Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Fifth Annual Ghost Storytelling Festival moves to River Campus

Monday, October 1, 2012
Submitted photo

The Fifth Annual Ghost Storytelling Festival will be held indoors for the first time at the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall.The City of Cape Girardeau and Old Town Cape, who coordinate the festival, decided weather played too much of a role in attendance at the past festivals.

Director of Public Relations for the City of Cape Girardeau, Stacy Dohogne Lane, said moving the festival inside hopefully will improve the Ghost Storytelling Festival's attendance.

"It's at the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall Auditorium, which is gorgeous," Lane said, "The weather has impacted our attendance in the past, but when we tried doing the humorous version of our storytelling festival, it was very well received."

Dr. Joel Rhodes, a history professor at Southeast Missouri State University, is in charge of picking the storytellers for all the storytelling festivals. He said people should really enjoy the people he picked this year. The festival will feature the popular storytellers Megan Hicks and Brian Fox Ellis. Brian Fox Ellis is an award-winning author and storyteller who is known for his renditions of Grimm Brothers' stories, which he has performed for more than 20 years. Megan Hicks is a nationally acclaimed writer and storyteller who was featured as a "new voice" at the National Storytelling Festival in 2011.

Rhodes encourages those who have not attended the past storytelling events to give the Ghost Storytelling Festival a try.

"When people think of storytelling, they think that sounds like something you attend at the library," Rhodes said. "That perception is way off base. These people are performance artists. It's a way to get engaged in a very fundamental and human art form. Unlike any other performance art, they transmit ideas through interaction with the audience. You start to personalize and internalize it. Unlike a movie, your mind interacts by painting a picture."

Lane said the new venue will be equipped with smoke and lights for a spooky atmosphere, and attendees should have a good time.

"It's the oldest art form," Lane said. "In our hyper-connected world with Twitter, cell phones and television, the festival offers a wonderful opportunity to disconnect for two hours and listen to heartfelt stories and just relax."

The festival will have showings at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 13.