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June 16, 2020
Re-scheduled from its original March date due to COVID-19, A Thousand Doorways will be streamed from NHTP’s YouTube channel and followed by a live Meet the Artist zoom conversation with Diane Edgecomb. The streamed performance was taped live at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Edinburgh last summer, in the beautiful Scottish Storytelling Centre venue. This performance is recommended for ages 14 to adult.
Diane Edgecomb’s performance of A Thousand Doorways is the story of her journey through the remote mountains of Turkey on a dangerous quest to record the last Kurdish storytellers. Inspired by a chance meeting with a young Kurdish refugee, Diane was deeply moved by the silencing of the Kurdish language by Turkish laws. She shares the story of her travels and the extraordinary people who shared their lives and stories with her. Richard Beck, in a Broadway Baby review, says, “Diane brings to life the events and people she encountered, playing over 16 characters as she hides in rooms, rides in trucks and converses with families and foes. Her aim is to let the voices of the Kurds, a people who have been silenced for so long, shine through with all of their wisdom, humor and heart.” Diane received rave reviews for her performance in Scotland: “An epic story, told with genuine passion and consummate skill” (The Stage); “The power of A Thousand Doorways comes not only from the ancient stories she collects but from the vital contemporary story it tells about the oppression of a culture.”(The Scotsman);
By turns mysterious, terrifying and deeply humorous, A Thousand Doorways is the true account of a decade long quest to document the vanishing folklore of Kurds of Turkey. After returning to the United States, Diane published these stories in her book A Fire in My Heart: Kurdish Tales, the first collection of Kurdish folktales to be published in English.
One of the most versatile voices in storytelling today, Diane Edgecomb’s dynamic style of telling, in which she fully embodies the characters and scenes and bringing each moment alive, won her the first national ORACLE AWARD for Storytelling Excellence in the Northeast. Publisher’s Weekly called Diane, “…a virtuoso of the spoken word…an entire cast rolled into one!” A featured teller on NPR and winner of a Year’s Best Performance award for her theater work in Boston, Diane’s storytelling has been featured at prestigious venues throughout the country for over twenty-five years.
NHTP’s 4th Annual Storytelling Festival is sponsored by Heinemann Publishing in Portsmouth, dedicated to teachers for over 50 years, The Kurdish Project, dedicated to building bridges between Kurds and the West through storytelling and community, and additional funding from the New England State Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts.
Links to view the performance and post-show Meet the Artist will be emailed by 9:00 am on June 18, the morning of the event.