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The Five Ws of SKALD 11

By Betsy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on May 10, 2010 6:40PM

Nicole Warner performing at SKALD 10. Photo by John W. Sisson, Jr. and courtesy of DCA Theater
The 11th annual SKALD storytelling festival kicks off this afternoon and runs all week. The festival celebrates the art of storytelling, which is rooted in the history of almost every society. The workshops and performances focus solely on the storytellers and the quality of their stories and aim to strip the theater of all its "dazzle camouflage." If you’re interested in checking it out, here’s what you need to know.

What: SKALD celebrates the art of storytelling with free workshops and competitive performances for both adults and kids. “SKALD” refers to an ancient Scandinavian poet, bard or storyteller.

Who: SKALD is open to both amateur and professional storytellers of all ages. Kids eight to 14 years old can attend the after-school workshop this afternoon, and anyone over the age of 15 can attend Tuesday night’s adult workshop. The storytellers have already been selected for the competitions, but audience members are welcome to participate as MAELSTROM judges.

When: Workshops run today and tomorrow. The MAELSTROM (storytellers improvise stories based on audience suggestions), KIDSKALD (featuring young storytellers), and SKALD 11 (professional storytellers compete for the title) are this weekend. See the schedule for times and prices.

Where: All festival events are at the Chicago Cultural Center's Studio Theater or Washington Room at 78 E. Washington St.

Why: The idea is to offer everyone interested in storytelling the chance to learn by doing, then to watch the professionals to learn by seeing.