Award-winning storyteller Brad Woods to spin tales in Kitchener

For storyteller Brad Woods, there's something special about spinning a yarn for a crowd.

But the real magic is when people listen.

"I think listening is perhaps the lost art. People refer to storytelling as a lost art, but I think it's the opportunity to just sit and listen," Woods said during an interview on CBC Kitchener-Waterloo's The Morning Edition.

From literary tales to personal yarns, there will be something for everyone when award-winning storyteller Woods takes the stage in Kitchener on Wednesday night. Woods, along with singer-songwriter Tim Alberts, will be performing at Counterpoint Brewing Company.

"There's something about interacting with an audience, whether it's in a big crowd or a more-intimate venue like we're doing [Wednesday] at Counterpoint," Woods said.

"There's something about connecting through stories, and there's something these days, for me anyway, about being as low-tech as possible."

Woods has told stories in many different locations, from theatres to prisons to festivals, all across North America and the United Kingdom.

"People connect with stories," he said. "But the thing that I've found is really unique is that when I have a story — a lot of the stories I tell are personal, just sort of true-stories, life-experience type things that then I craft into a something worth telling — is that there's always people that connect and relate."

Personal stories can be universal

He said no matter how personal a story, it can still be universal.

"No matter how small you think your thing is, people relate in other ways," he said.

One example is a story about an experience Woods had while travelling through northwestern Ontario. He got a flat tire, and a group of Harley-Davidson riders stopped to help.

"I was humming and hawing once about whether or not I would tell the story in front of a certain audience," Woods said. "I said, 'I don't know if any of these people have been there. I don't know if they'll get it.'"

Another person with Woods told him not to worry about that because the story isn't about flat tires or travelling through northwestern Ontario.

"'It's about, you know, getting saved. It's about having a problem, It's about being rescued,'" Woods recalled the man saying.

Wednesday's event will be an interactive one, too, Woods said, with an opportunity for members of the audience to ask questions.

"It's not theatre," he said. "There's no fourth wall."

Songs and Stories takes place Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. at Counterpoint Brewing Company in Kitchener. Admission is pay what you can, with all proceeds going to the artists.