Our storytellers speak
For 35 years now, the Wren’s Nest has presented professional storytellers at the house and at schools and community centers across Georgia. That’s a lot of storytelling! This summer, we’re adding a plot twist: We’ve asked our regular storytellers to tell us about their stories and to talk about their craft.
Starting this week and continuing every other week into August, we’ll post interview videos with our storytellers on our YouTube channel and website. Chetter Galloway is first up on Wednesday, followed by Gwendolyn J. Napier on July 22, Esther Culver on August 5, and Akbar Imhotep on August 19. They’ll talk about how they first discovered storytelling, how they came to the Wren’s Nest, how they frame Uncle Remus stories for modern audiences, what other kinds of folklore they mix in to their performances, and interesting experiences they’ve had as they present the adventures of Brer Rabbit and other critters.
You’ll hear some surprises. Akbar Imhotep, who has been telling stories at the Nest since the fall of 1985, confided that he didn’t know a single Brer Rabbit tale when he began. After several months of telling African folklore tales, it was gently suggested to him that perhaps he should learn a few Uncle Remus stories. He’s been performing them ever since. You’ll also hear Chetter Galloway talk about the one story by Joel Chandler Harris that he avoids telling because it’s too easy to misinterpret. Can you guess which one?
The Wren’s Nest has contracted with numerous storytellers over the past four decades. It has been one of the best things we do to make our legacy come to life and connect this institution with the tales that made the Joel Chandler Harris home a museum in the first place. We are so pleased that you can finally hear some of these talented artists talk about their lives and work. It was fun doing these interviews.
We hope you’ll enjoy listening to them.