Wednesday, October 9, 2013


In which our Diva has a tale to tell and a song to sing

GreenMan Theatre Troupe, where I've had some great performing experiences in the last several years, sponsors an annual storytelling workshop with veteran storyteller Carolyn Thomas-Davidoff.  It culminates in a "Spooky Stories and Songs of the Season" program for one weekend only. This year, things finally worked out for me to participate, which means this Friday and Saturday, October 11 and 12, I'll be one of a about a dozen performers spinning traditional tales, urban legends, literary adaptations, and a few haunting tunes for good measure.

I have two selections on the program. One is a short story by Chicago writer Jenna Waterford, "Beata Beatrix," which was published a couple years back in the Hugo Award-winning speculative fiction magazine Electric Velocipede. The title comes from the painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti -- or rather, several paintings by the same name and of the same subject, one of which resides at the Art Institute of Chicago. With that in mind, Beata Beatrix got my "favorite" vote on #PRBDay, and I was far from the only one, since it ended up at the top of the list when the Tweets were counted. I'm looking forward to the next issue of the Pre-Raphaelite Society's quarterly journal, which I'm told will include an article on the various versions of the painting.

Jenna and I met online and bonded over our mutual love of Pre-Raphaelite art and Lizzie in particular, so I love having the opportunity to adapt her chillingly beautiful story for oral telling.

by Evanira on DeviantART
I'm also over the moon to have permission from fantasy author and singer/songwriter Seanan McGuire to sing her eerie reinvention of Red Riding Hood, "The True Story Here." I've been itching to perform it since the first time I heard it on her album Wicked Girls, and this is the perfect time and place. If you've seen Catherine Hardwicke's gorgeous film starring Amanda Seyfried, you might have an inkling where this Red is coming from, but Seanan's songwriting makes for its own unforgettable take on the tale.

Fingers crossed that I do both these terrific writers justice! If you're in Chicagoland, come and see/hear for yourself this Friday and Saturday. There's lots more spooky wonderfulness on the program -- ghosts and vampires and mythical spirits galore. Tickets are just $5, at the door or online. Hope to see you there!