The root of theater is storytelling, and Stories on Stage has made a practice of matching expressive words with talented actors for many years. The March 11 offering, Distant Voices, features Sherman Alexie's short story "War Dances," about a young man afflicted with a mysterious partial deafness who's visiting his father in the hospital, read by Lorne Cardinal; Mark Rubald reading Roddy Doyle's" Ash," which describes the reactions of a man whose wife is leaving him; and a piece by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie called "The Headstrong Historian," read by Candy Brown.
Director Anthony Powell notes that the title Distant Voices is a broad one, but says the stories fit thematically and intuitively: "'War Dances' is about ancestors and 'Ash' about emotional distance. The last story deals with three generations of an African family talking to each other across the years. Both the Alexie and Doyle stories are humorous."
Powell says he's interested in "shaking things up a bit" for Stories on Stage, and also "making alliances and crossing boundaries." The last offering was done in collaboration with Buntport; the two companies created an evening of flash fiction after Powell discovered Fast Forward Press, a Denver publishing house that anthologizes flash fiction from all over the country.
For Distant Voices, he has worked with Daniel Weinshenker of the Center for Digital Storytelling, which runs workshops to teach people how to create their own autobiographical videos. Three of these stories, which Powell says have remarkable power, will be part of the evening.
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And another important alliance is with Su Teatro, whose intimate space in the Denver Civic Theatre at 721 Santa Fe Drive is the venue for Distant Voices. "The connection between audience and actor there is a treat," says Powell.
Stories on Stage will present Distant Voices at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 11, at Su Teatro, for more information, call 303-494-0523 or go to www.storiesonstage.org