Detailed Program

Click on the image to view the full Program Book!








Thursday, November 18 – Mayfair Theatre

You Are Here – Ivan Coyote
Feature Concert
$20, $15 for members of OST/Mayfair
Storyteller and author Ivan E. Coyote shares her multimedia performance You Are Here.  Building on family legend and hometown nostalgia, this story captures the wild magic of a little town in the Yukon and laments the corporate colonization that has crept into even the farthest corners we call home. Accompanied by bluegrass guitar and old super-8 footage  – come and enjoy the show and the Mayfair’s retro atmosphere!

Late Night Screening
Film – Animal Kingdom
$10, $6 for members of Mayfair
Welcome to the terrifying Melbourne crime underworld, where tensions are on the brink of exploding between felons and renegade cops – the Wild West played out on the city’s streets in broad daylight. The Cody brothers, a gang of armed robbers, are in the process of initiating their teenage nephew Joshua ‘J’ (James Frecheville) into their frightening world after the death of his mother and under the watchful eye of his matriarchal grandmother, Smurf (Jacki Weaver), a modern-day Ma Barker.  J quickly comes to believe that he is a player in this world, but soon discovers that the entire situation is far larger and more menacing than he could ever imagine.

Friday, November 19 – Saint Brigid’s Centre

Talking the Talk – Ivan Coyote
$30, $20 for members
Join Ivan Coyote for a three-hour workshop that will help you transform your nervous energy into a memorable reading. Ivan will offer tips on selecting material, preparing your work for performance, memorizing (or not), and making your body language work for you. She will also share some stage secrets about microphones, sound guys and selling your books. Please bring along a short (3-minute) selection to read.

Interpreting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Ian Dennis
After a brief glance at the interesting history of the writing and publication of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, we will survey responses to the book over the two centuries since its creation.  Frankenstein has evoked a wide range of sometimes contradictory interpretations, and new views continue to emerge.  Hopefully, we can probe them together, looking for insights and trying to decide which are the most plausible. Hosted by Ottawa University Professor Ian Dennis.

Rolling Way the Rock – Tim Tingle
Feature Concert
An Oklahoma Choctaw, Tim Tingle is a renowned storyteller and author who delivers lively historical and traditional stories, accompanying himself on the Native American flute and singing Choctaw songs to the rhythms of a whaleskin drum. Tonight he shares  the story of Clarence Carnes, a Choctaw man who at age nineteen became the youngest inmate ever sentenced to Alcatraz Federal Prison.  Not suitable for audiences under 11.

Vernacular Spectacular!
Late Night Concert
Join us for a celebration of storytelling and the art of spoken word at this late night cabaret extravaganza! This evening will include performances by storytellers, poets, comedians and musicians, with a party-like atmosphere and free refreshments.  Featured performers will include Anita Best, Marie Bilodeau, Charly Chiarelli, Ivan Coyote, Alan Shain, and slam poet group The Copper Conundrum!

Saturday, November 20

Iconoclastic TellingTim Tingle
$30, $20 for members

Tingle offers a provocative and creative approach to the art, for the beginner to the advanced teller. Poetry, stage movement, simple instrumentation (think rusty bucket percussion); exciting ways to involve audiences, bring your ideas and tired but traveled tales (plus a volume of your favorite poems) for an infusion of new breath.

5 Minute Story Slam Workshop – Ruthanne Edward
How am I supposed to tell a story in 5 minutes? What do you mean I can’t read? Someone is going to judge me? Interested in signing up for the story slam? Not really sure how to make your story work for a slam? The unique format of a story slam requires some changes in how we prepare and perform a story. This workshop will cover what you need to do to get ready for telling at a story slam. How to deal with time limits, taking that great story from the page to the stage, slam performance tips and the whole question of memorizing vs telling your story. To reserve a spot, email

Frankenstein – Ben Haggarty and Sianed Jones
Feature Concert
Enter a world of feverish dreaming as storyteller Ben Haggarty and musician Sinead Jones present an intense steampunk interpretation of Mary Shelly’s modern myth. This powerful and startling performance combines spoken narrative, music and song to draw audiences into the world of Dr. Frankenstein and the monster he created.  Truly a story for our time, Frankenstein speaks of power unleashed and our fear of the unknown. Internationally renowned for his playful and dynamic performances, Ben Haggarty has been the official storyteller for Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble project since 2001, devising family concerts combining stories and music for performances to audiences of up to 10,000 people. Composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, Sianed Jones has been variously described as having a voice like that of a wailing Welsh banshee, a soft seducer, and a passionate revolutionary. Not suitable for audiences under 14.

Traditional Tales – Tim Tingle
Late Night Concert
An avid collector of tribal stories, Tim Tingle has guest-lectured on numerous college campuses on Native American folklore, and in 2003 earned his Master of Arts degree in the English Department at the University of Oklahoma, focusing on contemporary American Indian narratives. He went on to found the Choctaw Storytelling Festival, a three-day celebration of the Choctaw narrative: traditional, historical, and personal. Tonight, he will share stories from the Choctaw tradition.

Sunday, November 21

The Storyteller  – Ben Haggarty
$30, $20 for members
A brief series of introductory exercises which raise awareness of the fact that you already have a quite sophisticated storyteller alive and kicking within you. For complete beginners.

Story Slam!
Participatory Concert
A story slam is a storytelling competition – think American Idol, but for stories. Anyone can sign up to slam and each teller will have exactly 5 minutes to tell their story. Don’t go over time or it will cost you! Judges are randomly selected from the audience, so even if you aren’t performing, you might find yourself participating. Each teller will be scored on their story by the judges, half on content and half on performance. Whoever has the highest score at the end of the slam wins all the marbles and bragging rights. You can tell any sort of story you want; a personal story, tall tale, fairy tale, ghost story, the sky’s the limit. There is a catch though. This is about story telling, not story reading. No paper allowed on stage, the story must be told by heart. Intrigued? Curious? Come down and sign up to slam or take your chances on being chosen to be a judge.

Stories and Songs of Newfoundland – Anita Best
Feature Concert
Anita Best is a much beloved Newfoundland singer and storyteller. Influenced as a teenager by the folk revivals in England and Ireland, she was one of the founding members of what is sometimes considered the first “trad-rock” band in Canada, Figgy Duff. Since then, she has spent a lifetime exploring, cataloguing and celebrating the rural Newfoundland lifestyle and culture. Tonight, she will share songs and stories from this rich folk tradition, including conte-fables and ballads.

The Blacksmith at the Bridge of Bones – Ben Haggarty
Late Night Concert
If knowledge equals power, then what responsibility comes with such power?  This ancient guild tale of the blacksmiths, is a dark and full-blooded story of power, alchemy and the quest for knowledge, exploring the enduring relationship between those who teach and those who learn. Evocative, unflinching and beautiful by turn, this is a performance to lure you into the rich and provocative world of fairy tales for grown-ups. Not suitable for audiences under 11.


15 responses to “Detailed Program

  1. Jennifer Cayley

    Looks grand Caitlyn. Hope you are proud of yourself. Now…… the marketing begins !!!!!!!!!!!

  2. hi,
    i’ve put the events on our literary events calendar but didn’t see venues for November 20 and 21. if possible could you e-mail me at amanda at bywords dot ca with the venues so i can update the calendar.
    sounds like a fantastic event.

  3. Please add me to your mailing list. Thank you

  4. It is so disappointing that the festival does not include anything for children this year. It was always a highlight for my daughter and myself in past years.

    • We’re sorry to hear that you’re disappointed. We’ve actually moved to a new festival format, where in even numbered years we produce an adult oriented festival (the one you see described on this site) and in the odd numbered years, we will produce a Children’s Day Festival (as we did in 2009 and are planning for 2011). We have number of reasons for moving to this format, and we hope that your daughter will come in 2011 to enjoy the children’s programming – and perhaps we will see you as a guest at our more adult shows this year.
      Thank you for your interest in storytelling!

  5. ellen bacal segal

    The Nov. 21 workshop for absolute beginners is being held where?

  6. ellen bacal segal

    I will be attending the Sunday morning workshop.
    Pat at the door….Right?


  7. I have been asked if there is any food available at the Saturday and Sunday location.

  8. Pingback: Ottawa International Storytelling Festival Starts this week! | Apartment613

  9. The line up looks wonderful. Wish i could be there!
    Big hugs all around.


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