Intertwined storytellers move online for fourth annual event

Storyteller on stage

In past years, hundreds would gather in the Global Scholars Hall Great Room in mid-May for “Intertwined,” an evening of personal storytelling by University of Oregon community members.

As with so many other events, however, the performers have had to adapt to meet the current stay-at-home order.

The show must go on.

The fourth annual storytelling event will feature UO students, faculty members and staff sharing their stories related to this year’s theme of “hidden,” things that go unseen or unspoken, whether in play, in caution, from a place of mischief or from a need for self-preservation.

The performance will be released as a YouTube Premiere on May 22 at 7 p.m. on the Intertwined website.

“Intertwined has become a powerful community ritual,” said Abigail Leeder, director of experiential prevention initiatives in the Office of the Dean of Students. “We wanted to find a way to reimagine the evening that really honors the storytellers and continues to capture the magic of personal storytelling.”

Seven storytellers have been meeting weekly over Zoom with their coaches to refine their stories. They also conferred with local musician Cullen Vance about the instruments he will use to compose the original score. After the storytellers record their videos, Vance will add his accompaniment to produce the final version.

With last year’s events drawing a total of about 500 people over the course of two nights, Leeder said the performers will miss the personal interaction with a live audience, but they will still find satisfaction in telling their tales.

“While we are all in some ways ‘hiding’ as we shelter in place, this evening of sweet, funny, painful and honest stories will give us an opportunity to listen and celebrate the diversity of experience that makes our UO community what it is,” Leeder said. “I have no doubt that it will be a powerful evening.”