Storyteller shares insights and humor

Leah Kulikowski

Actor, playwright, storyteller and author, Kevin Kling is coming to NMU to share his talents and stories with Marquette.

Kling, known for his National Public Radio commentaries and his books, “Holiday Inn” and “The Dogs Say How,” is performing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 in Forest Roberts Theatre.

Kling is a nationally-known storyteller who talks about his life growing up in Minnesota and how he grew as a person and performing artist.

Kling’s life shifted when he had a motorcycle accident that rendered his good arm useless and had several lasting influences on his life.

“We wake up, go to work, eat lunch and dinner and go to bed, but we often don’t think about what it means,” said Daniel Truckey, director and curator of the Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center. “We don’t think there is poetry in our lives. Kevin brings that to life: the joy and beauty of being alive, and sometimes the ugliness of life.”

Truckey chose Kevin Kling to perform as part of the Upper Peninsula Folklore Festival that presents events celebrating Upper Peninsula culture.

“His storytelling style is incredibly engaging and captures the idea of being from the Upper Midwest,” Truckey said. “I thought he’d be the kind of artist that will appeal to a lot of people here.”

As director of the Beaumier Center and the person actively bringing national and international people to NMU, Truckey has learned a lot about the performing arts and the goal behind them.

“Even though people are from different places, they experience similar things,” Truckey said. “I think the key to any art is to make it universal. Kevin’s stories are very similar to people’s experiences and we gain a new appreciation and meaning to our own life by listening to him.”

Pierce Huxtable, a junior theater and electronic journalism major, said he is a fan of Kling’s storytelling.
“His style is unique,” Huxtable said. “He has an interesting view and perception of life and it emerges in his storytelling.”

Huxtable said Kling looks at things in a new and interesting way making his insights into the little joys in life hilarious and thought-provoking.

Huxtable discovered Kevin Kling’s storytelling from a CD his family gave him and he still listens to Kling.

“Initially I thought that he was a simple comedian but as I grew, I learned to appreciate the depth in his stories,” Huxtable said. “His humor is about simple subjects, but it’s an intelligent take on the situations.”

When Kling performs, Huxtable will be one of the many listening.

“I’m stoked about him coming to campus and I definitely plan to attend,” Huxtable said. “This is a huge opportunity for Northern to hear a hilarious comedian and incredible storyteller.”

For more information, email Daniel Truckey at [email protected].