July 22, 2024 Donate

Chelsea, Chelsea Education, Education

Chelsea’s Steve Daut to Lead an Evening of Tales and Talent at The Ark

Chelsea storyteller Steve Daut has orchestrated the Second Annual Liars Contest, a unique event that combines whimsical tales with skilled artistry. This festival, hosted at The Ark on February 24, is more than just an evening of storytelling. It’s a celebration of narrative creativity, where six competitors engage in a playful battle of wits before a panel of celebrity judges.

Daut took time to speak with the Sun Times News about the craft of telling tales and his history with it.

Daut is a seasoned storyteller himself. His journey into the realm of storytelling is as diverse as the tales he tells. “I entertained in a way that maybe most people don’t think of as storytelling,” Daut says. His storytelling roots stretch back to his early years. From idolizing Harry Houdini to performing magic tricks and playwriting, his path to storytelling was paved with various forms of performance art.

This multifaceted experience shaped Daut’s broad perspective on storytelling. “My view of storytelling is broad and wide. There are so many stories, and everybody tells stories,” he explains. “Everyone enjoys a good story no matter the form in which it is told.” Daut’s idea of storytelling transcends traditional formats, embracing everything from music to stand-up comedy.

When asked about the digital age’s impact on traditional storytelling, Daut offered a nuanced view. “There’s more awareness of storytelling as an art,” he acknowledges, yet also notes the challenges and ‘definitional issues’ the art form faces in the digital world. Everybody may have a story to tell, but a post is not your story.

Daut’s emphasis on storytelling’s transformative power comes to the fore as he speaks of the ‘storytelling triangle’—the relationship between the storyteller, the story, and the audience. His philosophy focuses on creating a shared experience, allowing the audience to find their connection within the narrative. When the listener hears their story in the teller’s story, that’s where the magic happens.

When asked about the essence of a good story, Daut emphasizes the depth required, saying, “There has to be something substantial. I think of it as a story underneath the story.” He believes in stories that not only entertain but also resonate on a deeper level, changing perceptions and offering new insights.

Daut’s passion extends beyond the stage. His storytelling programs, ranging from folktales to personal narratives, showcase his versatility. His involvement in storytelling spans a decade, marked by his pivotal role in organizing the Storytelling Festival at The Ark.

The festival itself promises a blend of entertainment and artistry. The Saturday night main event, featuring Daut as the MC, includes renowned storytellers like Lynn Ford, LeRon Williams, and Paul Strickland. The family concert on Sunday, a hit with children, features performances by Lynn Ford and Genot Picor.

For those interested in experiencing this unique blend of storytelling and performance, more information and tickets are available at The Ark’s website at https://theark.org/events