Tuesday, November 30, 2010

FOOL in the House with Bruno de la Salle!

FOOL - festival of oral literatures is pleased to invite you to a FOOL in the House concert on December 11 featuring the great French storyteller Bruno de la Salle.  He will be telling in French and English.  Bruno is the founder/director of the Conservatoire contemporain de Littérature Orale.  His passion, throughout more than forty years of storytelling, has been re-discovering the world's epic traditions.  He is in Canada touring a performance of the Odyssey (on December 10, at Toronto Reference Library).  He is also an extraordinary teller of folktales, original stories, and his own history of becoming a storyteller and singer-of-tales.  His book Le Conteur Amoureux is a superb account of his philosophy, storytelling journey, and repertoire.  

For more information about Bruno de la Salle, please visit:  http://www.clio.org/-Biographie-.html.

Seating is limited - please call to reserve a seat.

Tickets:  $20 at the door

19 Kenwood Avenue

3 blocks west of Bathurst, just north of St. Clair 
(best parking is in the lot just as you head north). 
TTC:  St. Clair West streetcar to Vaughan, then walk one block west to Kenwood.

 Gather at 7:30, performance at 8 pm.

For more information:  416-654-1542

FOOL in the House is a program of FOOL - festival of oral literatures (www.foolfestival.ca), which is produced by The Tellery (tellery.com) and GirlCanCreate (girlcancreate.com).  Please keep your ears to the e-ground for information about future FOOL in the House concerts.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Workshopping at FOOL

As someone who believes that knowledge is power, i am a firm believer that we should always seek out more info about what we are most passionate about. Every year i have taken part in a number of classes and workshops that challenge and inspire me.   This year at FOOL we are offering 3 workshops that cover different aspects of storytelling and performance.  Take a chance to learn from 4 great artists!

FOOL Workshops 
All workshops $30 ($25 artists/students/seniors) 
Sessions are designed for small groups. 
Please pre‐register at www.foolfestival.ca 
Performance  Studio  with  Hilary Peach
Saturday,  October 23,  11  –  1  pm:     
Location:  Community Gallery, Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St. (2 south of St. Clair Avenue West) 
This two‐hour workshop is for artists who have an existing text that they wish to prepare for performance. By introducing and applying techniques such as range, balance, eye‐focus, rhythm, breath, source, image, gesture, and risk, the artist begins to fully inhabit the text and create a compelling performance. Part rehearsal, part director’s workshop, this class offers tools that the worker can take away andapply to any text or physical score. Participants are required to work on their feet.

Hilary Peach is a writer, audio poet, recording artist, arts activist, and producer. She has performed at events that include the Vancouver International Folk Music Festival, Montreal’s Festival Voix d’Ameriques, and the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam. Her debut recording, an exquisite audiophile CD called Poems Only Dogs Can Hear (2003) suspends surreal vignettes inside a matrix of music. Peach’s 2009 CD release, Suitcase Local, is an adaptation of her touring folk opera of the same name. This spoken‐word and music fusion is a spooky retelling of her experiences working as a Canadian welder in the construction and maintenance of power plants in the USA. Publications include 10 Flowered Cactus (1996), Love is a Small Town (2001), and inclusions in various anthologies and magazines. Hilary Peach is the BC – Yukon representative to the Canadian League of Poets and the founder and Artistic Director of the Poetry Gabriola Festival on Gabriola Island, BC.  

See So That We May See with Dan Yashinsky and Dave Pijuan-Nomura

Saturday, October 23, 1 – 3 pm:   
Location:  Community Gallery, Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St. (2 south of St. Clair Avenue West) Note:  This workshop is offered in collaboration with Storytelling Toronto

In this workshop, professional photographer Dave Pijuan‐Nomura and storyteller Dan Yashinsky will explore the visual dimension of stories.  Using the camera of imagination, you will “see” your story in ways that take you beyond the text.  Elements of lighting, perspective, and hidden detail will enrich your sense of the story’s landscape, flow of suspense, and imaginary world.

Dan Yashinsky is the co‐founder/co‐director of FOOL – festival of oral literatures.  He has been the 2010 storyteller‐in‐residence at Storytelling Toronto, animating the Artscape Wychwood Barns with a weekly program called Bread and Stories at the Barns and working with community groups in the neighbourhood.  

Dave Pijuan‐Nomura is a founding member of FOOL, and a professional photographer  with a passion for the stories that pictures can tell. For more info visit www.nomuraphotography.com
Thinking Like A Storyteller with Laura Simms  
Sunday, October 24, 1 – 3 pm:   
Location:  Alliance Française, 24 Spadina Road (just north of Bloor St.)

Drawing on her own experiences as a storyteller on both concert stages and in intimate, healing settings, internationally‐acclaimed storyteller Laura Simms asks participants to explore the unique relationships between teller and listener, teller and story, and between the people and landscapes that make up the imaginary world of the narrative. How does a storyteller dance among these kinds of awareness and expression?  Using exercises and discussion, the workshop puts the reciprocity of a storyteller’s engagement with listener, story, and their own intention at the centre of the art.

Laura Simms is a performing artist, writer, educator and humanitarian is engaged in individual and community transformation.  Born in a Jewish family in Brooklyn, she performs in the tradition of great storytellers throughout the ages. Her most recent one‐woman show MERCY INTO THE WORLD, premiered in 2008 at the Barbican Theater in London, University of Oslo and Frontier Theater in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  She works with international organizations training teachers, and humanitarian workers.  Laura is an artist with Catalyst Arts, a member of the Healing Arts Alliance, and an associate of Columbia University’s Center for International conflict Resolution.   She recently received the Brimstone Award for Engaged Storytelling and is co‐faculty with Terry Tempest Williams New Generation Environmental Project.  Most recently Laura began a storytelling project with International Medical Corps in Haiti.

Support for FOOL:  The Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council Partners:  Alliance Française, Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Native Men’s Residence, Storytelling Toronto, The Stop Community Food Program, Toronto Public Library, NOW Magazine

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Warm Up Event #1 - 10 and a 1/2 Stories

This year we decided to have a couple of co-presentations with some great producers.  Our first pre-event as we warm up for the big weekend is an exciting event organized and conceived by Tasleem Thawar.  With the popularity of true stories these days, I look forward to 10 and a 1/2 stories which brings together audience members to share true stories based on a theme.  

It will take place in the lovely Terrazza restaurtant, which also happens to be our destination for the Thursday and Friday night after parties!  Run by the brilliant Frankie Lasagna and his mom Cathy, it's a warm and wonderful environment that will be the perfect venue for this inaugural event.  

FOOL – festival of oral literatures and 10 and a ½ Stories presents a FOOL warm-up event:
10 and a ½ Stories
No notes. No acting. Just stories. 
Wednesday October 13 @ 8pm
Terrazza – 372 Harbord St.  
(Just east of Ossington)

10 and a ½ Stories is brought to you by Tasleem Thawar, …..
Everyone has a story... or two… or three. We want to hear them. Join us for a night of ten 5-minute stories on a common theme told by volunteer audience members drawn at random from a hat.  The eleventh story will be left unfinished – its ending will begin our next storytelling night.   
The theme of our inaugural night: “Choices

Monday, October 4, 2010

Schedule is Up! Tickets are on Sale!

In three weeks the festival will begin and some of the finest tellers of tales will get together to share their magic!  

As the artistic directors, Dan and I are overwhelmed at the amount of talent that we will be witness to in the four day celebration of art and story!  

In the next few weeks, this blog will take you on a virtual tour of who and what we might expect at the fest.  We will feature interviews from some of our guests and share with you some of the inspiration to create this festival.  

The Schedule is up and the Tickets are on sale at www.foolfestival.ca !

Dan and I hope you come and take part in this wonderful wild ride that we are creating!  

One of our first interview is with Anna Jane McIntyre, a visual artist/storyteller from Montreal!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Second Fool Festival - Call for Submissions

F.O.O.L.  -   Festival of Oral Literatures
Call for Submissions!

F.O.O.L. - Festival of Oral Literatures is a celebration of the mouth almighty, from storytelling to spoken word.  F.O.O.L features experiments in oral narrative, traditional folktelling, collaborative performances, solo word-dancers, and a myth remix.  FOOL welcomes listeners and performers into spaces where the performance of oral stories opens an intimate connection between artist and audience.

F.O.O.L. is being co-produced by GirlCanCreate and The Tellery, under the artistic direction of Lisa Pijuan-Nomura and Dan Yashinsky.  It takes place October 21 to October 24, 2010 at various locations in Toronto.  F.O.O.L. features a wide range of storytellers, spoken word artists, and performers who use voice, movement, music, and story to create mind-movies for their audiences.  Performances take place in house concerts, at the Artscape Wychwood Barns, and in Kensington Market. 

For the second year of the festival we are seeking both emerging and established artists of all disciplines who are creating exciting work with stories.  We are currently accepting submissions for a variety of different venues.  We are especially interested in Sassy, Interdisciplinary, Bright, Innovative, Experimental,  Edgy, Sexy Brilliant Story Pieces that are from 10 to 25 minutes in length. 

F.O.O.L. will offer all artists honorariums.

Please send:
  • Description of the piece
  • Length of the piece
  • Artist Bio
  • Support Material – Scripts, Video, CD, press clippings, etc.  Please include links to websites where applicable. 
  • Contact Person and Information

Deadline for submissions is August 25, 2009.

All applicants will be notified by September 3, 2009 via email.

Please send submissions to:
c/o Lisa Pijuan-Nomura
to lisa@girlcancreate.com

   We also accept snail mail applications at
88 Hallam St.
Toronto. ON M6H 1W8

We look forward to hearing about your ideas and projects! If you have any questions please contact Lisa at lisa@girlcancreate.com or call 416-516-4925

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interview with Ginette Mohr

Ginette Mohr is thrilled to be part of such an exciting festival. She has been writing and performing professionally for over ten years. Her newest piece, Fish Face, garnered critical acclaim and won the Cultch Theatre Award at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. This winter Ginette will continue to develop Fish Face, while co-creating The Belle of Winnipeg (Keystone Theatre) and The Children's Museum (The Quickening).

Who is one of your favourite storytellers?

My grandfather. He can spin an everyday event into an adventure. I love that faraway look he gets when he talks about his days as a switchman on the CN Rail.

What will you be telling at FOOL?

Fish Face. It's the story of a young woman’s struggle to be free from the past and uncover her heart’s desire. To gain the freedom to reveal her wish, Rose, an orphaned fisherman’s daughter, must journey into a fantastical underwater universe to battle a giant squid and confront her deepest fears. The characters she encounters unravel the secrets of her past and call on her to save their world from tyranny and darkness.

Tell us about some of your influences.

Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Charlie Chaplin, John Stewart, Tim Freeman and my mother make me laugh. Steven King's 'On Writing' left a big impression on me - I love what he says - "Life isn't a support-system for art. It's the other way around."

Why do we need oral traditions when we have television, radio, internet?

Oral traditions are a great way to bond, open up conversations, and enhance language and memory skills. Stories delight, thrill and touch a community. They’re often a you-had-to-be-there experience.

What is your favourite book?

Usually the last thing I’ve read. I'm currently researching Edgar Allan Poe for a gig on Halloween. "The Tell-Tale Heart" is genius. I didn't sleep much last night.

What inspires you?

Music, chocolate, fresh air, the mountains, children, festivals, visual art, theatre and film.

Advice for aspiring teller of tales, word artists, and web weavers?

Seek out artists who share your passion.



Friday, October 16, 2009

Interview with Guest Artist Ivan Coyote

Photo by James Loewen

Ivan Coyote was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. An award-winning author of five collections of short stories, one novel, two CD’s, four short films and a renowned performer, Ivan’s first love is live storytelling, and over the last fifteen years she has become an audience favourite at music, poetry, spoken word and writer's festivals from Anchorage to Amsterdam. The Globe and Mail called Ivan "a natural-born storyteller" and Ottawa X Press said "Coyote is to CanLit what k.d. lang is to country music: a beautifully odd fixture." Toronto Star praises Coyote’s “talent for sketching the bizarre in the everyday”, and Quill’s Magazine says Ivan has a “distinctive and persuasive voice, a flawless sense of pacing, and an impeccable sense of story.” Ivan’s column, Loose End has appeared monthly in Xtra West magazine since 2001. Her first novel, Bow Grip, was released in the fall of 2006, and was awarded the Relit award for best fiction and named by the American Library Association as a Stonewall honor book in literature. Ivan recently completed an eight-month writer in residence at Carleton University in Ottawa, and is hard at work on her second novel. Her fifth collection of stories, The Slow Fix, was released in September, and has been nominated for a Lambda award.

Visit Ivan's website at www.ivanecoyote.com

Tell us about your with with story? Have you always been a storyteller?

I come from a huge Irish family, born and raised in the Yukon. I learned storytelling around my grandmother's kitchen table from my relatives, who are master storytellers disguised as mechanics, carpenters, car salesmen, telephone operators and little old ladies.

What is one of your favourite storytellers/spoken word/story artists?
Sherman Alexie. Tom Waits. Sam Shepard. Richard Van Camp.

What will you be telling at FOOL?
I haven't decided everything I will be telling yet. I usually have to see what the audience is like first, what the other tellers have to say, what is happening in the world on or around those days. That said, I have a couple of new ones chomping at the bit a little.

Tell us about some of your influences.

I am influenced by many singer songwriters who pay attention to story and language and the pacing of lyrics, such as Veda Hille, k-os, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, and that list could go on for a long time. Playwrights have also been creeping in to my conscious writing mind these days. Sam Shepard. Writers like John Irving, Tom Spanbauer, Thompson Highway, Sherman Alexie, some poets too. And then there are the filmmakers. I guess I am moved by the myriad of ways a good story can be told.

Why do you think story is important in this day and age?

I think story is important in every day and age.
Why do we need oral traditions when we have television, radio, internet?

For a lot of reasons. One that I have been thinking about a lot lately is that many of the ways we currently communicate (facebook twitter, skype, the internet in general) are not as accessible to people say, 60 years and older. This means we are cutting our elders out of the communication loop. They are not speaking to us as much and we are not listening. Think about the implications of this, on our histories, our inheritance of memory.

What inspires you?

life. people. how complicated and messy both are. How we are all so different and yet can have so much in common and not even know it.

How do you create your stories?

I drag them out of my head kicking and screaming using a combination of boiling hot water and verbal threats. Then I air dry them.

Advice for aspiring teller of tales, word artists, and web weavers?

Tell tales, make art from words and weave webs. As much as you can. Do not measure your success in financial terms. Do not take artistic advice from your brother the bank manager. Get up every day and jump off the terror cliff that is the artist's life. Stay away from hard drugs. Notice everything. Take notes. Repeat.