The Piedmont Storytelling Festival will celebrate an ancient and popular art form this weekend with two guest tellers of tales, one with African, the other with Cajun stories, appearing in Greensboro and in High Point in free performances.
Ephat Mujuru will tell stories of Zimbabwe, weaving in instrumental music. J. J. Reneaux will sing and tell stories of her Cajun culture of Louisiana.Their joint festival performances are at 8 p.m. Friday in Greensboro at the Broach Theatre, 520 S. Elm St., and at 8 p.m. Saturday at the High Point Theatre in downtown High Point.
Mujuru began as a musician and dancer. He now blends stories in English and his native language of Shona into a performance including music. Reneaux (the J. J. stands for Julie Jean) tells of a world of ghosts, swampcats and rascals. She accompanies her stories on a variety of instruments from guitar to triangle.
In addition, the festival will offer two workshops to educators and others interested in the storytelling art. They will be led by Steven Henegar, visiting artist at GTCC, a professional storyteller for nine years, and by Glenn Hinson. He is an assistant professor of folklore and anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The first workshop on storytelling sources and techniques is today from 6 to 9 p.m. The second, on how storytelling helps preserve a culture or to understand other cultures, will be Saturday from 9 to 12:30 p.m. Both will be on the Jamestown campus of GTCC. Pre-registration is required. A fee of $10 per workshop will be charged. Call Henegar at 334-4822, extension 2412, for information or registration.