Portland Storytellers’ Guild Monthly Showcase
Stories are how we make meaning of our lives and our world. They make us laugh, think–and teach us how to be human. When the pace of change accelerates absurdly and our definition of “community” seems to change with every headline, stories can ground us and help us remember who we are.
The Portland Storytellers’ Guild preserves the ancient tradition of oral storytelling in the modern world by creating a space where teller and listener sit down and together, recreate the stories of our common humanity. Like all living things, stories come to life when they are nurtured by being told, heard and savored.
For 25 years, the Portland Storytellers’ Guild has been introducing people of the Pacific Northwest to the joy and power of stories in person, face to face. Old stories that may have been committed to print long ago breathe and move and sing again. New stories find their way from our lives into our tales. It is said that to be human is to have a story to tell. That is what the Portland Storytellers’ Guild is all about.
We invite you experience this magic at one of our monthly performances, now at the Historic Clinton Street Theater!
If you’re like most people you try to imagine what the future is likely to bring. You plan, schedule, coordinate ... and then life happens. That’s the theme of “What Lies Ahead…” — an evening of stories about the delight, longing and uncertainty of everyday living.
Janice Alexander, Kelly Hoffman, Rick Huddle and Charles McConnell will share tales of laughter and challenge, triumph and tragedy, unexpected opportunities and unintended consequences — a new father’s diaper skills, a young girl’s choice after the KKK burns a cross in her town, one man’s decision after losing his spouse, the true story behind the lyrics of a well-known song and more.
Presented by the Portland Storytellers' Guild, which preserves the ancient tradition of oral storytelling in the modern world by creating a space where teller and listener sit down and together, recreate the stories of our common humanity. Like all living things, stories come to life when they are nurtured by being told, heard and savored.
Janice Alexander is a kindly grandmother and schoolteacher who joined the storytellers’ guild shortly before retirement (from teaching, not grand-mothering). Her storytelling alter ego lived alone in the woods for so long time that she forgot how to speak, an ability restored after a fortuitous encounter with the Newberg goat woman and her many entrancing goat stories. Janice has been telling tales ever since. She enjoys creating with clay as well as words.
Kelly Hoffman has delighted audiences with her stories since grade school (and now it hardly ever gets her into trouble). Take sheer physical power coupled with dynamic cadences, throw in a rich and varied life filled with powerful personal experiences and you start to get an idea of what her stories are like. She has been a member of the Merchant Marines, a firefighter, a marriage and family Therapist, a mom and a wife. Kelly has two master’s degrees, each focusing on the healing benefits of storytelling for society and in families.
Rick Huddle has performed in schools across the U.S. as well as in Mexico, Thailand and Colombia and at such noted venues as the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, the Art of Story, Tapestry of Tales and the National Storytelling Festival-Exchange Place. In summers, he teaches performing arts to children with special needs at Camp Yakety Yak, A Mother Story Slam winner, he also dives for ultimate Frisbees, spins around in a Cyr wheel and hangs out at Posies coffee shop in North Portland. Rick says he believes stories, songs and laughter can help people better understand themselves and one another especially those with whom they disagree.
Chuck McConnell came to Portland in 2010 after two careers in public broadcasting, one at stations in seven states and the other with a national association serving the public broadcasting industry. H has lived in 11 states and traveled through all 50 and was a Peace Corps volunteer in post-Soviet Eastern Europe. Chuck considers his penchant for storytelling “genetic” and proudly proof offers proof — a 1914 certificate honoring his father (a second-grader at the time) for “excellent work in the oral reproduction of stories.”