From One Stage to Another
'From One Stage To Another' is more than just this shows title. This performance features three of the Guild's most experienced tellers in a show all about 'change', which we know will be a constant in all our lives. Storyteller's Brianna Barrett, Julie Strozyk and Ken Iverson have cooked up a show that covers 'Change' from the humorous to the sublime, often with surprising results.
Ken is one of the founding members of the Guild. He looked around the room that day in 1985 and had a vision. “We were eight storytellers,” Iverson remembers, ”wanting to band together, maybe form a club to help one another grow and share stories and provide a way for others to become tellers. I thought why not a guild? Haven’t guilds always provided opportunities for newcomers to learn a craft or ply a trade?”
That’s how the Portland Storytellers Guild came to be and, 32 years later, as the Guild moves into its new performance space at the Clinton Street Theater, Saturday evening, September 2, one of the three opening night headliners will be … Ken Iverson.
The program is appropriately titled, “From One Stage to Another.” Iverson, the last of those first eight still active today with storytelling in full flower in Portland, will be joined by two Guild regulars who have benefitted from his vision — Brianna Barrett, named Portland Storyteller of the Year in both 2016 and 2017 in a newspaper poll, and Julie Strozyk, a medievalist who has been honored by the Society for Creative Anachronism — in an all-star lineup.
Another hallmark of the Portland Storytellers Guild will be on display on opening night at the Clinton Street Theater — versatility. The three storytellers draw audiences in with different approaches, reflecting the Guild’s commitment to support and present all manner of stories from life experiences to folk tales and everything in between.
Strozyk traces her love of the spoke word to her days as a schoolgirl when she made up stories to delight her classmates. After a short stint teaching and working in telecommunications, she picked up her storytelling habit again while pretending to be a bard in a medieval recreation group. She enjoys traditional, historical, and personal tales that touch the heart and “give it a little squeeze,” along with poetry, music and all things beautiful.
Barrett is a playwright, filmmaker, performer, cancer survivor, and punch-card-carrying regular at every locally owned teashop in Portland. A regular with Affable Gentlemen Storytelling, she has also appeared in The Yarn, and Imagine Live at the Pickathon Music Festival.
And then there is Iverson, a resident of Oregon City who maintains a busy schedule appearing at story festivals, schools, libraries and bistros, drawing from a diverse repertoire. “I still love performing with friends, having fun, moving people, and still hope my stories may inspire others to find their voice,” he says. “The Guild is doing that better now than at any time in the past. We constantly hear from new people that we provide a safe place for them to tell their first story in a public setting.”
Until now, that has happened in several workshops throughout the year as well as at monthly “story swaps” at the Multnomah Arts Center, but in another new twist starting with the September 2 show at the Clinton Street Theater one volunteer from the audience will be given a chance to tell a 5 minute story from the stage.
New tellers. Experienced tellers. A wide gamut of stories. The Portland Storytellers Guild opening night at Clinton Street Theater on Saturday September 2 will be an evening to remember. Curtain at 7:30 pm. But come early for a free informal reception with music and meeting beginning at 6:30 pm.
Tickets at the door: General Admission: $15 / Guild Members: $12