India where wit saves more than just the day.

Vijai Nathan will tell “Good Girls Don’t But Indian Girls Do” - A story that breaks every taboo as it exposes the underbelly of an Indian American family.

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Date: April 26-27, 2024

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