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Originally published in Compass, July 31, 2014
Storytelling by the Sea comes to Castine on August 8 & 9

Festival brings local and national storytellers to Castine

Storyteller Johanna Sweet, performing at the 2013 Storytelling by the Sea festival and, at right, singer-storyteller Frank Gotwals both return to the Castine, Maine festival on August 8 and 9, 2014. At left is sign language interpreter Evah Hellewell.

Photo courtesy of Wilson Museum

by Anne Berleant

Celebrate storytelling in all its forms at the second annual Storytelling by the Sea festival on Friday, August 8 and Saturday, August 9. The festival opens on both days at 10 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m., with a Saturday evening “pub crawl,” featuring three hours of storytelling, comedy, music and drinks, closing the two-day event.

Jennifer Armstrong returns as MC, sharing traditional and personal stories from her Celtic-American heritage and playing the Scottish bagpipe, fiddle, banjo and guitar.

New voices include the Rev. Richard J. Messana, who will be performing an excerpt from Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof; Jo Radner, performing stories from her western Maine heritage and Susan Poulin, a writer/performer who was selected by Portland Magazine as one of the “Ten Most Intriguing People in Maine.” Kamishibai storytellers Margaret Eisenstadt and Donna Tamaki will hold a workshop and performance on Friday; clowns and storytellers Randy Judkins and Kenny Rankin will do the same on Saturday.

Local storytellers from Castine and beyond, many as return performers, include Rob McCall, Johanna Sweet, Don Small, Pedric Sweet, Joy Potts, Harry Kaserian, Hope Lewis, Charles Stephens, Frank Gotwals and LouAnna Perkins.

And Antonio Rocha, storyteller, mime and children’s book author, returns to the festival for a second year.

Most events will be held at the Wilson Museum and Emerson Hall, with workshops at the library and select events at the Manor Inn, the Pentagoet Inn, MarKel’s Downstairs and Dennett’s Wharf.

For event schedule and ticket information, see or contact the Wilson Museum at 326-9247 or Advance tickets available at Wilson Museum and Witherle Memorial Library.

The festival is co-sponsored by Wilson Museum, Witherle Memorial Library and Friends of Witherle Memorial Library with support from Castine Historical Society, Dennett’s Wharf, Guildive Cruises, Maine Maritime Academy, The Manor Inn, MarKel’s, The Pentagoet Inn and the Town of Castine.