HOPE — Spring cleaning is more than just vacuuming up an entire sweater’s worth of cat hair under the bed (don’t ask me how I know this disgusting unit of measurement). For some it’s about the Digital Detox, the annual abandonment of Facebook for about a month, or the cell phone-free weekend.
Well, this upcoming Cheap Date has all the elements of a mental spring cleaning, popping with the cool factor of a story slam. Sweet Tree Arts in Hope will present its second annual “Story SLAM” on Friday, March 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. featuring Clare Muireann Murphy, internationally celebrated storyteller and five other local storytellers including Kali Bird Isis, Dave Miramant, Stephen Gleasner, Caitlin Schick, Andrew Stewart and Seth Silverton.
What’s a story slam? It’s like a poetry or spoken word slam similar to the American Idol format where people compete on stage with personal stories. Each of the featured five-minute stories is judged on how well it is told, how well it is constructed and how well the story explores,connects and/or reveals some truth about the theme; in this case: the theme of community.
Lindsay Pinchbeck, director of Sweet Tree Arts L3C, is originally from Scotland and years ago, made a documentary film about Irish and Scottish storytellers. Part of the project led her to Dublin-born performer Clare Murphy, who has lived in four different countries and has performed in more than 20.
“Storytelling has become such a hot art form now,” said Pinchbeck. “And Clare is an amazing spirit. She takes all the old tales of Celtic lore and brings fresh, new energy into them.”
Her repertoire of tales and shows includes myth, legend, folklore, fables, contemporary personal tales, and original stories. A physically dynamic performer, she uses her body and voice together to imbue life into her performances.
The other local storytellers will have a workshop with Murphy ahead of time and coached on their stories, so that they will be will have some extra tricks up their sleeves. Murphy will cap the evening off in a unique storytelling adult cabaret performance, which Pinchbeck describes as: “A mixture of eclectic stories with adult content."
You know that’s going to some wicked, saucy fun. Drinks will be provided by 40 Paper. (Sweet.)
If you miss her Friday night, you’ll still have a chance to see her Saturday night as she shares traditional tales of Ireland’s past in her show “On the Heels of the Hound” at 3 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House.
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com