What's a Storytelling House Concert?
Love storytelling? Why not invite your family and friends to a storytelling house concert or "wee ceilidh"? Enjoy the traditional art of storytelling in your own home.
I can arrange a 2-hour storytelling event in the comfort of your own home. You invite your guests and I'll do the rest.
"Wee ceilidhs" (pronounced "wee kay-lees") or storytelling house concerts are a wonderful way to bring stories into the home. I began organizing them when I lived in Scotland where telling stories in the home has been a staple form of entertainment for hundreds of years.
A storytelling house concert is about bringing stories into the home. Together, the Host and the Storyteller organize a gathering of a dozen or more people - all known to the host - in the home of the Host. Storytelling house concerts encourage friendship and community-building. Hosts and guests often find this a time of reconnection and making new friends.
The Host's Responsibilities
Once a date and time are agreed upon, the Host begins inviting a dozen or more family and friends to attend. No one should attend if not known to the Host. If guests want to bring a friend, they should check with the Host first.
Food and drink may be supplied at the Host's discretion. Usually, guests are encouraged to bring food and drink to share between sets. At a minimum, the Host should provide refreshments like tea/coffee, water or other beverage.
Comfortable seating should also be made available for guests. Suitable space and seating should also be made available for the Storyteller, ensuring that everyone can see and hear him or her or them. Under normal circumstances, a sound system is not required this being an intimate setting but consideration should be given to anyone with hearing impairment. Toilet facilities should also be available for guests.
If more than 50 km from home, a Storyteller will often require accommodation and a meal. Hosts are encouraged to offer the Storyteller such a provision if necessary.
The Storyteller's Responsibilities
Arranging a house concert takes time and effort. The Storyteller will put together two 45-minute sets of stories/songs to entertain the audience. The stories may follow a theme or not. The Storyteller may be accompanied by a musician, singer, or another storyteller. Audience participation is encouraged.
The Storyteller will usually provide contact details for his or her services and will normally ask the Host and members of the audience for testimonials and feedback. This helps make the next House Concert a success and raises awareness of the traditional art of oral storytelling: a win-win for everyone involved.
Hire me and I'll organize:
two 45-minute sets of storytelling, consisting of traditional and contemporary tales and music - sets can be themed or relevant to the season or a special celebration
a guest storyteller and/or a musician/singer-songwriter
lots of interactive fun and enjoyment
A storyteller is a professional and very often is dependent on his or her craft for a living. Therefore, financial compensation is expected either in the form of an agreed-upon sum at the end of the concert or in the form of audience donations. If the latter, a hat is passed around or a bowl is provided for cash donations. A suggested contribution of between $10-20 is appreciated, although patrons can contribute more if they wish. Contributions will pay for the Storyteller's time and contribute toward transportation and fuel costs. As a guide, the Storytellers of Canada-Conteurs du Canada organization suggests a fee of $250 for a performance of up to an hour.
A storytelling house concert is a unique and memorable event. Many recognize the simplicity of the arrangement and are encouraged to organize house concerts of their own. The Storyteller is willing to assist anyone wishing to organize a storytelling house concert of their own.
To organize your own storytelling house concert, contact Michael Williams at email@example.com.
Indoor House Concerts
Museums, Churches, and Libraries
Outdoor House Concerts