By Laurie McIntosh

Storytellers Adriel Grapes, Rebecca Kole & Rachel Sage (photo by Courtney Sage)

On Friday November 13th, The Community Storytelling Troupe (CST) wowed a packed house at The Hunting Tavern in Andes, New York. Youth and adult tellers alike enchanted the crowd with a diverse repertoire of stories that included everything from Native American lore to original tales, and stories that ran the gamut from spooky to serious to downright hilarious.

Performers at Friday evening’s concert included: Tina Cawley, Adriel Grapes, Richard Grapes, Carol Johnson, Rebecca Kole, Courtney Sage, Rachel Sage and Janet Stoop. Courtney Sage, who performed her beautiful original story, “The Harvest Quilt” observed the truly inter-generational nature of the Community Storytelling Troupe when she pointed out that her family — as well as another family in attendance — had four generations of family members present at the concert.

The “happily ever after” part of the story for those who were not at the concert is that Jessica Vecchione, of Vecc Videography filmed the entire program. Once edited, a DVD of the concert will be available for patrons to borrow from the Andes Public Library.

As director of the Community Storytelling Troupe, I was elated with the evening’s success and how each CST member gave their best performance yet. I founded the CST in 2008, with the goal of creating a storytelling culture for youth and their families in Delaware County. From the outset, one of my goals was for the CST, a project of the Andes Public Library, to offer its activities to an inter-generational audience, but I never imagined these goals would be achieved so quickly and so well.

The Community Storytelling Troupe continues to be in demand at a wide variety of venues throughout the county. Upcoming appearances include: The Delaware County Youth Bureau’s annual Awards Banquet on December 3rd, as well as the Andes Community’s Tree Lighting Festivities on Saturday December 5th, for which CST members will share holiday and seasonal tales at the Andes Library at 3:30 pm.

The Community Storytelling Troupe is generously funded by the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation; OCFS funds administered by the Delaware County Youth Bureau; Kids in the Kaatskills; and is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program administered in Delaware County by the Roxbury Arts Group, Inc.

For more information about all Community Storytelling Troupe events, please call me at (845) 676-4727. ~

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