Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Sep 19th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Story Time

blog storytellingStorytellers, poets and musicians perform in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Storytelling is much more than a method for putting children to sleep at night. A group of Santa Cruzan storytellers want to remind people that storytelling invites us to sit back with open ears, minds and hearts, and simply listen, letting the voices of others enthrall our imaginations and take us on a journey within our own minds.

“There are treasures hidden inside [stories], such as how to live a meaningful life,” says Sirena Andrea.

Andrea, a local storyteller and dancer, is most recently known for her presentation of the classic Russian fairytale “The Firebird” at the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival in July. She will be one of the headlining storytellers at the upcoming Santa Cruz Storytelling Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18, where she will be performing Martin Prechtel’s story “Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun: A Mayan Tale of Ecstasy, Time, and Finding One's True Form.”

“I tell the story the way it’s been told, and keep all the details the same,” Andrea says, adding that she particularly enjoys telling fairytales, myths, legends, and old Grimm stories (of German, Romanian, and Russian descent), not to mention sweet Asian stories that deal primarily with “inner being.” 

Andrea first hopped aboard the storytelling train at the age of 28 while teaching kindergartners at the Tara Redwood School, which is nestled in redwood trees near The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and promotes a Buddhist philosophy and the creation of compassionate cultures. Around the same time, she became involved with “story circles,” where she would meet with other tellers once a month to swap stories. She has been studying stories for the 15 years since, and amidst much of her worldly traveling, has collected not only stories, but mental images to go with them, as well.

Andrea believes in “moving” the stories, and she intertwines dance, tale, and “Zirzuvi” (what she refers to as Turkish Gypsy music) to do so. ”[It’s] less about acting, and more about the embodiment of the story,” she says, adding, “It’s not like a movie where everyone sees the same image on the screen. Everyone sees the dragon differently. It’s important to keep imagining and sparking original, authentic imagination.”

The upcoming festival has attracted both local and world-acclaimed tellers to perform stories, live music, and euphoric poetry. In addition to the featured array of dynamic storytellers, the evening will include picnicking, “story jamming” (where anyone is free to voice their imagination to the audience), and a closing circle that will end the enchanting evening with fire dancing in the meadow.

Andrea hopes the event will satiate what she believes is a growing hunger for stories. People need stories, she says, because “they are necessary, like bread.”

“These days, it seems as though there’s been a revival, or craving, for storytelling,” she says. “They’re nourishing for our souls, and it’s a nourishment that [the soul] can’t get any other way. … People chew on the stories in their mind, and they seep into their subconscious. [Stories] get people to think about why they’re alive, and inquire and self-diagnose what their life is about.”

The Santa Cruz Storytelling Festival kicks off with a story jam at 5:30 p.m., followed by the main storytelling event from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School Redwood Grove, 2190 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $15 adults; $12 children and seniors. Tickets available at the door and at brownpapertickets.com. For more information visit SantaCruzStoryTellingFestival.com.

PHOTO of Sirena Andrea performing 'Firebird.' Taken by Susan Hill Yard.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Feeding Frenzy

Culinary journey ‘The Trip to Italy’ isn’t the foodie film you’d expect 

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.