We listen to music on the radio, see movies at the theater and watch news on the television. Stories are being told all the time. “But what about those who write for fun or in hopes of something bigger?” asks James Wheatley, artistic director of Celebration Arts. “Those who have experiences and memories that they’ve carried a while and tell at work, parties, family gatherings or hold secret? How about giving them a venue to share their tale?”
Celebration Arts in East Sacramento produces diverse theater, music and dance performances. This month, the nonprofit hosts its second annual “7. Minute Storytelling Festival” to give storytellers a chance to step up to the mic.
Local writers and talent will take the stage to express a variety of tales that bring laughs or tears. It could be anything from what happened at the grocery store last week to new fantasy fiction in the works. But each has to be told within seven and a half minutes. And with an emphasis on telling stories, not reading them.
Storytellers are required to memorize their submissions. Some of Wheatley’s finest memories from last year’s event were watching inexperienced participants find their shining moments on stage, and experiencing the enthusiasm coming from a supportive audience. “Telling a story is much more intimate, personal, captivating,” says Wheatley. “The variety of the stories, the energy, earnestness and enthusiasm of the storytellers was electric and really kept the audience deeply involved throughout.”
Wheatley is not the only one who was impressed by last year’s turnout. He says more people are looking to participate this year, and Celebration Arts is extending the festival into a three-day celebration Nov. 13–15.
For more information and ticket reservations, visit celebrationarts.net.