Storytelling News: Going Deep Retreat calling for stories

Continuing my end-of-the-year e-house cleaning, I could have sworn that I had an email with information about the feast that will be the 2012 Going Deep Long Traditional Story Retreat, including a call for stories.  However, I must have been too enthusiastic when I was in “delete mode” or something because now I can’t find it.  Here, instead, is the “Request for Proposals” that I found on the website.  I have also contacted some of the folks in charge of the event, asking for more information.  I will update this post if I learn anything more.

I wrote about this core-shaking, multi-day, tri-teller event a couple of the times when it was held in Bethlehem, Indiana.  (I attended the first one, too, in 2006, but that was pre-blog.  I blogged about the 2008 and 2009 events.)

I have heard rumors that it will move to Arizona next, but don’t quote me on that.  As soon as I know the 2012 details for sure, I am going to ask for the time off from my day job.  There is nothing like the intensity of healing and personal growth and enjoyment that comes from deeply listening to three epic stories told well in a temporary-yet-intimate community of story-lovers.

Here is information about the Retreat in general, within the Request for Proposals:

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There Was Room at the Inn, Twice

Dane Rogers and Susie Mohr in “Christmas Belles” at TOTS

This past weekend I drove south to a little town called Bethlehem on the Indiana side of the Ohio River.  Storyteller Cynthia Changeris runs a bed-and-breakfast there called “The Storyteller’s Riverhouse.” I have been there twice for the “Going Deep” long stories festival/retreat, and several times for WOW weekends.  It was very, very good for me to go there for a WOW weekend this time, too.

“WOW” means Working on Our Work.  WOW weekends are run by Scherezade’s Legacy, a storytelling production company composed of Changeris and Mary Hamilton.

I am not going to blog about this past weekend’s work because “What happens in Bethlehem stays in Bethlehem.” However, I will say that the time I spent there with my storytelling colleagues – all of them – was hugely useful to me.

I’ll also say that I put down a deposit to guarantee my spot as a live-in participant for the third “Going Deep” festival/retreat on March 19-22, 2009.  Here is more information about that.  The story concerts themselves will be open to the public, but registration for the organized discussions and meals and so on is limited.  I am already the fourth person to sign up.

When the WOW weekend concluded on Sunday afternoon I drove back up I-65 to downtown Indianapolis.  I scored a parking spot right in front of Theatre on the Square.  “Christmas Belles” was sold out, but John in the box office put me first on the waiting list to get in.  And I did!  (Barely.)  I won’t have time to write about this hilarious show in detail because my own Lincoln project is calling me but I enjoyed it very much.

Okay, I will say that while I was waiting in the TOTS lobby before the show, I got a chance to talk with Daniel Roberts, the light and sound operator, and William C. Skaggs, the director.  It was fun chatting with them.  I asked Skaggs to tell me what he thought I would like best about the show.

First he said, as all directors say, “The cast is amazing.”  However, I believed that he meant it.  I heard a note of awe in his voice.

Then he said, “It is an ensemble cast and there is an over-the-top story, but each cast member has found moments and ways in which to make their (individual) characters real.”

Now that I’ve seen the show, I agree that that is what this show now has, and that it is special.  Yes, it is a goofy, jokey show – and there is nothing wrong with that! half the reason I go to the theatre is to have a good laugh – but I also came to care about these goobery people who are just to trying celebrate Christmas while coping with the other stuff going on in their lives.

And I did laugh a lot.

There are only two more chances to see “Christmas Belles,” so call now to make your reservations and arrive early to get the best seats. (  317-685-TOTS (8687))

Coming soon: a post about the “You Are There” interactive theatre exhibit at the Indiana History Center.)

Hope Baugh –

2008 Going Deep – “Helen’s Troy,” by Megan Wells

Storyteller Megan WellsLast Saturday evening, after a second, and even longer and deeper than yesterday’s, massage that left me feeling euphoric and toxin-free and wondering why I don’t get massages more often, I bundled up and made my way again to the old schoolhouse to hear Megan Wells tell “Helen’s Troy.”  It would be the third and final storytelling piece in the 2008 “Going Deep: Long Traditional Story Festival” in Bethlehem, Indiana.

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2008 Going Deep – “Queen Berta and King Pippin,” by Priscilla Howe

Storyteller Priscilla HoweLast Friday night, after a pummeling massage that left me groggy followed by a light nap and a delicious dinner at the Storyteller’s Riverhouse, I grabbed my umbrella out of my car and walked over to the antique school house for the second night of storytelling at the “Going Deep: Long Traditional Story Festival” in Bethlehem, Indiana.  Tonight we would hear Priscilla Howe tell her version of the medieval story of “Queen Berta and King Pippin.”

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2008 Going Deep: “The Aztec Creation,” by Olga Loya

Storyteller Olga LoyaLast Thursday night I walked from the Storyteller’s Riverhouse, past the big tree house, past the tiny post office, past the big field, to the old school house to hear the first storytelling piece of the “Going Deep: Long Traditional Story Festival” in Bethlehem, Indiana.  Olga Loya would share her version of “The Aztec Creation.”

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2008 “Going Deep: The Long Traditional Story Festival” – Introduction

Last week I took a few days off from my day job and drove down to the tiny town of Bethlehem, Indiana, for the second “Going Deep: Long Traditional Story Festival.”  I went to the first one two years ago in 2006, too.  I hope it becomes an annual event.  It restores my equilibrium and inspires me in ways that nothing else does. 

The structure and content of this festival is magically different from any other storytelling camp, conference, festival, event or gathering that I know about.  For a while there I was obsessed with storytelling events, so I know about a lot of them! 

The basic structure of “Going Deep” is three times three, starting on a Thursday night and ending around noon on Sunday.  In other words:

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A Wellness Weekend

I am still percolating on the ideas explored in the Phoenix Theatre’s production of “Well,” by Lisa Kron.   This is the show I saw last Thursday.  I spent less time reviewing shows this past weekend, and more time talking with family and hanging out with friends.  I feel more well, more balanced, because of this.

Mind you, a lot of my “down time” was still theatre-related or storytelling-related.

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