Church benefit will feature stories and dinner


FARMINGTON — The Old South First Congregational Church will have a benefit Storytelling Cabaret Dinner on Saturday, May 8.

A five-course dinner will be served starting with appetizers at 5:30 p.m., followed by a “story teaser” presented by the evening’s emcee, Phyllis Blackstone. Other meal courses will include Calzolaio’s Italian vegetable soup, salad with house dressing, chicken marbella served with rice pilaf and seasoned carrots and ice cream puff with chocolate sauce for dessert. Beverages will include coffee, tea and lemonade.

The dinner courses will be served between stories told by Lynn Cullen, Vernon Cox, Debb Freedman and Bill Hinderer, all members of the Maine Storytelling Guild. Piano stylings will be played by musician Jackie Ranco. Ranco is a member of Old South Congregational Church and has been a musician most of her life. She sings in the choir, community chorus and leads the church hand bell choir.

Blackstone is an associate professor of education at the University of Maine at Farmington. She has used storytelling throughout her 40-year career as an educator. She has presented numerous workshops and programs.

Cullen is a storyteller, playwright and artist from Yarmouth. In addition to storytelling performances, she produces Seanachie Nights, stories from the Celtic/British tradition, held the third Monday of each month at Bull Feenye’s Pub in Portland.

Cox, also known as “Learnin’ Vernon,” is a Maine humorist who has entertained a variety of audiences with his alter-ego, Willy Phinedit (Will E Find-it).

Freedman is a Hupa from Portland, someone who creates fairy tales based on personal stories. She produced and presented the Folk Tales for Life Project in June 2009.

Hinderer, a resident of Peaks Island, is a father, husband, professional cook and veteran. His own stories take the listener from the coast of Maine to the battlefield of Vietnam and back.

Tickets for the event are $25 each person. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets may be purchased at DDG Booksellers and Sugarwood Gallery on Broadway, Good Times Unlimited on Routes 2 and 27 and at the Old South Church office on Main Street.

The proceeds will benefit the church’s outreach, community service and youth programs. For further information, contact the church office at 778-0424 or a member of the Fundraising Committee: Debbie Davis-Robinson, Barb Fortier, Linda Fournier, Sueli Gaewski, Wendy Huish, Brenda Scribner or Anne Wehrman.