Ursula K. Leguin, in her book The Language of the Night, wrote, "There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories." Central to that ancient pan-human art's practice in the Twin Cities is the Northstar Storytelling League, an organization of some of our state's most accomplished tellers. Hosting monthly concerts at Java Jack's Coffee Café throughout the year, the league comes together now for an entire day of stories and discussion of the trade of tales, beginning with a welcoming presentation from Jack Zipes, storyteller and University of Minnesota professor, speaking on "The Transformation of Storytelling in a Globalized World." From noon to five, workshops and smaller story circles will feature performances as well as discussion of and instruction in the techniques of spinning stories—including a showcase of experimental work and exploration of the relationship between storytelling and other spoken-word performances such as slam poetry. New to Tellabration this year is Liar's Contest, promising the opportunity to best the competition with bold-faced falsehoods. But the big event comes in the evening, when the Tellabration concert rolls out, hosted by advocate, teacher, and professional storyteller Loren Niemi, joined onstage by a dizzying array of local talent, including folklorist John Berquist, travel-story collector Joan Calof, Anishinabe healer Mark Erickson, Rake magazine humorist Colleen Kruse, and mime and libertarian activist Phillip Low, to name a few. Expect an evening of laughter, tears, and everything in between as some of our cities' true masters pluck your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone.
Sat., Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 2007