Actor and storyteller added to the greater Fresno cultural scene over the decades; supporters are raising funds for Storyland in his memory
Autumn Lindberg got used to being interrupted with her dad, Ted Esquivel, at the grocery store when people would come up and say they remembered a story he’d shared years ago.
That’s what happens when you’re a professional storyteller.
Esquivel, who died June 8 at age 62, knew what he was doing when it came to stories, his daughter remembers. His trick was to get the audience involved. In one classic tale of his, about a fox who gets his tail chopped off and has to jump through a bunch of hoops to get it back, Esquivel would divide the audience into sections and have one play, say, the river. He’d point at them from time to time and ask them to put up their hands to suggest a whooshing sound.
‘He got people so engaged that people would remember those stories years later,” Lindberg says.
Mr. Esquivel plied his trade at the aptly named (for him) Storyland in Roeding Park, as well as various elementary schools, private schools and camps, and youth parties and adult parties as Santa Claus, says longtime friend William Raines.
“Beautiful,” which opens Oct. 24, is the best known show of the season coming to the Saroyan Theatre. Most touring productions only play in Fresno for two nights, but “Beautiful” is popular enough to warrant a week-long run.
The production is still playing on Broadway.
The season also boasts two other newer shows: “Kinky Boots” and “The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” both Tony favorites. (And if you’re more Old School, you can look forward to a new national tour of “The Sound of Music.”)
You can buy tickets at Ticketmaster.com, call 800-745-3000, or visit the Fresno Convention Center Box Office.
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