Storyteller Kling to perform in Orange City

Thursday, February 16, 2017
He’s an everyday guy from Minnesota, but he’s also a poet, philosopher and playwright. And he’ll make you laugh. Kling will perform his stories Friday, Feb. 24, then do a storytelling workshop Saturday, Feb. 25. (Photo submitted)

ORANGE CITY — He’s a master storyteller and down-home philosopher. He’s famous for his commentaries on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” His autobiographical stories — of hopping freight trains, getting hit by lighting, skiing with his brother — are tender, poignant and profound ... and hilarious.

Playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling is performing in Orange City Friday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Reformed Church. And he’ll do a storytelling workshop Saturday, Feb. 25, at 10 a.m. at Old Factory Coffee Shop.

Kling, who grew up in Osseo, Minnesota, was born with a misshapen left arm, much shorter than his right. Then in 2001, he was nearly killed in a motorcycle accident, and completely lost the use of his right arm. He was in rehab during 9/11 — and he had post traumatic stress ... at the same time that the entire country had post traumatic stress, he said. He remembers the day when, after walking a half-block for rehab, his wife gave him an apple — and for the first time since the accident, he could taste. Sweetness. He was overwhelmed with gratitude for life.

Schaap inspired Orange City Arts to bring Kling to town.

“Kevin Kling is hilarious,” said Schaap. “but his storytelling rises from unusual sources for a comedian — a tough life and a whopper of a soul.”

“There’s something childlike, mischievous and endearing in Kevin Kling’s eyes and his smile,” said Krista Tippett when interviewing Kling for her show, “On Being.” “Live audiences warm to him immediately.”

Kling has been awarded numerous arts grants and fellowships. The National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, The Bush Foundation, The Jerome Foundation and others have recognized Kling’s artistry. In 2014 Mayor RT Rybak named Kevin “Minneapolis Story Laureate.” He was recently featured in a PBS documentary, “Kevin Kling: Lost & Found.”

In addition to his storytelling performance Feb. 24, Kling will present a two-hour workshop, “Chicken Soup for the Chicken, The Healing Power of Story” at Old Factory Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. “Our challenging experiences often make the most meaningful stories,” Kling said.

Tickets for the Feb. 24 performance are available at orangecityarts.net, $15 adult and $10 student in advance. At the door, tickets are $18 and $12. Admission to the Feb. 25 workshop is $10 prior to Feb. 21 and $20 after Feb. 21. Schaap’s library workshops are free.

Sponsor of the Kling residency is Orange City Arts, in conjunction with Northwestern College. The project is supported, in part, by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Kevin Kling performance is part of Orange City Arts’ Beyond Onstage series.

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