WSU Festival Celebrates a Decade of Storytelling
OGDEN, Utah – Musicians, singers and mummers will fill the stages of northern Utah Nov. 7-9 in celebration of Weber State University’s 10th Annual Storytelling Festival, “Home is Where Your Story Begins.”
This year’s festival will feature four nationally renowned storytellers – Donald Davis, Susan Klein, Angela Lloyd and Ed Stivender. Klein, who is making her festival debut, will join Davis and Lloyd, who are appearing for the second time. Stivender, a local favorite, returns for his fourth festival.
In addition, the festival will include performances from 30 regional storytellers and 80 student storytellers from the Davis, Morgan, Ogden and Weber school districts. Festival organizers hold auditions every other year to choose participants. It is one of the few opportunities in the country for children to share their tales on stage.
“The festival is very family oriented,” said Paul Pitts, festival committee chair and associate teacher education professor. “We hope that parents who bring their children will return home after the festival and share their own family stories with their children.”
The purpose of WSU’s Storytelling Festival, which is sponsored by the Department of Teacher Education, is to encourage creativity among local citizens, as well as the sharing of community histories and traditions. In 2001, the festival was given the National Storytelling Network Oracle Award. The festival also received a community contribution award from the Utah Association for Gifted Children in 2003.
This year’s events will be held at two Ogden locations – WSU’s Ogden campus and the Ogden Eccles Conference Center (2415 Washington Blvd.) – as well as at schools throughout Davis, Morgan and Weber counties. A special performance for senior citizens will be offered Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. in the Roy High School Auditorium.
Visit weber.edu/storytelling for more information on the festival, including a complete schedule of all sessions and ticket prices. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Dee Events Center Ticket Office or the day of the event at each location.
National Storyteller Biographies
Donald Davis was born in the Appalachian Mountains on his family’s land in North Carolina. The New York Times called Davis “one of the master teachers of other storytellers.” He says that storytelling is a way of giving and living life.
Susan Klein is noted for the variety and richness of her presentation and performances. Her repertoire includes selections from the world’s body of folklore and myth, literary stories, rites of passage and love stories for children and adults. In 2001, she won a Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network.
Angela Lloyd has been described as a “combination of Maria Von Trapp, Mary Poppins and Tinkerbell.” The stories she tells are drawn from the best in children’s literature, traditional world folktales and personal experience. She is also an award-winning recording artist who plays the autoharp, washboard and ukulele.
Ed Stivender won a Circle of Excellence Award in 1996. He was featured in the book “Storytellers” by Corki Miller and Mary Ellen and plays the banjo. He is also a theologian, mummer, dreamer and juggler who brings humor to every storytelling event.