On Saturday September 16th from noon till 6 PM, storytellers from throughout New Jersey and the tri-state area will be coming together for the 25th year to keep alive an ancient tradition — telling stories out loud.
Storyteller Carol Titus remembers the festival’s modest beginnings. “It started with a few storytellers sitting with a small audience under a tree at Allaire Village and grew over the years to more than 40 storytellers delighting hundreds of audience members of all ages.”
This year’s festival will take place at a new venue — Howell Living History Farm of the Mercer County Park Commission, 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Township. All activities are free and open to the public. Indoor sites are available in case of rain and food will be available for purchase.
The afternoon’s fun begins with the Story Slam, from noon to 1 PM. Contestants are chosen at random to recount a 5 minute-or-less personal story related to the theme “The Last Straw.” Everyone is encouraged to participate.
Then a continuous rotation of tellers will perform throughout the farm from 1 to 5 PM.
At 5 PM, in celebration of the festival’s 25th year, the festival will conclude with 25 two-minute tales tripping off the tongues of the talented tellers in the event’s signature close, the Lightning Round.
People interested in the art and practice of storytelling are invited to a morning workshop “Gleaning Insight from Critical Moments: Working Below and Between the Lines of an Oral Text” from 9:30-11:30. Led by master storytellers Paula Davidoff and Julie Della Torre, it is geared to both novices and professionals and will explore storytelling techniques and strategies. Participants will experience story using multiple modes of learning, identify and discuss layers of meaning in traditional literature, connect personal experience to story/text, and apply workshop activities to enrich study and teaching of story. This event is sponsored by The Friends of Howell Farm and is also free and open to the public but seating is limited. Please register at www.njstorynet.org.
The NJ Storytelling Festival is made possible by a generous grant from Verizon and the support of the Mercer County Park Commission, Howell Living History Farm, and the Friends of Howell Farm.