Photo: Scott BumpBeing a song and opera composer (as well as a librettist and stage performer), the progression from storytelling as a musical art form to a spoken form–traditional storytelling– comes naturally to Eric Stern. In New Mexico he co-founded Neshama, a Jewish storytelling and theater festival. Since coming to Portland Stern has been featured as a soloist by Portland Story Theater many times over. Here’s what Stern had to say about storytelling in Oregon Jewish Life: “The music and the way they [the synagogues he attends] perform the rituals of Judaism influence my compositions and stage presence.” As a storyteller, Eric is informed and inspired by the Jewish culture. “Jewish people are natural storytellers,” he says. “When you’re a part of a culture that’s been around for a very long time, it informs your storytelling. The stories you tell are derived from stories you’ve heard. You’re the next link in the chain.”

Check out some of these links to Eric’s Stories:


An American in Philly

Photo: Scott BumpPhoto: Mike Bodine