Time travel now available in downtown Mesa. Tickets start at $5. Check out ancient Greece, medieval Europe or Iowa farmland in the 1950s. Experience emotional cataclysms. Laugh. Cry. Drama guaranteed.
And ride in comfort — carried by the sound of the human voice at the Mesa Storytelling Festival.
THE ART FORM GOES WAY BACK
"It’s probably the oldest art form," says Don Doyle, a storyteller himself and one of many coordinators of the 3-year-old event this weekend at Centennial Hall Plaza at Mesa Centennial Center. "(Ancient storytellers) probably didn’t think of it as an art form, but it became one."
Storytelling is part audio literature, part oral history and part performance art. Sometimes singing, drum-banging and puppets are involved.
"And some storytellers combine all that," says Doyle, a Mesa resident and retired university theater professor. "We have one high school storyteller who’s a tap dancer — and he’s incorporated that into his story."
COMMUNICATING ON MANY LEVELS
Even deaf people enjoy storytelling, which is why this year an American Sign Language interpreter will be in one of the tents, Doyle says.
These aren’t history lectures, church sermons or motivational speeches. Storytelling is a performance. A performance that takes you somewhere and sometimes — ideally, says Doyle — leaves the listeners a little wiser.
Mesa Storytelling Festival
When: 9:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Centennial Hall Plaza, 201 N. Center St., Mesa
Cost: $5 to $75
Information: (480) 644-6500. Full schedule at