As a child Anne Glover loved telling stories. In grade school she’d entertain her classmates with accounts of what had happened at home, then go home and tell her parents all about what had gone on at school.
It’s a habit she never gave up. Glover has been telling stories professionally for more than 20 years, and will be at the Kootenay Storytelling Festival later this month sharing her bilingual tales and captivating the audience with the intricate string figures.
This seasoned entertainer knows how to keep a crowd interested.
“I’m telling stories on one level, but there’s a lot of action and a visual component with the string figures I do,” she says, describing how she turns a simple shoelace into the characters in her stories.
“My hands just go in a bit of a scramble and the string is all over the place and out of it comes a chair or a dog or a turtle.”
It’s something audiences of all ages enjoy.
“When I pull a string out, it just engages people at a whole different level. They don’t know what the heck I’m doing.”
Between stories, she’ll often have an audience member on stage, who she’ll teach how to make one of the more basic figures, and spectators in their seats have been known to pull out their shoelaces and follow along.
She says that in this age of high tech gadgetry, she’s continually amazed by how entertaining a single shoelace can be when paired with an interesting story.
“If there’s kids just totally plugged into devices, when the string comes out they turn away from all those things and get excited about this very basic, human to human interaction.”
Glover will be performing three times per day during the Kootenay Storytelling Festival, which runs 10 a.m to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22 at three downtown Nelson venues. She is one of eight visiting and local storytellers who will share the stages with a series of half-hour and one-hour sets.
Other visiting storytellers include: Haida singer, storyteller, and drummer Kung Jaadee; Shoshana Litman, a Jewish storyteller, speaker, and ordained Maggidah; and astrophysical “gossip columnist” Jaymie Matthews.
The four local storytellers are: veteran politician Corky Evans; performance poet Magpie Ulysses; Nelson History Theatre’s Richard Rowberry; and Barry Gray, who has performed at every Kootenay Storytelling Festival since its inception in 1998.
Festival passes are $20 for one day or $35 for both days. Individual show tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Tickets are available at Otter Books and The Capitol Theatre.
For a full schedule of events and more information about this year’s storytellers, see kootenaystory.org.