Monday, February 24, 2014

Pennsylvania Storyteller Brings Special Brand of Humor to Culpeper Tells…. a Festival of Words

Pennsylvania storyteller Ed Stivender’s father was a Protestant Southern Gentleman and his mother was an Irish Catholic Yankee Lady: the Mason Dixon Line runs right through his chromosomes.

Stivender will be one of four featured storytellers at the first annual Culpeper Tells….a Festival of Words, to be held at the State Theater in Culpeper on March 15, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.   He believes that storytelling is a way to communicate with a live audience in the form of a dance.  Sharing energy with the audience enhances his performance.

“I have always been a daydreamer,” states Stivender, “and storytelling is how a daydreamer moonlights.  As a former class clown it is how I entertain my friends.”

Stivender enjoys improvising with audience suggestions or external distractions, like the train that is likely to interrupt a story at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN.

Vicky Reed, a teacher at the University of San Diego, says of Stivender, "Ed's variety of vocalization, facial expressions, and body language for each character in his stories is always brilliant! These things, in combination with his lightening, quick wit, his spot on timing, and his clever use of his banjo or props, guarantee a memorable experience.”

Jimmy Neil Smith of the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee, calls Stivender the “Clown Prince of Storytelling".
Other storytellers joining Ed at the festival are Kim Weitkamp, Sheila Arnold, and Linda Goodman.

Culpeper Tells….A Festival of Words has received a media grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation. A variety of partners are sponsoring the event, including the Virginia Storytelling Alliance (VASA), the State Theatre of Culpeper, Culpeper Tourism Department, Culpeper Chamber of Commerce, Culpeper Renaissance, Holiday Inn Express and Suites Culpeper, and Gumbo Design Studios.
VASA will be hosting its annual Gathering during this same weekend, with events on Friday evening and Sunday morning. If you purchase a VASA Gathering weekend ticket, it will include all performance and workshop events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 
Registrations fees range from $10.00 for a single workshop, to $35.00 for the full day on Saturday, to $50.00 for a VASA Gathering weekend ticket. A barbeque dinner will be offered from 5:00 pm – 7:15 pm for $20 per person. To register for the festival, visit the website of the State Theatre of Culpeper, Virginia, at You may also reserve a room at the Holiday Inn by calling the hotel directly at (540)825-7444 and asking for the “storyteller” rate. The Inn is located at 787 Madison Rd, Culpeper, VA 22701.

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