2021 Festival Workshops

Want to take a deeper dive into story creation and storytelling?
Need continuing education credits?
We have seven great workshops just for you!
All workshops will be live and online through Zoom.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

3:00-4:30 pm – Workshop 1

Serve ‘Em Up Fresh
Presenter: Ingrid Nixon

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.  www.IngridNixon.com

3:00-4:30 pm – Workshop 2

Old Stories In New Skins
Presenter: Paul Normandin & Shayne Larango

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!  pagen8@gmail.com

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.  https://shaynelarango.com/

Friday, March 12, 2021

9:00-10:30 am – Workshop 3

30 Million Word Gap—The Link Between Language and Literacy
Presenter Donna Washington

In this workshop we explore 30 years of research that inextricably links language and literacy.  We will discuss ways to increase a youngster’s aptitude in both.  Using activities from finger games to beginning stories, we will look at ways of using familiar tales in the classroom and library to enhance vocabulary and improve a student’s chances of becoming a solid reader.

Donna Washington was an Army brat and moved around a lot.  Through it all, she learned about different people and places and, of course, learned their stories.  Donna is an award-winning recording artist and has performed at thousands of schools, libraries and numerous storytelling festivals throughout the country.  She loves offering workshops on writing, education and creative drama for librarians and educators.  Busy in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina at library conferences, educators conferences, and the International Reading Association Conference, Donna knows her stuff! https://dlwstoryteller.com/

3:00-4:30 pm – Workshop 4

Before Anything, Witness
Presenter: Sam Payne  

A lot of storytellers work and work and work on perfecting the right gesture, inflections, accents and glances for a story performance without ever asking why they’re telling the story in the first place.  But there’s nothing quite like a story that know why it’s there.  This workshop will take you down to the bedrock of understanding what you’re telling a story for in the first place, driven by the notion that not every story needs a moral, but every story needs a reason.  This workshop will also teach you to honor your story enough to do some research and give a few tips on how to do it. 

Sam Payne is a storyteller, writer, singer/songwriter, radio personality and arts educator.  Sam has been telling, performing and guiding workshop attendees for the last 20 years.  Sam hosts The Apple Seed, an award-winning, national radio show on storytelling.  He brings his many talents today to help us find the reason for your story. www.sampayne.com

Saturday, March 13, 2021

9:00-10:30 am – Workshop 5

Stories of Magic from the Ancient World
Presenter: Barbara Tucker

The people living in the 1st and 2nd centuries of the Common Era (and before) saw the world in their own unique way. Magic was interwoven into their everyday lives. In this workshop you will learn to see the world from an ancient point of view through story, ancient writers and archeology.

Barbara Tucker is a retired teacher-librarian with over 40 years experience teaching people of all ages.  Currently Ms. Tucker is an active member of the Tejas Storytelling Association and the Network of Biblical Storytellers, International. btuckerlibrary@att.net

Sunday, March 14, 2021

1:00- 2:30 pm – Workshop 6

Storytelling and Social Change
Presenter: Heather Forest

This workshop explores the power of words and examines a wide range of multicultural folklore featuring themes of peace, justice, gender equality and the environment. Using traditional storytelling technique, oral history, rhetoric, and spoken word art forms to enrich interpersonal communication skills, the workshop encourages social awareness and supports the use of storytelling in community activism.

Heather Forest comes again to the Texas Storytelling Festival bringing her accumulative knowledge as a storyteller, author, musician and storytelling educator.  She has been on the storytelling scene for many years, bringing her love of folklore and folktales to us.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Storytelling and a Ph.D In Leadership and Change from Antioch University.  She is a recipient of the Circle of Excellence Award from by the National Storytelling Network. heather@storyarts.org

3:30-5:00 pm – Workshop 7

Zooming in on Puppets
Presenter: Elizabeth Beamon

Puppets present a magical way to communicate through characters. You definitely need to bring your imagination to this Zoom workshop and grab a puppet or favorite stuffed animal along with a paper lunch bag and markers and let the fun begin. We’ll explore our voices, movement of our puppets while talking and have fun with songs, rhymes, and stories. Families are welcomed to participate!

Elizabeth Beamon is a retired librarian and active storyteller in Justin, TX. She learned all about storytelling by being a mom. Elizabeth made stuffed animals and puppets speak to her children and those stuffed animals and puppets became real! magicbean2000@gmail.com