Festival Workshops

Continuing education credits will be given for each workshop attended.

Friday, March 10

Collecting and Sharing Family Stories

Presenter: Chester Weems / Facilitator: Lora Lee Cooley

Remember those great stories Aunt Edna used to tell? Don’t you wish you could remember them? Or how about your own stories you would like to pass along to the grandkids? This workshop will focus on collecting and sharing family stories. Chester explains, “I like all kinds of stories, but I have a special fondness for stories about real people. They don’t have to be big stories, sometimes the little stories about living are more interesting. Most people don’t have someone famous in the family, but almost everyone has a good cooking story, or an uncle who cusses too much, or some relative who has a knucklehead kid. And everyone has some special event in their life that is a story. I know I wish I had paid more attention when my grandmother tried to tell me about the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918.”

Growing up in rural northwestern Oklahoma, Chester is a retired educator, current president of Territory Tellers of Oklahoma and board member of the Texas Storytelling Association. He also is a photographer who likes “taking pictures of people doing stuff.”

From Print To Story

Presenter: Elaine Brewster / Facilitator: Fred Peters

Explore and experiment with several ways to turn printed material into oral tales. With 40 pioneer ancestors and a Pony Express great-grandpa, Elaine has always loved reading historical tales.

Elaine Brewster is a member of the Utah Storytelling Guild. Elaine’s national presentations have included the National Storytelling Network Convention in 2019, the Global Family Reunion and the National Pony Express Museum. Elaine has taught 4th – 6th grades, has six children and eighteen grandchildren. https://www.nowplayingutah.com/artist/elaine-brewster/

Prepare to Scare

Presenter: Elizabeth Ellis / Facilitator: Michael Brundy

Take a deep dive into telling more effective scary stories. Learn where to find them and how to increase the “fear factor”, as well as why telling them is important.

Elizabeth Ellis grew up in the Appalachian Mountains. Invariably hilarious and poignant, she is a repeat favorite at the National Storytelling Festival. The author of From Plot to Narrative, she is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Storytelling Network. Elizabeth 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! www.elizabethellis.com.

Emcee: Being the Magnificent Communicator for Programs and Events

Presenter: Shelia Arnold / Facilitator: Sally Goodroe

What makes a great Emcee? Is it natural or are there techniques everyone can take to heart? Shelia shares tips that are useful in being an Emcee and are perfect for beginner to experience. Learn how to make an audience a community, and those introduced feel like royalty.

Sheila Arnold has been gifted by God with performance skills and has been using this talent since she was eight years old. Since 2003 she has been a full-time storyteller, traveling across the United States to share a variety of stories, as well as doing historic character presentations, Christian monologues, coaching and workshops. www.mssheila.org

Saturday, March 11

Put the Poetry In

Presenter: Shaun Perkins / Facilitator: Shelby Smith

This workshop will focus on using poetry as part of one’s storytelling toolkit. Shaun will share how she has combined poetry and storytelling and give tips on memorizing poetry and creating impromptu poetry.

Shaun Perkins is the director/founder of the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry in Locust Grove. She is a poet, newspaper columnist and teaching artist with the Oklahoma Arts Council. She produces a weekly podcast, which you can find at WackyPoemLife.com. Her poetry, stories and fiction have been published in a variety of places. She is the webmaster for the Territory Tellers.

Starting From Scratch – Getting Started Telling Stories

Presenter: Kanute Rarey / Facilitator: Liz McDaniel

This workshop combines a review of the basics; story creating, story crafting and story presenting; Participants will have a chance to take away new ideas, share their own experiences, brainstorm ideas with others and discuss finding and creating support in their work and community settings.

Kanute tells stories regularly at Southeastern festivals, community events and organizations. He produces a monthly Story Swap, an OPEN MIC event and an APPALACHIAN STORIES event along with a quarterly story and music event at a regional theater. He has presented workshops on storytelling, business and career management. www.kanuterarey.com

Original Digital Storytelling: FREE Youth Workshop for Grades 3-12

Presenter: David Titus / Facilitator: Sue Kuentz

Bring your imagination and discover the magical art of storytelling through the use of strings. String figures were used in every culture for storytelling and passing on information. This hands-on workshop will teach participants a number of string figures and show examples of more. Storyteller David Titus will tell stories while creating string figures to enhance the listeners’ experience. You’ll have a chance to learn some of these string figures and decide which you’d like to use in your own tales.

David Titus, author and professional storyteller, has been entertaining children and adults in libraries, schools, churches and at conferences and festivals since 1968. He travels extensively, consulting, conducting workshops and residencies, instructing adults in storytelling, and collecting stories and string figures. He has entertained audiences across six continents from the frozen Arctic to the Sahara. https://storyteller-wordsmith.com/