Relationships come with strings attached that can be tangled in a cat’s cradle of old expectations and good intensions that can lead to the sort of outlandish, new or fateful consequences Wink Harner, Steve Henegar, and Janet Liu will explore in “The Ties That Bind,” the Portland Storytellers Guild monthly showcase, Saturday evening, February 3 at the Clinton Street Theater.
Wink Harner, a recent transplant to the area from Phoenix, began training as a multilingual storyteller with the South Mountain College Storytelling Institute adding that to a varied performance career in theater, orchestras and Dixieland bands. Off stage she has “spent several lifetimes of careers” as a foreign language professor, translator, interpreter and typesetter as well as a manager of disability services and a developer and trainer of assistive technology programs in higher education. She has told stories in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English “with some Quechua and Nahuatl thrown in.”
Janet Liu, who emigrated from Taiwan with her family as a child, uses personal stories to help nurture a better understanding of her Chinese-
American culture. She got her first taste of storytelling through a Toastmasters group. It spurred her to attend a Portland Storytellers Guild
workshop in Beaverton in 2009 and she was hooked. She has been invited to tell stories at Lan-Su Chinese Garden, colleges, churches and
community centers as well as at Guild showcases.
Funny, touching and “relatively honest,” Steven Henegar calls up the everyday and the fantastic to discover those feelings and experiences that connect us all. For over 25 years, his performances and workshops have blended the easy conversation of his own family's storytelling with the focused energy and knowledge drawn from a decade in the theater as an actor, writer and director. When he is not performing he works for and with adults and students through artist-in- residence programs.