Storytelling tonight in Princeville

  • Contributed by Laura Lentz

    Laura Lentz

PRINCEVILLE — John Pfender is a Kauai plumber and a poet. Lana Olson is from Long Island and didn’t know she had an accent. Cora Poage spins tales of working low on the totem pole at a Kansas Super 8 Motel.

All these stories and more are gracing the stage at Church of the Pacific in Princeville tonight, hosted by Laura Lentz and The Kauai Writing Tribe.

Entitled “You’re Not In Kansas,” 14 performers are coming together to tell stories related to place — like a story about being divorced in Portugal, or Pfender’s tale about saving a brick from his childhood home.

“It’s a heart-opening show,” said Lentz, a writing teacher who hosts The Kauai Writing Tribe, a six-week writing series on the island.

It’s the group’s annual showcase, and something they’ve been heavily rehearsing.

“The whole emotional range seems to come out through these stories,” Lentz said. “It’s fun and the writers are fun. This show, I hope, will change people.”

Lentz points out that these storytellers and writers are everyday people, and uses Pfender as an example. She didn’t know he was a writer until he slipped a poem in her mailbox after doing some work at her North Shore home.

The poem was about his adopted daughter.

“He’s an astonishing writer,” Lentz said. “He’s performing about this brick he saved from the tenement housing he lived in as a child in Midwest, and all the characters in the building, and how they shaped him as a human being and turned him into an old man who would adopt him out of the system in Hawaii.”

Performers include Cora Poage, Mercedes Maza, Dylan Thomas, Rebecca Sterling, Lana Olson, Charlene Johnston, Erica Rose, Janet Carafa, Virginia Beck, Marion McHenry, Kathleen Viernes, Pfender, Bart Abbott, Joia Holman and Leah Peterson.

Tickets for “You’re Not In Kansas” are available at for $20, or $25 at the door.


Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or


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