Events on Thursday, March 11, 2021


1:30-2:30 pm – Concert
Stories by J. Frank Dobie, A Texas Storyteller

Tellers: MaryAnn Blue, Donna Ingham, Larry Thompson, and Tim Tingle. Emcee: Mary Margaret Campbell

About the Storytellers

MaryAnn Blue, a native Oklahoman, comes from a Texas family who arrived in our state by wagon train at the end of the Civil War. She is a retired Spanish teacher who hopes to resume visiting her grandchildren as soon as it is safe to do so. MaryAnn has been part of the Texas Storytelling Festival since its early days. She has also served on the TSA board and is the recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award. Contact:

Award-winning tale teller and author Donna Ingham is a bred and born Texan and collector of Lone Star folklore. Although she is a four-time winner of the Texas State Liars Contest, she occasionally tells the truth. She is a Texas Commission on the Arts touring artist.

Larry Thompson has been performing in front of audiences since kindergarten. He has told stories on mountain tops and in valleys from New Mexico to South Carolina and many large and small places in between. Larry performs cowboy poetry and Texas tales, bald-faced lies, and home grown yarns, and guarantees to make you smile. Larry has recorded a new CD, Cowboy Spirit, which is a finalist for the 2020 Will Rogers Medallion Award. Larry has published several books of his own stories; his newest book Cowboy Spirit is a companion piece to his new CD of the same name. He is past president of the San Antonio Storytelling Association and past president of the board of directors for the Tejas Storytelling Association. You’ll find links to videos and a downloadable copy of the Cowboy Spirit tracks on his web page.

An Oklahoma Choctaw and native of the Texas Gulf Coast, Tim Tingle shares stories of his tribal culture, Texas ghost stories, and tales of an action-filled, adventurous life. Author of twenty-plus books for all ages, he has a broad repertory for all ages.

3:00-4:30 pm – Workshop 1
Serve ‘Em Up Fresh

Presenter: Ingrid Nixon. Moderator: Nancy Self

Tired of telling (or hearing) the same old stories? In this highly interactive workshop, we will explore creative approaches to generate fresh ideas and story spices that will help make your stories more appealing to your audiences. Then, you can choose the most engaging ideas that serve your story and the audience.

World-traveling Ingrid Nixon hails from Alaska. Explorations, nail-biters, tall tales, traditional and personal stories–she tells them all on expeditions and at venues around the country, including the National Storytelling Festival. She holds a Masters in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University.

3:00-4:30 pm – Workshop 2
Old Stories In New Skins

Presenters: Paul Normandin and Shayne Larango. Moderator: Abbie Ryan Randolph

We all know the old stories and we know just the way they were told. But how can I make an old story mine, relevant to my audience from my perspective? Through Improvisation, creativity tools, and more, Shayne and Paul will offer you tools that can help you make an old story new for you.

Paul Normandin is a large man with a big mouth who loves to tell stories to anyone who can’t outrun him. Paul learned to tell stories from the loving feedback of other people’s children while teaching Sunday school for 13 years. A producer and performer at Testify in Austin and teller at RISK! Live in Austin and Café Improv in Princeton, New Jersey, Paul is the 2016 Houston Moth GrandSlam Champion and a Tejas StorySlam Champion. In other words, Paul’s head is growing as big as his mouth!

Shayne Larango is a storyteller of fact and fiction, a creative writer of literature and curricula, a lifetime student and former classroom teacher. She creates most of her stories under the heading of Ten-Gallon Texas Tales, and when she incorporates traditional stories, she retrofits them to her voice. Shayne is super excited to join Paul Normandin putting New Skins in Old Stories using improv techniques, because hanging out with Paul is a lot of fun.

5:30-7:00 pm – Concert
Welcome to the Heart of Denton, Texas Storytelling Festival


Featured Tellers: Donna Washington, Sam Payne, Heather Forest, and Eth-Noh-Tec. Emcee: Toni Simmons

7:30-9:30 pm  – Concert: Enter If You Dare (Ghost Stories)

Tellers: Mark Babino, Rosie Cutrer, Elizabeth Ellis, Bernadette Nason,
Carolina Quiroga, Tim Tingle, and Donna Washington. Emcee: Sue Kuentz

About the Storytellers

Mark A. Babino is a native of Beaumont, Texas, with roots extending into Louisiana. His stories are as rich and as spicy as his mother’s gumbo. A versatile storyteller, Mark has the ability to move the audience with his stillness and calm as well as bringing them to laughter with his animated style of presenting a story.

Rosie Best-Cutrer started life as a storyteller in first grade when she fell on the floor pretending to faint to get out of class for the day. The stories have gotten bigger and bigger ever since. A life-long resident of Topeka, Kansas, she has performed at Nebraska’s Kearney Storytelling Festival, The Homestead National Monument, The Kansas Storytelling Festival and The Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival.

Elizabeth Ellis believes in the power of scary stories so much that her new book is all about how to tell them more effectively. They help us give voice to all our fears!

Bernadette Nason is an award-winning actor, author, voice-over artist, storyteller, and touring artist with the Texas Commission on the Arts. Her book, STEALING BABY JESUS, was published November 2020, and TEA IN TRIPOLI, about her year of living dangerously in North Africa, in 2017.

Carolina Quiroga is a bilingual storyteller, podcaster, and author dedicated to telling about the mysteries and fantastic myths, legends, folktales, and spooky stories of Latin America., Bilingual Podcast:

Tim Tingle grew up in a small community between Houston and Galveston, and his favorite childhood memory was the movie “Creature of the Black Lagoon.” His dad sometimes let him skip school and join him fishing on the piers of the Gulf Coast. His grandsons are named after Russian novelist Nikos Kazantzakis and the song “Finnegan’s Wake.”

Donna Washington, an army brat with roots in Beaumont and Fort Worth, has been a storyteller for over thirty-three years. Storytelling is the only job she has ever had as a grown-up. Spine-tingling, cover your eyes, hold your breath scary stories are her absolute favorite kind!

10:00-11:30 pm – Late Night Concert: Fringe Tales I

Tellers: Sandra Aguirre-Magana, Joyce Ormond, and Loren Niemi. Emcee: Jacqui Rash

Xochitl y Papalotl
Enjoy a Mexican myth that narrates the adventure of Xochitl as she helps a monarch butterfly to its sanctuary within a forest in Michoacán, Mexico. To her surprise, she discovers butterflies aren’t the only animals that hibernate in that forbidden forest. A mysterious beast confronts her with a strange request. She creatively outwits the beast while fulfilling his request and makes it home safely.

Sandra Aguirre-Magaña is a bilingual storyteller, educator, and author from El Paso with recent performances and workshops at El Paso-area school districts, The Fort Worth Library System, The National Storytelling Summit, and The Chicago Millennium Park Foundation.

Growing Up Only
Tales from childhood about how growing up only effects and shapes a storytellers life—how a fabulous childhood lifestyle can come from farm animals’ playmates, manipulation of surrounding adults, unbounded freedom, and a great variety of characters.

Joyce Ormond grew up on a small farm on the banks of the Sacramento River as an only child. Her friends and playmates were farm animals and her stories and imagination were the gift from her Aunt Pug. In her retirement she pursued storytelling to adults, expanding her love of story learned in childhood.

Cinderella (Deconstructed)
This is not the story you remember and certainly not Disney. This is Cinderella told in seven moments, six characters, three voices (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and two time frames (past, present). Dark and ironic, intimate, and confessional…

Loren Niemi is an innovative storyteller and author whose work includes, “What Haunts Us,” winner of a 2020 MIdwest Book Award, and the critically acclaimed “Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories,” co-authored with Elizabeth Ellis.