Thursday, April 16, 2009

Article coming out in JEU revue de théâtre

JEU, a theatre journal in Québec, asked me to write an article about the Festival interculturel du conte de québec, founded and directed by my friend Marc Laberge. They wanted the perspective of someone from outside the quebeçois storytelling movement. I've been a big fan of storytelling in Québec, both in French and English, ever since I heard the incomparable Jocelyn Bérubé thirty years ago. Until I met Jocelyn, I had never dreamed that the art of storytelling could be so rooted in traditional stories and so avant-garde at the same time. He remains, for me, one of my all-time storytelling heroes - one of the greatest lyric storytellers in the world. Over the last thirty years, the storytelling renaissance has developed rapidly, and one of the places where it has found the richest soil is Québec. Storytellers there are experimenting with repertoire, performance styles, audiences, venues - and as a result they have attracted some wonderful younger tellers.

The piece is called Les fusées improbables: notes sur le Festival interculturel du conte de Québec, (translated by Michel Vaïs) and is coming out in the next issue of JEU (, which is devoted to storytelling.

Radio documentary on CBC Radio Tapestry

CBC Radio One's show Tapestry recently aired (on Easter Sunday) a radio documentary about my experience as a father with a baby in the neo-natal intensive care unit at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. Ines Colabrese was the producer, and she brought together extensive interviews to create a fifteen-minute piece. It includes the remarkable story of my neighbour, Liliane Scarpellino, who brought across the street her life-affirming story just when we most needed to hear it. You can catch the documentary at CBC's archives:

This was the hospital experience that led to the creation of Talking You In, a canta storia about storytelling in the NICU, which is set to the music of Brian Katz.