Storytelling in Orange County isn't limited to this weekend's Once Upon a Story fest, and it isn't confined to library and bookstore story hours, generally targeted to the cartoon lunch box crowd.
The county's own South Coast Storytellers Guild, a group of professional and amateur tellers, performs frequently at schools, festivals, amusement parks, museums and just about any place where, as co-director Jim Lewis puts it, "folks want to flex their imaginations."
The 5-year-old group also organizes storytelling clubs and classes for grade-school kids, grandparents and all ages in between. They perform regularly during living-history programs at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Guild performances this month include a Day of the Dead program Oct. 28 at Borders Books & Music in Mission Viejo, and, also on the 28th, an all-day storytelling and music festival at George Key Ranch in Placentia. Phone: (714) 496-1960.
In addition, the L.A.-based We Tell Stories frequently drops into Orange County for performances at venues such as the Children's Museum at La Habra and Anaheim's Pearson Park amphitheater. And on almost any given weekend, kids can warm up to global tales in the Bowers' Kidseum storytelling nook.
Plus, coming up at Orange Coast College next week, a group of multiethnic artists known as WorldColor offers a concert blending music, storytelling, photography and art from around the world. Two performances are recommended for elementary school-age children, Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m.; tickets for those one-hour shows are $5 to $7. An additional two-hour performance Tuesday at 8 p.m. will be geared to older students and adults; that show benefits the Amy Biehl Foundation, and tickets are $10. All shows will be held in OCC's Robert B. Moore Theatre. Call OCC's Community Services office at (714) 432-5880 for more info on the morning performances; (619) 771-2044 for details on the Tuesday evening show.