Today’s subject is Philadelphia’s own Ed Stivender: Shakespearean actor, banjo player, theologian, mummer, juggler, and raconteur. Ed Stivender has been called “the Robin Williams of storytelling” and “a Catholic Garrison Keillor.”
On his website it states he has, “…fabulated his way around the globe --appearing in schools, churches, coffeehouses and theaters, as well as at major storytelling festivals. He has been a featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival, the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival in Ireland, Graz Festival, Austria and our own Philadelphia Folk Festival. Ed enjoyed narrating: ‘Paddington Bears Special Day’ with the Harrisburg Symphony, ‘Ferdinan the Bull’ with a violinist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and ‘Peter and the Wolf’ with the LaGrange Symphony.”
He is the author of two books of tales: Raised Catholic, Can You Tell? and Still Catholic After All These Fears.
Ed has strutted in the Comic division of the annual Philadelphia Mummers Parade since 1982. He has received the Mummers’ Most Original Character Award for his one-man Vatican-American String Band, as well as other mumming awards.
The National Storytelling Association inducted Ed into its Circle of Excellence in 1996.
Ed Stivender will be appearing at the Lititz Storytelling Festival which runs September 13th and 14th. That is not far away and inexpensive. Check it out.
Although Ed has a big Catholic shtick going on, I am going to focus on some of his traditional stories. Well, sort of traditional—this is Ed Stivender after all.
Here he is. Judge for yourself.
That was Ed Stivender.
I mentioned earlier the Lititz Storytelling Festival where Ed will be appearing along with Jay O’Callahan, Charlotte Blake Alston, Kim Weitkamp and other worthy tellers, including myself and Karen Maurer from the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild.
The weekend pass is $60, individual shows or workshops are $10, $15, or $20 dollars. The town of Lititz itself is a wonderful place to wander around. Give yourself time to explore its ambiance.
That’s Friday and Saturday, September 13th and 14th. I hope I see you there. Until then, have fun and keep a story in your heart.