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Monday, March 14, 2011

SL ARTS & LITERATURE: World Storytelling Day Celebrated in Second Life

In the corporeal world, Sunday, March 20th is World Storytelling Day.  This celebration will be celebrated in the virtual world with StoryFest 2011 on Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th in Bran.  Storytellers whose keyboards are in Australia, Holland, Wales, Great Britain, Norway, The Continental U.S., Canada, and the Hawaiian Islands will present more than two dozen stories in less than 48 hours in five different venues on the Branwen Arts parcel “Here Be Pictsies” in the region of Bran.

For an expanded schedule and information on the amazing range of stories to be presented, visit

DISCLAIMER: I won’t kid you that I am simply reporting on this.  I may get drummed out of the virtual journalism corps.  I am one of the organizers of this event, and therefore do not entirely qualify as an objective observer. I hope those who read on into this column will forgive me this.  I hope Lanai will forgive me this!

This project is an idea that started with tents I bought for a Gypsy Theme Dance I was decorating over a year and a half ago.  I had been presenting literature and stories at the Seanchai Library for almost a year, and wondered what would happen if I took the eight lovely Falln Tents I had, set them up on a large area, sub-parceled the heck out of it, invited everyone I knew to tell stories, and everyone ELSE I knew to wander from tent to tent and sample them.  I discussed the idea off and on with Shandon Loring, Derry McMahon and eventually with Storyteller Dubhna Rhiadra.  We talked about the idea for a long, long time.  Something always seemed to get in the way of actually doing it.

In Second Life in early February we finally did it – we decided:  Branwen Arts, Seanchai Library, and the hippo-group Stories Unlimited! announced a partnership to present StoryFest 2011: two days of Stories and Storytellers from around the English-speaking virtual world.  A call for submissions for story presenters was made, and over a dozen storytellers from around the grid, and around the planet have applied to be a part of the event. 

StoryFest will include individual story performances by presenters including the king of the 100 Word Story: Crap Mariner, members of the Seanchai Library Staff including Bee Stories with Derry McMahon, and a Sci-Fi X-Minus One episode with Chief Storyteller Shandon Loring complete with sound effects.  Storyteller and artist Dubhna Rhiadra is planning a cooperatively created story/dance/music presentation entitled The Swan, as well as sessions of her own telling shared with Storyteller Lycanthia Wolfhunter of the ancient tale of Gilgamesh.  A  performance is planned by members of the Avatar Repertory Theatre of a Thin Man mystery presented as Radio Drama.  Rendal “The Bard” Constanineau, who has presented stories in typed chat for over two years will make his vocal debut at StoryFest with The Tale of the Oak Tree & The Red Dragon Inn. Sikh Life creator Singh Albatross will do two different story sessions accompanying himself on the rabab – an ancient stringed instrument from Asia, and Native Hawaiian storyteller Kaikailani will add traditional chants to her tales.  That is just the tip if this storied iceberg.

Our goal is to offer a "perfect storm" of stories presented in a variety of methods, and from a diversity of sources:  Traditional Telling, Literature, Theatre.  Any way that you can communicate the theme and plot of a story in a personal, dynamic way.  There are those who choose to draw lines between different forms of story presentation, inferring substantive or qualitative distinctions between them.  I prefer to draw lines that connect people: If it transports you on a journey, it is a story, regardless of what the source is, or the method of delivery.

There will be three independent story venues in easy distance from the Landing Zone: The Goblin Cave, The Storyteller’s Circle, and the Temple Ruins.  There will also be performances at the Grand Fire Circle and the Arts Center Theatre located in a skybox above and accessed by a door transporter.  Near the Landing Zone there will be the Story Tree, where guests attending can click on an image of any of the participating presenters to receive notecard information about what they present, where and when they can be found on the grid, and other goodies. 

The stories start at 9:00 am Saturday with Opening Ceremonies at 1:00 pm that afternoon in the Grand Circle, and conclude Sunday afternoon when the Closing Story Circle ends. All times are SLT, and most all stories will be presented in voice.  

Useful SLURL to StoryFest Main Landing Zone:

Other Related Links:
Seanchai Library --
Avatar Repertory Theater --

~ Caledonia Skytower
“Any ink is good ink, even if it is virtual”


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