FST Founder Returns for Storytelling Visit

By Handelman, Jay | Sarasota Herald Tribune, February 22, 2015 | Go to article overview

FST Founder Returns for Storytelling Visit


Handelman, Jay, Sarasota Herald Tribune


As an actor and a director, Jon Spelman has always been something of a storyteller.

But the founder of Florida Studio Theatre has focused his career on actual storytelling, which brings him back to the area he once called home for a stay at the Hermitage Artist Retreat.

Spelman, who started FST in 1973 after working as a director and educator at Asolo Repertory Theatre, will spend a couple of weeks at the waterfront retreat on Manasota Key, where he will join several other artists for a beach reading program on Feb. 27.

He's described as a master storyteller, which he said is a misnomer.

"It means we brag harder," he joked in a phone interview.

He prefers to describe himself as a performer or a storytelling actor. "I fall in lots of cracks. There's really no good way to describe me that helps a lot of people."

The storytelling phase of his career dates back to his days running FST, which he led for about six years.

"We had a little budget crunch and we had to replace a show in our little home season. We were touring a lot at that point," he recalled. Spelman was inspired to create a one-person show after reading a new biography about Samuel Beckett.

"I created 'Fire Within Me Now' from his plays and prose. Interestingly Grove Press denied permission to do it, so I wrote Beckett in Paris and told him I wanted to do this," Spelman said. In more colorful language than can be printed here, Beckett agreed.

"It was enormously influential in what I did. I decided to do it in the first person and talk directly to the audience and I sat on a box for an hour and 15 minutes."

A storyteller was born.

Spelman plans to work on two new projects at the Hermitage. One is about the street he lives on in Baltimore, an alley street near the Baltimore Harbor that was once home to Billie Holliday and Frederick Douglas.

"The old timers still call it Happy Alley. Baltimore was the second biggest immigration place after New York and all kinds of people walked down the street and found a place to live," he said.

The other is a sort of science fiction piece about life extension, cryogenics and related issues that he calls "Out of the Ice."

It's about a guy who was lost in a glacier in the Yukon in 1807 and turns up 205 years later, still alive, and discovering all the things he missed in the world.

Having a theatrical background may be a help in how Spelman performs or presents his stories.

"Some storytellers have a hard time making the jump to being performers. They say they just want to there telling you a story," he said.

And there are "actors who have trouble dropping back to directly address. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

FST Founder Returns for Storytelling Visit
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.