|Kevin Baringer on being a huggy, closet Hulk|
Why did you start A Winter's Tale?
AWT came about because of a perfect storm that developed between Michelle and I wanting to provide the local arts scene something to do in the worst part of the year, weather-wise. Winter is always a time when people tend to stay in and "mole up" and we wanted to create a kind of fireside for people to warm themselves with. No better way than storytelling! It was really just a silly idea we just talked about doing until Karen Marzloff, Founding Editor at The Wire Magazine (and our AWT sponsor) heard about it in passing and jumped in to help promote it to a wider audience. Someone we knew in the scene was friends with Cresta Smith, manager at the Red Door (and our host for AWT), so a meeting was arranged. Sundays are traditionally not big nights for the Red Door in the early evening, so it was an easy choice for her to make to test-drive this storytelling idea in front of an actual audience.
So we set some dates aside from January - March back in 2010, and with support from The Wire, were able to get an audience interested. I used my arts connections to find eight performers to get on stage, and the rest is now a Seacoast tradition.
I think the power in telling a story comes from the fact that people NEED to tell them. We're social beings and always are processing our experiences internally as we go through life. Part of that process is the need to reach out and connect and reassure ourselves we're not alone in the joys and trials of our lives. So getting together at an agreed place and creating a safe, welcoming environment to share our experiences is absolutely built-in to who we are as human beings. Whether it's a church, sporting event, or just telling stories to each other, we've been doing it since we stood upright and began cooking up seared mastodon nachos.
|Dawne Shand speaks about one stern & wonderful mama!|
Standout moments from the entire run? For me, just watching people who would otherwise swear up and down that they're shy and "don't have any stories worth telling" get up on our stage and talk about deep, sometimes even traumatic or seismic that they've been through and own their journeys with them. We've had memoirs from people performing at AWT, writing groups begun, even other storytelling groups form from out of the audience and performing acts. AWT has been an enormous catalyst for personal empowerment and creative projects.
And for me, that's why I loved doing it all these years: just that gorgeous, defining moment when people hear about the show or see it and adopt it as their own. We've had numerous performers do multiple events and audience members who've never missed a single show- in FOUR YEARS!
|Thanking the audience for a good run|
Anything I can do as a creative artist myself to create a space for people to share and learn about themselves and their strengths, I will do. It's beautiful to see our show mean so much to so many different people and create such a long-lasting community feeling. It's the best thing I've ever been a part of doing on stage.
|Just about my favorite couple...|
|Let me in there!|
|One more evening with plaid and neutrals on this most fitting of farewells to the season|
"You're never going to kill storytelling, because it's built into the human plan. We come with it."
- Margaret Atwood