Edie Baran – Featured Storyteller for May 31st.

May 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Storytellers

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We’re thrilled to have Edie with us for the 31st.  She’s been very helpful in helping Stateline Storytelling get off the ground. So come on out. You’re in for a treat!

Edie Baran has an extensive background in theatre as an instructor, actor, storyteller, director, and producer. She holds a degree in Theatre and Education from UW-Madison and has taught creative dramatics, acting, movement, scriptwriting, and storytelling to people of all ages and abilities in the Rock County and Madison area since 1990. Originally from Chicago, she moved to Janesville, where she founded SpotLight On Kids (SOK) in 1990. She was SOK’s Artistic and Education Director until Nov. 2006. Edie has directed and produced over 50 plays and musicals with casts ranging in age from 7 – 60+

She is on VSA Arts of Wisconsin roster of artists. Through VSA Arts, Edie has used the art of storytelling to reach seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adults with developmental disablities, as well as Head Start children.

While director of SOK, Edie created and directed the Rotary Gardens Halloween Walk from 1992 – 2005. The Halloween Walk was a unique storytelling event with adults and young people as the storytellers.

Edie uses stories as the basis for most of her creative work, with people of all ages. She was recently the Project Director for Working: Celebrate the American Worker, a multi-faceted storytelling and musical event based on stories by Studs Terkel and stories of local workers, for the Rock County Historical Society.

You may reach her through email: ediebaran@gmail.com or by calling 608-931-5705.

So here’s the deal…

April 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

While I would argue that everyone has a story I don’t consider myself a “storyteller”. Neither am I a writer. And this will become self-evident as this website fleshes out more. I am though an enthusiastic enjoyer of a good story. Additionally, while I believe everyone has a story there are those who’s creative and artful expression is through storytelling. A good storyteller is as enjoyable as a talented musician, a masterful painter or skilled chef.

My sense of things however is that popular culture has largely relegated live storytelling to “folk tales” and children’s entertainment. In an increasingly online and urban world, it’s just not very cool.

I’ve been a fan of the art form for many years. As a kid I enjoyed Bill Cosby and wore out my folks LP’s. In college I was introduced to Garrison Keillor and have tuned in for years. I’ve been to storytelling festivals both large and small. Then while living in the Chicago area I would go a favorite coffeehouse in Wrigleyville where they hosted open mic storytelling on Tuesday evenings. That was urban and hip. That… was cool.

That is what I hope to replicate in, of all places, Beloit WI for the greater stateline area.

This can work.

  • It’s a college town in the midst of other colleges throughout the region
  • There’s an established and expanding arts community in and around downtown (more later)
  • There is a lot of history to be told, not just Beloit but from everywhere folks come from
  • We advocate diversity which holds the opportunity for richer exchange and less sameness.

So, while this project is in it’s developmental stages as is this website, I’d invite you to bring your friends and join us for our first night of open mic storytelling Sunday April 5th, 6:30 pm (we start taking names for storytellers at 6:00) down at bushel & peck’s in downtown Beloit WI. Submit your email address so we can keep you in the loop about upcoming performances and other developments.

Lastly, I would invite you to share this  website with your friends.

Your comments and suggestions welcomed.