SPOKEN WORD WOODSTOCK:Aficionados of the live story probably already know about the Ojai Storytelling Festival, but this year’s 10th annual celebration is sure to win new converts to the form with such famed storytellers as Dublin’s Niall de B°rca, the globetrotting Leland Faulkner, and Ojai’s own Jim Cogan. Kicking off today, Thursday, April 30, and running through Sunday in the picturesque Libbey Bowl, the festival’s colorful schedule includes poetry, kids’ stuff, “naughty tales,” instructional workshops on storytelling, and even a blues concert from Scott Ainslie. Call 646-8907 or visit villageoftales.org for details.
KITCHENS ACROSS AMERICA:On Thursday, May 7, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, better known as the Kitchen Sisters from National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, visit UCSB. They’ll be on campus as part of an Interdisciplinary Humanities Center-sponsored series about kitchens, but they won’t be covering anything as pedestrian as where to hang one’s whisks. Instead, they’ll share the knowledge they gained while researching their two books, Hidden Kitchens and Hidden Kitchens Texas. From prison rodeo kitchens to kitchens tended in the wee hours of the morning to secret civil rights kitchens, Nelson and Silva have documented more varieties of kitchen than any of us are ever likely to eat from. Their afternoon of readings, stories, and cooking begins at 4 p.m. in UCSB’s McCune Conference Room, located on the sixth floor of the Humanities and Social Sciences building. Call 893-3907 or visit www.ihc.ucsb.edu for more information./p>
GREY-MATTER GURU:UCSB’s SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind keeps the neuroscience coming this month with a lecture from Matthew Rushworth, a university research professor and professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oxford. Rushworth’s specific areas of interest are the parietal, frontal, and cingulate regions of the brain, which control critical functions like movement and decision making. Rushworth’s talk-which happens on the second floor of UCSB’s Mosher Alumni House on Thursday, May 14, at 4 p.m.-presents an ideal opportunity for non-neuroscientists to get in on the knowledge. Call 893-5006 or visit sagecenter.ucsb.edu to learn more.
SHE CONTAINS MULTITUDES:Whether you know her from the world of comedy, the world of monologue, or any of the various realms of film, television, and theater to which she has contributed, the sheer range of Grammy-, Emmy- and Tony-winning Lily Tomlin‘s work is readily apparent. On Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9 at the Lobero Theatre, Tomlin performs two evenings of her classic material, bringing out her repertoire of immediately recognizable characters and mixing the sharp, the goofy, the incisive, and the absurd in ways that may well surprise her die-hard fans as well as her new ones. Call 963-0761 or visit lobero.com for more information.
A RACONTEUR VARIETY PACK:Speaking of Stories makes no secret of its area of expertise: whether it’s art, craft, entertainment, or simply pastime, it’s all about storytelling. No surprise, then, that it’s putting on A Celebration of Stories event on Monday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.). Instead of going with the usual themed collection of tales from a group of veteran tellers, Speaking of Stories presents a mixed bag this time, pulling from all manner of literary source material and delivering it through several new voices, including Kerrie Boyle, daughter of prolific Santa Barbara-based novelist T.C. Boyle. Call 966-3875 or visit speakingofstories.org for details.