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West Virginia Storytelling Guild hosts virtual concert

KINGWOOD — Storytelling as entertainment has a long history. Through the ages, stories were handed down through stone carvings, songs, chants, poetry or by word of mouth.

In 700 B.C., the first printed story, the epic of Gilgamesh, was carved on stone pillars for the public to see.

Today, we have more modern methods — TV, computers, books, comedians and storytelling guilds — to provide us with entertainment, according to Karen Vuranch, a theater instructor at Concord University.

Vuranch said the West Virginia Storytelling Guild was looking for a way to do some storytelling performances after their annual meeting and concert in April had to be canceled.

Since they couldn’t bring their stories to the public face to face, as they had in the past, they decided to offer free online storytelling concerts.

The first concert is set for 7 p.m. Monday in a Zoom Room sponsored by Concord University.

It will feature Adam Booth as emcee and four storytellers, including Fred Powers, a retired coal miner and teacher from Bluefield, and Mark Brugh of Hagerstown, Md., who tells historical tales and oversees storytelling at the public library.

The other two guests are the youngest and oldest members of the guild: Celia Douglass, an elementary student from Morgantown, and Betty Cross, a retired Morgantown educator with almost 70 years of storytelling experience.

Subsequent concerts will be held at 7 p.m. June 8, July 13, and Aug.10.

To join the concert, go to the website and enter the meeting number 283-483-3785.

A password is not required.

If you don’t have this capability on your computer or prefer to call in, call 312-626-6799 and enter the Meeting ID. The room will be locked 15 minutes after the concert begins.

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