By JEFFREY CULLEN-DEAN
The Newnan Carnegie Library will host Yasu Ashida, a Japanese storyteller, on Tuesday, July 9 at 10 a.m.
“His program will be combining origami and storytelling and throwing in some magic as well,” said Susan Crutchfield, the Carnegie’s director. “It’s going to be a really interesting program. It should be pretty exciting.”
“My mission as an artist is to tell a story and try to entertain or inspire the audience through that story,” Ashida said. “I’m not really a magician, but I use magic to enhance the storytelling. When people think about magic they think about a big illusion or a card tricks, but that’s not what I do.”
Ashida said the magic tricks in his show emphasize moments in the story he is telling.
“The magic is used to highlight or enhance the magic in the story,” he said. “When the climax comes on, that’s when I use magic in it. Not just to show magic, but to make the story more magical.”
According to Crutchfield, the Carnegie’s children’s programmer was impressed when she saw Ashida’s performance and asked him to come to Newnan.
The performance consists of Japanese folk tales, origami props and a form of traditional Japanese theater called Rakugo, said Ashida.
Rakugo uses pantomime gesture and props as a part of its storytelling techniques.
Admission is free, but reservations for the program must be made in advance due to limited seating. Reservations can be made by contacting the Newnan Carnegie Library at 770-683-1347.