SCHENECTADY: Tales to warm a winter evening

Dudding said that storytelling in front of a live audience can affect how storytellers weave their tales.

"If the audience is reacting well to the humor, we'll keep that going," said Dudding. "If they're really focused, we'll keep going deeper."

Storytellers auditioned for Tellabration, and Dudding said they had the right amount of storytellers for this year's Tellabration.

Tellabration occurs throughout the United States in November, adding to the sense of community.

"People often think storytelling is just for children," Dudding said. "But once a year, 12,000 people descend on a tiny Tennesse town for a national storytelling festival."

While there won't be 12,000 people at the Whisperdome this Sunday, Dudding expects at least 200. Who would like it?

"If you like theater, you'll like storytelling," Dudding said. "It combines the intensity of a one-person play with the intimacy of a one-on-one conversation."

"Maybe somebody will be entertained," Doolittle said. "It's a shared joy."

This year's Tellabration storytellers are Frances Combs Berger of Castleton, Betty Cassidy, Margaret French and Christie Keegan of Saratoga Springs, Kathleen Gill and Marni Gillard of Schenectady, Claire Nolan of Albany, Nancy Marie Payne of Berne and Karen Pillsworth of Kingston.

Laughing Out Loud at the Whisperdome is produced by Story Circle Productions, Ltd. Proceeds from previous Tellabration programs have funded more than 70 storytelling programs at libraries, museums and other locations in the Capital District.

Tellabration will take place Sunday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m. at the Whisperdome at the First Unitarian Society of Schenectady at 1221 Wendell Ave. in Schenecatdy. To make reservations, call 384-1700. Cost is $10 in advance; $13 at the door. First-time visitors to Tellabration receive a $2 discount on an advance ticket; if you bring a newcomer to Tellabration, both of you save $2 on advance tickets.

For information about Tellabration, visit www.telebration.org. For information about storytelling, visit www.storynet.org. For information about Story Circle Productions, Ltd., visit www.timesunion.com/communities/storycircle. ""

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