It’s an event for all ages, taking us back to a time when people provided their own entertainment……….a time when the imagination created images more colourful than any television screen and family and friends came together at dusk to share tall tales. So, gather round, it’s time for Gimistory, the International Storytelling Festival of the Cayman Islands.
Now in its eighth year, Gimistory – produced by The Cayman National Cultural Foundation – brings together storytellers from Cayman, the Caribbean and as far a field as Europe and Africa. The festival, seen as a revival of the storytelling tradition, has quickly established itself as a mainstay on the annual entertainment calendar.
This year Gimistory runs from 24 November 2 December. Local storytellers will be joined by 19 tellers from overseas in a series of presentations that use music, dramatics and comedy to entertain under the night sky.
Adding to the feeling of returning to a simpler time are the venues, backyards and beaches, and free admission.
Stories range from funny stories to traditional Caribbean Anansi and duppy (ghost) stories. The cultural experience continues after the storytelling with fried fish and fritters which you can wash down with Cayman style lemonade known as swanky.
Over the 10 days of the festival Gimistory will travel through all the districts of Grand Cayman and on to Cayman Brac,
Among the home grown tellers are comedian and actor Quincy Brown, actor and artist Nasaria Suckoo-Cholette and actor Fritz McPherson.
Quincy Brown is a familiar name in Cayman. His acting and stand up comedy bringing laughter to many audiences. Besides his stage work he is also a radio personality. He has performed in a number of previous Gimistory festivals.
Another Gimistory regular is Nasaria Suckoo-Cholette who is known for her performing and fine arts. She also polishes the talent of young people as a drama teacher. One of Ms. Suckoo-Cholette’s former students is Fritz McPherson who is making his third appearance at Gimistory. He has frequently appeared on the Cayman stage in plays such Rundown.
Returning to Cayman for Gimistory once again is a man of many talents whose storytelling has enthralled audiences from Guyana to the islands of the Caribbean to New York. Ken Corsbie brings to his performances the sounds of the sea and rain forest, heat of the sun, accents of island voices, rhythms of calypso and carnival, humour and sometimes the humbug of living and loving in the Caribbean.
From Jamaica comes Amina Blackwood-Meeks who Caribbean Week has proclaimed to be, ‘One of the most dynamic and charismatic proponents of storytelling: a special and rare talent’. She is credited with being instrumental in the renaissance of the art form of traditional Caribbean storytelling.
Storytelling also comes in the form of music. Philip Murray known in the calypso world as Blacksage will amaze audiences with his ability to instantly put a story to music from subjects given to him by audience members. He is acknowledged by his peers as the finest exponent in the world of the traditional art of singing extemporaneous calypsos. ‘Sage’ has won the world ‘extempo’ crown three times from among the very best in his native Trinidad and the region. He has been a regular at Gimistory since 2000.
The husband and wife team of Barry Marshall and Jeri Burns, PhD otherwise known as The Storycrafters will make another appearance at Gimistory. They perform and teach their art form in schools, libraries and other venues throughout the US and the British Isles. They specialize in original retellings and modern rendition integrating music and song into their storytelling.
(All performances start at 7pm)
24 November – Dart Family Park, South Church Street
25 November – Elizabethan Square Courtyard, Downtown, Shedden Rd.
27 November – Capt. Ned Miller’s Yard, North Side.
28 November – Heritage Park, Cayman Brac.
29 November – Bodden Town Primary School Courtyard
30 November – East End Public Beach
1 December – West Bay Public Beach
2 December – Smith Cove, South Church Street