Catching adults in tale-spinners' net

Storytelling is as natural as breathing, yet adults often neglect their ability to help us make sense of our lives, says Selma Levi, head of the Pratt Central Library's children's department.

With Tellabration! a grown-up storytelling session scheduled for TC tomorrow at the library, Ms. Levi hopes to rekindle the childlike sense of wonder that good stories engender. "We're trying to awaken something within ourselves that lies dormant because you are an adult officially. It's a really wonderful way of feeling a part of whatever the story's expressing," Ms. Levi says.


Tellabration! is a national event involving 95 communities acrossthe United States held in conjunction with the National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling, (NAPPS), based in Jonesborough, Tenn.

In Baltimore, six Maryland storytellers will spin true and invented yarns for grown-ups. In fact, those under 13 are discouraged from coming.


Storyteller Bill Mayhew of Beltsville plans to amuse with a twisted tale called "Snow White and the Seven or So Dwarfs." Since Mr. Mayhew, a former school teacher, won the Maryland lottery in 1990, he has become a full-time story weaver who focuses on folk and fairy tales. He rarely entertains adults, but says they are "more fun. They understand the jokes."

Baltimore storyteller Teresa Whitaker will relate a tale called"In Gaia's Lap," fashioned from the life of her grandmother. "With adults, you can share more of your own life experience," Ms. Whitaker says. But grown-ups "take a little longer" to throw themselves into stories, she says.

Tellabration! takes place at 8 p.m. tomorrow in Wheeler Auditorium at the Pratt Central Library. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door or in advance in the library's children's department. The event benefits the Pratt library and NAPPS's national storytelling library and archives in Tennessee. For information, call (410) 396-5402 during library hours.

Tomorrow, librarians in the Central Pratt children's department will also tell stories for children from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.