Write On and Door Shakespeare Host Storytelling Event

“Lost and Found” storytelling event will take place at Write On, Door County.

As long as human beings have used words, they have told stories, and these stories did not begin with letters on a page or stone, but with the sound of a voice. From the chanted epics of the Greeks to the fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm, throughout history much of our literature has sprung from oral origins. Now, all stories worth their salt are true. Whether it actually happened or not, any good story must be true. Yet the ones that did actually happen, which are literally true in addition to expressing deeper truths, may indeed be worth more.

This Sunday, June 15 at 2 pm, come listen to the true, personal stories of seven Door County men and women. All of the stories fit under the theme “Lost and Found,” just like this year’s plays at Door Shakespeare.

In The Comedy of Errors, infant twins are separated from each other and later reunited as adults, and in King Lear, Lear loses his mind and his daughter; unlike the twins’ though, his only recoveries are too late and too fleeting to bring a happy ending. You will hear even more diverse interpretations of the theme on Sunday, from the loss of physical objects, to the loss of memory and even of love or faith – and the varied findings of all these as well.

“I think we have a nice combination of the very touchy, and personal, heartfelt, and then, you know, a little more whimsical,” says Jennifer Ludwigsen, “Everyone can kind of find a little piece of themselves in each of the stories.” Since 2000, Ludwigsen has led summer workshops with Door Shakespeare for elementary through high school kids. She is also the sister of Door Shakespeare’s director, Amy Ludwigsen, and her passion was the impetus for this event.

Ludwigsen first discovered and fell in love with live storytelling four years ago while living in Los Angeles. “There’s something about it that’s very satisfying, at a very deep level,” she explains, “a primal level that’s beyond a performance of theater.”

Ludwigsen continues to describe what so sets this art apart, calling it “communal” and “very intimate, like sharing a meal together.” Sure, she grants, “the person who’s telling a story is vulnerable,” especially because it’s a story which they wrote about their own life, but in fact “it’s actually a gift that you’re giving the audience.”

“You connect more to the other,” Ludwigsen asserts eagerly; this “primal satisfaction” we receive simply by telling and listening to each other’s accounts of life, “It’s so bonding!”

“And the only way that I can justify saying that…is that it’s just something that’s in our DNA, that we’ve been experiencing for thousands of years,” she ends.

Ludwigsen hopes that many who attend will be inspired to share their own stories next time, as she plans to make this a regular event if possible. Eventually, she also would like to have a wider age range of storytellers – including college students, high school students, and even small children – in order to reach as much of the community as possible.

Throughout all her comments, Ludwigsen keeps returning to the point that live storytelling is “such a community event,” and of course she’s right. Even before the times of those Greek epics and German fairytales, we humans have always gathered together and grown from the telling of stories – grown not just individually in wisdom, but together in charity. And so we always shall.

The event will be held at 2 pm on June 15 at Write On, Door County’s Juddville location. For more information visit or call 920.868.1457.

Erin Monfils is a rising senior at a tiny, Catholic liberal arts college in southern New Hampshire. Born and raised in Minnesota, but fortunately by two Wisconsin natives, she has long considered Door County a permanent home away from home. This summer, she is staying with her grandparents on the hilltop north of Sister Bay while she works as the Arts and Entertainment intern here at the Pulse.