Next month’s StoryFest in Singapore will feature some big international names. It will also introduce young storytellers making their debut.

Among them is 20-year-old Lasalle College of the Arts performance student Phoebe Lim, one of eight newcomers performing in the showcase A Tapestry Of Tales.

She will be making her debut by appropriately weaving a tale on weaving: the Greek myth of Arachne the spinner, a girl who challenges the goddess Athena to a tapestry contest.

“Every story comes from a long line of descendants and history,” says Lim. “I think they always challenge us to improve ourselves and spur us to think.” She and her fellow young storytellers, who are between 16 and 26 years old, went through the three-month young storytellers mentorship project under professional storyteller Kamini Ramachandran, who is organising StoryFest.

Ramachandran says: “I don’t want to find us back in a position where we’re constantly reviving the oral tradition in Singapore. We need to make sure there is nurturing and support of emerging talent so that, 10 years from now, there is a pool of full-time practising storytellers.”

Another of her proteges, actress Suharti Suhaimi, believes storytelling is the common thread connecting her passion for acting and her hopes of becoming an art curator in the future.

The 23-year-old will be pursuing a degree in art history and curating at Manchester Metropolitan University. She reasons that guiding visitors around an exhibition she has curated is a strand of storytelling, just as performing onstage is another.

“I see myself as a tree and my interests as the branches,” says Suharti, who will be telling the Persian myth of the lovers Vis and Ramin at the showcase. “I’ve always known that they are inter-linked, but now I can see the big picture.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network