Cinematical’s Monica Bartyzel claims in a December 27 review that James Cameron’s most recent epic “Avatar” heralds “the death of storytelling”.  Bartyzel claims that the script was not “honed” and seems disappointed over the use of a traditional plot line.  Such basic stories, Bartyzel writes, are an “insult”.

Portland Story Theater founder Lynne Duddy disagrees.  “Stories told along tried and true plot lines have the power to capture our awareness, and they can remind us of powerful lessons.”

All over the world the ancient art of storytelling is actually experiencing a revival.  Although film and light have the ability to lure us with raw vivid imagery, storytelling is an alchemy in which the relationship between the storyteller and the audience creates a unique, living, and often unforgettable experience.  And more and more people are gathering to see storytellers weave their magic.

With the support of powerful institutions such as National Geographic, the Smithsonian, and many more, storytelling is helping people all over the world to honor the past, preserve their heritage, and learn more about each other as we step into the future.

From the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, to the Mesa Storytelling Festival in Mesa, Arizona, storytelling is the poster child for the ideal American revival.  In fact the revival of storytelling is experiencing an exuberant revival in many places across the globe.  Just last summer storytellers from 25 countries across Europe met in Switzerland to formalize a Federation for European Storytelling.

For local events look no further than our own Portland Story Theater.  This year PST will be once again hosting the highly anticipated Solo Performance Festival this spring, and is offering two other performances this winter.

- Ry Doland