Autumn has officially begun and you find yourself hankering for a healthy dose of fright. Haunted houses are creepy for all the wrong reasons, and your favorite horror flick, Halloween, has lost its luster since Jamie Lee Curtis started doing those yogurt commercials.
Worry no more. Your scare-seeking self can find satisfaction this Saturday night at an unlikely location, the Indiana History Center, where storyteller extraordinaire Megan Wells will present a 90-minute recounting of Bram Stoker's gothic thriller Dracula.
Wells, a master of the long-form storytelling genre, promises a night of fright that remains faithful to Stoker's masterpiece. "The story is scary," Wells says, "and my job is to bring it alive as closely as I can to the novel. I don't hold back."
Currently the resident storyteller for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Once Upon a Symphony program, Wells recognizes that the story she'll be sharing is about much more than fear. "To me, Dracula is a perfect novel. It is very noble. Though the vampire is truly a monster, the friends that unite to vanquish him are rich in passion, integrity and intelligence."
Asked about the current state of storytelling, Wells responds with enthusiasm, "Storytelling is blossoming everywhere! People are hungry for stories and going out to get them." As an example, she points to the success of The Moth, the New York-based nonprofit that has hosted sold-out storytelling events around the world.
To those unfamiliar with the storytelling genre, Wells offers this quick primer: "There is storytalking and storytelling. Storytalking is what folks do when they are catching up with each other on their day and experiences. Storytelling is a storytalk that has wisdom in it. The person telling the story has thought about the experience or the tale and sees within it some human insight. They tell the tale then, as a gift to pass on something universally human. So storytelling is human storytalk with a rich nugget of truth."
So there you have it. Wells promises not only to scare you, but also to give you nuggets of truth and wisdom. Let's see a haunted house pull off that trifecta.
The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the History Center's 290-seat Frank & Katrina Basile Theater, a suitably intimate environment for a night of spine-tingling storytelling.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. The event is sponsored by Storytelling Arts of Indiana.