Guthrie Theater to Welcome Odds Bodkin and John Berquist in STUDIO STORIES

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The Guthrie will welcome Odds Bodkin and John Berquist as the next artists in Studio Stories, a series of exciting and intimate evenings that welcome storytelling luminaries from around the country. Past studio stories artists have included Kevin Kling, John McCutcheon, Peninnah Schram and Lennie Major. General admission tickets for this Monday, November 10 event are $18 and go on sale Tuesday, October 28 through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE and online at www.guthrietheater.org.

About Odds Bodkin

Odds Bodkin, an award-winning performance storyteller, author, musician and educator, represents a new direction in modern storytelling. A multi-voiced character actor and instrumentalist, he tells a wide range of stories self-accompanied on twelve-string guitars, electric guitar, Celtic harp, grand piano, pipes, drums, African sanza and Indian sitar.

His most recent CD, The Harper and the King: The Story of Young David, won the Parents' Choice Gold Award, the Dove Award and the Storytelling World Award.  Detroit Jewish News writes "Odds Bodkin is a fabulous musician…his music is wondrous.  It's engaging, expressive, mesmerizing…he manages to paint a scene more captivating than much of what you see on the big screen."

His critically acclaimed Art of the Tale Off-Broadway series at Lincoln Center in New York earned rave reviews from The New York Times ("a consummate storyteller") and TimeOut New York ("Odds Bodkin is the talk of the town…a one-man vocal universe").

His award-winning line of audios, The Odds Bodkin Musical Story Collection, features giants, fairies, dinosaurs, heroes and heroines, ghosts, kings, gods, goddesses, lumberjacks and scores of colorful characters from cultures around the world. Little, Brown, Houghton-Mifflin and Harcourt-Brace publish his children's picture books.

Renowned for his renditions of epic tales – The Odyssey, The Rage of Hercules, Sir Percival and the Fisher King, The Iliad: Book I and his latest work, The Harper and The King: The Story of Young David – Bodkins tells over one hundred musically scored stories with character voices.  With this repertory, he entertains young children, high school and college students, adult audiences, families, even prison inmates.

Three specially-designed Odds Bodkin story books and audios sit at the heart of Perkins Panda, a cuddly toy bear who tells stories and sings. In cooperation with educators at Perkins School for the Blind (Helen Keller's school, makers of the Brailler) Odds' newest character, Perkins the Panda Bear, offers early literacy skills to children born blind.

The Hercules Process: A Rage Awareness Program for Youth has been funded for outreach in the New Jersey schools. A classroom kit used over five days, the process employs Bodkin's The Rage of Hercules story and numerous exercises to wean youth of the rage response.

A graduate of Duke University, Odds taught at Antioch New England Graduate School, awarding credits for masters and doctoral degree programs in education and environmental sciences. Now he shares those same insights into the creative process with his trademark method, The Door to Imagination: How to Awaken Your Inner Storyteller, opening paths to self-expression and personal art for adult learners, professionals, and young people.

Bodkin has won the Parents' Choice Gold, Silver and Honor awards for multiple titles, The Indie Award for Best Children's Storytelling, The Storytelling World Award, The New York Public Library's 100 Best Titles for Reading and Sharing Selection, a Booklist Editor's Choice Award, The Oppenheim Platinum Award for Best Children's Audio, American Bookseller's "Pick of the Lists", Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Product Award, The Family Channel Circle of Excellence Award, The Education Source "Top Ten" Award, The Dove Award and numerous others.

About John Berquist

As one of the Upper Midwest’s most respected folklorists, John presents concerts and programs that bring to life the heritage and lore of the Midwest. From lumberJack Ballads to miners’ laments, folk melodies from Scandinavian, Finnish and Slavic immigrants to songs about people and places, John shares a lifelong collection of music and stories with his audiences.

He plays the guitar, mandolin, 2- and 4-row button accordions, and he sings in a rich, warm baritone. His stories about the songs he sings, the people who sang them, and the heritage they represent are memorable vignettes of life in America’s northern heartland.

A native Minnesotan of Norwegian and Swedish descent, he has toured Europe and has performed at festivals all across America. He has appeared on television and radio in Germany, Switzerland and France, as well as in the United States and Canada. He divides his time between his native northeastern Minnesota and Chicago, where he is the leader of Chicago’s premier Scandinavian band, the South Side Swedes. He is an instructor with Chicago’s After School Matters Program and is currently researching urban folklore among Chicago teens.

In 2002 he was invited to participate in the prestigious Norsk Musik Vekke at Ål, Hallingdal, in Norway. He was a featured instructor and performer at the AmeriKappleik, America’s largest gathering of Norwegian folk dancers and musicians, in Northfield last summer.

He is the former Folk Arts Program Associate with the Minnesota State Arts Board, has served as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Program, worked as folk music consultant for the Cousteau Society, produced several public radio documentaries, and has been a folklife consultant for several television documentaries and films. He once taught Jessica Lange how to sing a Finnish birthday song for the film Far North.

He has released nine recordings, the most recent, John Berquist and the South Side Swedes: Scandinavian Music for Chicago.

 
About the Guthrie

The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Led by Director Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie recently moved to their new three-theater home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

The Guthrie is located at 818 South 2nd Street (at Chicago Avenue), in downtown Minneapolis. To purchase tickets or season subscriptions call the Guthrie Box Office between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily at 612.377.2224 or toll-free 877.44.STAGE. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit www.guthrietheater.org.

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