Today at The Clinton: Wednesday, Jun 19

Fool’s Paradise: Tales from a Blissfully Skewed Point of View

portland storytellers' guild logo


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!

Fool’s Paradise: Tales from a Blissfully Skewed Point of View


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Who hasn’t lived in a fool’s paradise now and again? 

Trish Anderson and Susan Zwingli join the beloved tandem of Norm Brecke and Anne Rutherford for an evening of stories that examine that question in the Portland Storytellers Guild’s monthly show — “Fool’s Paradise: Tales from a Blissfully Skewed Point of View” — Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Clinton Street Theater,

They will speak of famous and not-so-famous iconoclasts, relate folktales that take on new life and remind us of how foolish we can all be at times.

Anne & Norm will also provide pre-show music starting when the doors open at 7.

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April Storytellers

In 1999, Anne Rutherford got an idea for a story program for adults, rented a hall, sold tickets - and people came! Since then, she’s been a four-time winner of Northwest Folklife’s Liars Contest, Teller in Residence at the International Storytelling Center in Tennessee (2016) and was a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival (2018). Her CD, “The Habit of Joy” is a Storytelling World Award winner (2015). Besides telling in festivals, Anne enjoys working as a teaching artist in schools, telling at libraries, and writing new stories. Anne’s warm, flexible performance style entertains audiences with smart, genuine fun.

Norm Brecke loves a good story. Before becoming a full-time professional storyteller, he was an award-winning teacher who told stories daily in his classroom and taught storytelling skills to students after school. Norm has told stories from Oregon to South Carolina, LA to BC. He’s been a featured teller at the Powellswood (2012), Art of the Story (2017), and Stone Soup (2018) Storytelling Festivals. Norm is proud to have narrated for the Seattle Symphony (2012), and performed at the Seattle Art Museum (2014), and the National Storytelling Summit (2017 & 2018). Norm tells traditional stories, personal narratives, historical tales, and stories in song.

Trish Anderson started telling stories in 2017 to help take the edge off one particular episode in her past and to get her arms around something that didn’t fit neatly into all the other life experience categories. Well, it worked. And she discovered that stories could resonate far beyond just making you laugh. “Like any good art, stories can distract us from our daily heap of sorrow,” she says, “and sometimes even give hope and healing. In real life, Trish sorts and organizes words, ideas, images and objects as a technical writer and illustrator.

Susan Zwingli grew up hearing stories told around her grandparent’s fireplace during cold Midwestern winters. Over the last 10 years, Susan has used storytelling in academic, business, and pastoral environments as an instructor, marketing manager, and volunteer chaplain. Susan joined PSG in 2017 as a general member, attending story swaps and guild classes. She became a board member and performer in 2018, and she will be facilitating a guild workshop in May 11t on the element of improvisation in storytelling. Details are on the Guild website,

Special Admission

Advance: $10 Guild Members; $12 General Admission

At the door: $15 for everyone