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StoryMasters at the Orlando Kid's Fringe Festival

Well we made it through our first adventure into the fringe. When we arrived on Saturday morning for our first show there was nobody around but vendors. Theresa the Fringe kid's wrangler said to just skip this performance, see a show and do the 12:30 performance. So we went to see fellow Florida storyteller Bernie O'Brien with his show in the green section of the fringe. He was funny as always and he was finished by Noon so we had enough time to get set up for our first show. By the time we got to the tent area there were a lot more kids in the area that made us hopeful.

We had a slight problem with the performance space. Theresa had told us that it had been so hot last week that they had put the tellers under trees. The problem with that is that it was away from where all the vendors were so there was no draw for people just to meander in and listen for awhile. Since there was a nice breeze flowing we decided to put two rows of chairs on the back of the stage and leave the floor space for kids. That way we got people out of the hot Florida sun and made it a more viable and inviting performance space. Then I set Grandma on her big chair and had her start cutting paper while I went in search for victims. I wandered through the whole kids area and the food area announcing that we would be telling stories in five minutes. With a booming voice I called the kids and parents to the blue and white striped tent (note the kids venue was outside and everybody else was inside). We ended up with an stage full and people standing on the fringe (no pun intended) giving us an audience of about 60 people.

We put together a show called Bully Bye-Bye, which is our collection of bully tales, i.e., The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Little Bunny Fru Fru and Frogazoom along with some paper cutting by Grandma and few of my tongue twisters. We felt it went over very well. We followed up with a bit of paper cutting for the kids. We had enough scissors, but not enough space to make it a quick craft project.

The second show had competition with the tech guys who were trying to set up for a band that was thirty minutes after us and they were doing sound checks. Finally someone went over and asked them to wait till we were finished and the rest of the show went fine. When all was said and done Theresa told us we were "awesome" and the best children's show of the weekend. She also said that we should have our own storytelling venue and suggested that I talk to all the other storytellers that had performed and see if they would be interested in such a gig. I think it is a great idea and will do some research.

We had a lot of fun, leaned a lot about doing the Fringe, and expect to be back next year in a new venue. I only have one regret and that is that I never connected up with Rivka while she was down here. Maybe next year if she comes back.

Always a tale to tell,
MyLinda Butterworth

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Tags: Bully, Festival, Fringe, Grandma, Kid's, Myndy, Orlando, StoryMasters, bully, bye-bye, More…tales


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Comment by Rivka Willick on May 29, 2008 at 12:10pm
I'm sorry I missed you. I heard good things about you from the kids fringe folks. Most of the shows (which people paid for) which had any connection to storytelling did not get large audiences or great reviews. The monologist (I think that's a word) TJ Dawes (he is not a teller but does a 1 1/2 hour memorized, dramatic monologe) was the only thing close to a teller that got a good crowd-but then again he's been fringing for 10 years. There was only one "kids show" (Alice in Wonderland) and that did pretty good. So a kids telling show might do great. Bernie was fun and the show "Red, White and Ignorant" was amazing.
I'm sorry we didn't connect. I'll keep looking for you. Rivka



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