Calgary

Bored in isolation? Fill out a form and a performer will call and tell you a story

Doreen Vanderstoop, president of Storytelling Alberta, said after 10 of the non-profit's events were cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the organization's performers realized it was time to get creative.

Choose the kind of story you'd like to hear or be surprised, says the president of Storytelling Alberta

Doreen Vanderstoop of Storytelling Alberta says about a dozen performers are awaiting requests from Albertans, so they can call and tell them a story. (Submitted by Doreen Vanderstoop)

What's a storyteller without an audience?

Doreen Vanderstoop, president of Storytelling Alberta, said after 10 of the non-profit's events were cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the organization's performers realized it was time to get creative.

"We were all going into isolation. So at that point we started thinking about alternative ways to bring stories to people," she said.

To entertain people stuck at home — either due to self-isolation, quarantine or to care for children who are out of school — the organization is offering story calls. 

"You get a live, personal, on the phone performance from a performing storyteller," Vanderstoop said.

An Alberta storytellers group is offering stories-by-phone during this time of social distancing. We talk to Doreen Vanderstoop, the president of Storytelling Alberta, about the initative. 8:05

Simply fill out a form, indicate whether the story is for an adult or a child, and one of a dozen performers will give you a call and regale you with a five to 10 minute tale.

"You can tell us the type of story you'd like to hear, whether it's a personal story or a folk tale or a myth or a historical story, a fable, a fairytale, or you can say teller's choice — and then the person who's calling you will tell you the story they would like to tell," Vanderstoop said. 

The calls will run until April 12, with the chance of being extended if there's enough interest. 

To request a story, fill out the form in this link and email it to storytellingalberta@gmail.com

Vanderstoop also offered some advice for hopeful storytellers to brush up their skills while stuck at home.

"We don't talk about memorizing a story, we talk about learning to live in a story, so it almost feels like a movie," she said.

Storytelling Alberta was founded in 1982, and when there's not a pandemic going on, it offers events like open mics, workshops, story cafes and festivals.

With files from The Homestretch

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