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Wordcrafters Teams Up with Minority Voices Theatre to Bring Local Stories to Life

Stories from the Helix performance takes place Dec. 10, 2023

EUGENE, Ore. – Wordcrafters in Eugene is partnering with Minority Voices Theatre to transform a cross-section of stories from its StoryHelix community storytelling project into live productions through theatre, music, and dance. Stories from the Helix is on  Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. at The Very Little Theatre’s Stage Left.

For three years, Wordcrafters in Eugene has collected stories from people in Lane County as part of StoryHelix, a community storytelling project. StoryHelix was started as a community effort to amplify stories from people in Lane County who are often silenced, marginalized, and excluded. 

Each year, Storyhelix selects a theme to guide people as they share their stories through a recorded interview or written account. These stories are made into a podcast “mixtape,” released at the year’s end.

Both Minority Voices Theatre and StoryHelix have a common goal of uplifting the voices of people from communities who are often ignored or erased in discussions surrounding Eugene’s history. At the “Stories from the Helix” event, people will share their experiences of alienation as well as community and belonging through their stories, which have been transformed into theatrical performances, and augmented with visual projections, and also supplemented by musicians, and performances from Eugene’s own Ballet Folklorico Colibrí.

One participant recalls the vast differences in their experiences surrounding race and class here in Eugene and their experiences growing up in South Florida: “I just remember growing up in South Florida, which is such a different racial consciousness than Eugene. And I’m witnessing that as I learn about the geo-social history here with the Willamette and the migration in the fifties and forties and in the eighties. Like, there’s a different consciousness around being black here or any other, like, not white identity here than in Florida.”

Storytelling is also a means of opening other peoples’ eyes to experiences and histories they otherwise wouldn’t have known. 

Another participant in the Stories from the Helix project remarks upon their own lack of knowledge about their home in Eugene: “I am totally ignorant about the story of the place that I am sitting on right now. I know that Eugene, or this area, was the Kalapuya territory, and that’s all I know about. And the other thing that I know for sure is that this place where we are now, or where Eugene is sitting, it was a place for deer and raccoons and bears.”

At Stories from the Helix, you’ll see performances incorporating both of these stories and many more! Bring your friends, family, and coworkers along for an afternoon of entertainment, community building, and bonding. Refreshments will be provided, and the avenue is ADA-accessible. 

The event is open to the public at pay-what-you-will-pricing ($0-25). Doors open at 1 p.m., performances start at 1:30 p.m. At 2:45 p.m., after the show, audience members have the opportunity to do interviews to have their stories shared on a future StoryHelix podcast.

For more tickets, visit: https://thevlt.com/event/stories-from-the-helix/

For more information, visit: https://wordcrafters.org/stories-from-the-helix/ 

To sign up for an interview slot, visit: https://calendar.app.google/ACfhdXNhANHowyv67 

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About Wordcrafters in Eugene

Wordcrafters in Eugene is a nonprofit literary arts organization celebrating 10 years of helping writers find their voice and tell their story. 

Our mission: to provide writers with opportunities to strengthen their craft, deepen their connection with literature, and share their knowledge with each other and with future generations

Wordcrafters offers classes, workshops, and community gatherings for adults and youth, including creative writing summer camps, an LGBTQIA2S+ book group, monthly workshops for youth, the annual Fiction Fantastic short story contest, and Writers in the Schools residencies for underserved schools in Lane County, as well as StoryHelix, a community storytelling project.

Instagram/Facebook: @Wordcrafters

wordcrafters.org

About Minority Voices Theatre

MVT, a program of the Very Little Theatre, offers opportunities for members of minority or marginalized communities to participate in the collaborative art of theatre as actors, writers, directors, designers, and audience members–telling the stories that are too often not told.

About StoryHelix

StoryHelix, a project of Wordcrafters in Eugene, is a collection of stories about our community that we create together.

About the Project Name: A double helix is the structure of a DNA molecule–what makes a living being who or what it is. Our DNA is shaped by our ancestors’ experiences and environments. If just one of the letters (A, T, G, C)  is removed, ignored, or changed, the entire being is altered, even becoming an entirely different creature. Communities are like this as well. 

Eugene, Springfield, and surrounding areas have an uncomfortable history and present surrounding erasure, inclusion, and exclusion. For too long, many in our community have not been heard. StoryHelix hopes to honor our community’s letters, and their juxtapositions, and to weave a new narrative together. Tracing our EUGeneology. Intertwining stories past, present, and not yet imagined.

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