Children have always been a big part of Rachel Dunstan Muller’s life.
The Ladysmith-based storyteller is an author of four children’s books and has five children and three grandchildren of her own. Ian Cognito, artistic director of the 15 Minutes of Infamy spoken word series, said those qualifications make Muller an ideal host for his group’s season finale: Children, Childhood and the Kid in Us.
The event, taking place at the Green Olive on June 19, will feature child-friendly performances and all proceeds from admission and raffles will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island.
“This is the first 15 Minutes of Infamy that we’re actually emphatically saying it’s kids-friendly and so kids are welcome to come to this one as well,” Cognito said.
The other performers include Ladysmith-based writer Shelley Leedahl, Campbell River musician Roger Seldon and Nanoose poet Susan Pederson.
“And there’s also me,” Cognito added. “And I will be performing, dusting off some very old poems that were written for children and they’re in verse and sort of in a more humouristic vein.”
Muller is a returning host with a long history with 15 Minutes of Infamy. She said she’ll be introducing the other performers and she’ll tell a story of her own, called the Girl Who Lost her Shadow, a fairy-tale-style story about a fearless girl whose bravery is stripped away.
“Without her shadow, it’s like she’s lost her courage, as well,” Muller said. “And so in order to get her shadow back she will actually have to discover what real courage is, which is facing your fear in spite of feeling the fear.”
Last month she toured Quebec’s Lower North Shore storytelling in schools as part of TD Canadian Children’s Book Week. She said she gets to be sillier and more over-the top-with younger audiences.
“When I’m telling to children, I’m a little more spontaneous in the telling itself and the language is obviously less sophisticated and you have to spell everything out very, very clearly. And it’s fun,” Muller said.
She said telling children stories can improve their literacy skills and help them focus.
“The way that I’m delivering the story, sometimes the words change … but there is a relationship during that story. There’s a kind of intimacy and it’s something that children really respond to,” she said.
WHAT’S ON … 15 Minutes of Infamy takes place at the Green Olive, 150 Skinner St., on Wednesday, June 19 from 7 to 9:15 p.m. $5 admission.