12th annual Storyfest a big success; two days feature different weather


The 12th annual “Storyfest” event was held last Thursday and Friday at points around Vevay; and again school children from around the area were treated to outstanding performers while learning valuable information about the various ways that a story can be told and passed through generations.

This year’s “Storyfest” also had its share of unusual weather; as Thursday’s participants moved around town under hot and sunny skies; while those children who attended on Friday saw cloudy, rainy weather — and a sharp drop in temperatures.

Students in grades one through three attended on Thursday; with Friday’s performances for students in grades four through six.

“Storyfest” is presented each year by the Hoosier Theater as part of their ongoing efforts to serve as a regional center for the performing arts. “Storyfest” is a learning adventure that provides new experiences each year on the many ways to tell a story. Past venues have included oral tradition, heritage crafts, puppetry, music, dance, and mime.

This year’s performers provided a wide range of experiences for the students:

— Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station is a popular Public Television “Learn to Draw in 3-D” series. Mark deeply believes that learning how to draw in three dimensions builds a child’s critical thinking skills while nourishing self-esteem. His positive messages on self-esteem, dream conquering, environmental awareness, and the power of reading have sparked millions of children around the world to discover their awesome individual potentials.

He had demonstrations at the Switzerland County YMCA both days of the “Storyfest” program; and also did a demonstration for the community on Thursday evening at the YMCA.

— Thaddeus Rex combines original songs with hilarious comedy and energetic music for a listening experience emphasizing fun and the power of reading.

He performed for students on the lawn of the Switzerland County Historical Society; and mixed storytelling, guitar music, and humor to help kids understand the importance of reading; right down to an original song jammed with all sorts of book titles.

— Srinivas Krishnan is an accomplished master percussionist from India, skilled at Indian instruments such as the tabla, ghatham, and mridangam, as well as the Middle Eastern dumbek and Irish bodhran. Explaining each instrument, he and his World Music Ensemble will both inform and delight.

This performance was held at the Historic Hoosier Theater in Vevay.

The students were divided into three groups, and then rotated to the three performance sites with a mid-day break for a picnic lunch.

The 12th annual “Storyfest” program was made possible through funding from the Vevay/Switzerland County Foundation, the United Fund of Switzerland County, Community Foundation of Switzerland County, and the Vevay Kiwanis Club.

The program is coordinated each year by Martha Bladen and volunteers from the Historic Hoosier Theater board and Historic Vevay, Inc.