Stories, song to fill theater

Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat /

The 12th annual "For Adult Ears Only" storytelling concert will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 10, at Stage 3 Theatre in Sonora.

Two local organizations will present an evening with nationally acclaimed storyteller and singer-songwriter Kim Weitkamp. Delta Kappa Gamma-Iota Epsilon and the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild hope to earn funds for their family literacy projects.

According to storyteller B.Z. Smith, this year's talent is exceptional.

"I first heard her tell stories in Nevada City at the 2012 Sierra Storytelling Festival," Smith said. "Kim Weitkamp was new to me - I didn't know what to expect. Well, I got a heavy dose of amazing telling and singing. Kim cuts straight to the heart by way of the funny bone."

With impeccable timing, Weitkamp's honey-coated voice takes audience members on incredible journeys as she shares original songs that compliment each tale, Smith said.

"This teller holds an armload of awards, including the prestigious Leadership in Communication Award from Toastmasters International, the Blue Ridge Excellence in the Arts Award and several Storytelling World Awards," she said.

Weitkamp is the founder of the Wrinkles Project, a national organization dedicated to raising awareness of the value of older people and the stories that they carry with them.

In addition, she created the "Peace by Piece Project" in conjunction with the Taubman Museum of Fine Art, a public art event that involved 500 children, who each created a quilt square symbolizing what peace meant to them.

"The quilt shows that there is endless strength and opportunity within our communities because people see things differently,"Weitkamp said.

Stage 3 Theatre allows a perfect space for Weitkamp to create a magical transformation for Sierra foothill listeners, Smith said.

"We love bringing this event to the community in this intimate little theater," said Patty Burchell, co-president of the local Iota Epsilon chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. "Every year our tellers enjoy a sell-out crowd. The audience really feels the warm embrace of these excellent storytellers."

Tickets are $20, and include a dessert, served at intermission, along with a no-host wine bar. Tickets are available at the Stage 3 box office at 208 S. Green St. in downtown Sonora and at Mountain Bookshop in The Junction shopping center.

Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

To help with fund raising efforts, this year's event will also include an opportunity drawing for two gift baskets. Delta Kappa Gamma and the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild have each put together a special collection of gift items.

"Each person with an advance purchase ticket will receive one drawing ticket as a bonus when he or she arrives that night," said Smith, who is a member of both Delta Kappa Gamma and Mother Lode Storytelling Guild. Additional drawing tickets can be bought that night.

The sponsoring organizations offer this event as a part of their on-going commitments to community literacy and appreciation of spoken word performances, Smith said.

Delta Kappa Gamma/Iota Epsilon is this year's lead organization, with proceeds going to support its efforts to give each baby born in Tuolumne County his or her first book, delivered in a bookbag with an infant T-Shirt that says, "Read to Me," along with a guide book for parents on how to raise a reader.

The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild offers storytelling workshops to expand awareness about storytelling and to provide coaching services for new storytellers with veteran tellers in the area.

Every year the annual "For Adult Ears Only" storytelling concert cooperates with the Mariposa Storytelling Festival, taking place this weekend. "We're very lucky to work with the festival to bring nationally and internationally prominent storytelling talent to our community each year," Smith said. "Cynthia Restivo works to arrange school visits for the tellers, and then we coordinate this very special night of stories for adults."

For more information, call 532-7697 or email motherlodestorytellers@gmail.com .

11915116
The Union Democrat
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