Since January 2012, the Christian Storytelling Café has provided a venue in Hagerstown for adults to tell stories for the simple joy of telling, to perfect their skills for telling to adult audiences, or to listen to the telling and teaching.
On the first Sunday of every month, storytellers and listeners gather at Port City Java, 1551 Potomac Ave., Hagerstown, at 2 p.m.
Twice a year, the cafe conducts storytelling soirees at local churches of various denominations. Previously those events featured storytelling training by guest presenters, but this year the parties feature a costumed production.
“We wanted to add another dimension,” said Faith Crumbly, executive director. So we’ve developed a troupe of performers who are donating their time, talent and means to tell the stories of Bible characters who reflect the experiences of 21st Century adults. The troupe brought to life 10 Bible characters in compelling storytelling and gripping solos on June 2 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 141 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown.
The party was enriched when the owner of Vegetarian Pursuits Cafe, Catrice Davis Ford, arrived from Philadelphia to lead her catering team and provide many more delicacies than the nonprofit planners had requested.
Ford’s aunt, Marjorie Chambers, manages the cafe in Hagerstown and had told Davis a bit about the event.
“The Vegetarian Pursuits Cafe wants to support this type of artistic effort that enriches the community,” Davis said.
The June 2 attendance confirmed the timeless theme of “Faces Around the Cross,” Crumbly said. “Even with many other excellent artistic events to choose from that weekend — and the rain, ‘Faces Around the Cross’ was well attended.”
As a result, the troupe will give two performances, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. and Oct. 6, at 2 p.m., at the Hagerstown Seventh-day Adventist Church, rather than just the Sunday performance for the annual winter soiree.
Crumbly is casting for new members for the troupe, whose future productions will include both biblical and modern stories.
In contrast to the 2012 writing contest, Christian Storytelling Café is sponsoring a storytelling contest, Sept. 1, with new age categories and modest entrance fees: youth, ages 14 to 19, $5; and adults, $10.
The registration deadline is Aug. 24.
“We’re even willing to provide written critiques by the audiences at our July and August sessions for storytelling contestants who request this service on their registration form,” ” Crumbly said.
For more information, call Crumbly at 301-797-1537 or send an email to email@example.com.