Deedy returns to WPA stage
Published 6:27 pm Thursday, June 12, 2014
Acclaimed storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy performed at We Piddle Around Theater Thursday at the annual event June Buggin’ held by the Brundidge Historical Society.
Tori Lee Averett provided musical entertainment prior to Deedy taking the stage, and led the audience in a comb and wax paper chorus rendition of “I’ll Fly Away.”
Deedy immigrated in her childhood with her family to Georgia during the Cuban Revolution. Deedy has performed at storytelling festivals around the world and has been a guest artist on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered. The storyteller and children’s author visits as many as 150 schools a year and began her career in 1991.
Two of the stories Deedy performed, “For want of and eyebrow” and “How reading changed my life”, illustrate a range of emotions from comical to inspirational.
In “For Want of an Eyebrow,” Deedy told the saga of a “quasi-tragic” day when she accidentally shaved off one of her eyebrows and the misadventures that followed while attempting to hide it with a new hairdo.
The second story touched on her father’s upbringing in Cuba and a magical time when he discovered his love of reading through the kindness of a local baker and the impact that had on generations of her family.
“It just takes one person to change one life, and that changes communities,” Deedy said. “You might think you haven’t changed someone’s life, but I bet you have. But if you haven’t, you’re not dead yet.”
While Deedy’s style seems extemporaneous, the stories are crafted over time.
“It takes 100 tellings to get a story right,” Deedy said.
Deedy sees storytelling as one of the most inherently human experiences one can enjoy.
“[Past generations] grew up telling stories. News was communicated through stories,” Deedy said. “ Most human thing about us is not the ability to create, but the ability to convey nature of that experience to another human being and form a profound emotional connection with them. If you don’t tell your story, who will?”