Annual Storytelling Festival Looks to Broaden Its Appeal

October 28, 2003

OGDEN, Utah – It's always been about the kids, but Weber State University's eighth-annual Storytelling Festival plans to connect with a whole new audience – preschoolers.

In response to requests from parents and preschool providers in the community, this year's festival will feature special sessions designed for children between the ages of three and five. Planning age-appropriate sessions was quite a challenge for festival organizers.

"We had to keep in mind their limited attention spans," said Claudia Eliason, chair of this year's festival. "We handpicked local tellers who know and understand preschoolers' development level. Fifty minutes can be a very long time at that age."

The preschool sessions are planned for 10:30 a.m. daily. The three-day festival, Nov. 10-12, will be held at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center and Peery's Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd. in Ogden. Festival activities will run from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. The daily preschool storytelling sessions are $1 per person (for children and accompanying adults).

Youngsters aren't the only ones to benefit from new sessions. Two evening sessions on Nov. 12 will be geared to older listeners. Eliason said the stories about life and love will appeal to adult audiences, but the content will still be suitable for the whole family.

This year's festival features national storytellers Diane Ferlatte, Heather Forest, Dan Keding, and David Novak. Keding and Novak will be making their first appearances at the WSU event.

In addition, more than 70 student storytellers from Weber, Davis, Morgan and Ogden School Districts will perform at the festival, along with 27 local and regional storytellers. The festival is the only one in the nation sponsored by a university in conjunction with local school districts.

In addition to their work at the conference, Forest and Novak will make special appearances on the WSU campus. Forest will share her half-spoken, half-sung presentation of "Imaginary Journey: Musical Storytelling" at 1 p.m. Nov. 11 in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater. Novak, a former Master Storyteller for the Disney Institute in Orlando, Fla., will present the story "Chaste White and Blushed Red" at 1 p.m. Nov. 12 in Stewart Library's Special Collections. Both campus presentations are free to the public.

Tickets for the festival are available at the Dee Events Center Ticket Office, open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by calling 626-8500 or 1-800-WSU-TIKS.  Tickets will also be available at the door.  For more information and biographical details about the national storytellers, visit weber.edu/storytelling.

WSU Storytelling Festival Ticket Prices

................................ Adult.....Child......Senior/Student....... Family of Six
Single Day Events......$10 ……..$3…..…………. $7….........….…. $25
Evening Events ..........$5 …….. $3………...….. $4………............ $15
All Event Pass............$30 ……. $10…………. $20…….…..........…$60


 

Contact:

Claudia Eliason, Storytelling Festival chair
801-626-7719 · celiason@weber.edu

Paul Pitts, Storytelling Festival committee
801-626-7555 · ppitts1@weber.edu

Author:
John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 · jkowalewski@weber.edu

Weber State UniversityOgden, Utah 84408

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