Creation Stories Highlight Annual Storytelling Festival

OGDEN, Utah –Weber State University’s 17th annual Storytelling Festival will take place Feb. 25-27. Each year the award-winning festival invites the public to enjoy the performances of national, local and student storytellers. 

“I love this festival,” said Ann Ellis, festival chair and teacher education associate professor. “I love watching a room full of people light up when a storyteller says, ‘Once upon a time.’ They become a part of the story. It’s truly magic.”

During the three-day festival, nationally recognized storytellers Kevin Cordi, Megan Hicks, Beth Horner and David Novak will join 30 Utah storytellers and 70 local student performers to entertain audiences – young and old.

The festival will be held at various locations including, Weber State University, Ogden Eccles Conference Center and Peery’s Egyptian Theater, as well as the Davis Conference Center in Layton, select local schools and assisted-living centers in Davis and Weber counties.

The festival’s popular “Brown Bag Story Slam,” an open mike event with prizes, will be held Feb. 26 from12:30 to1:20 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Fireplace Lounge.

A story symposium will follow at 2 p.m. in the Stewart Library Hetzel-Hoellein Room. Scholars will discuss this year’s theme, “Creation Tales, Ph.D.” and will share creation stories that influenced their lives. At 3:15 p.m. in the Hetzel-Hoellein Room, David Novak will present his theatrical retelling of “The Gilgamesh Epic.”

Ellis noted that the morning story events in the Ogden Eccles and Davis Conference Centers serve more than 10,000 people each year and have greatly enhance language instruction in local schools.

Evening events on Monday and Wednesday begin at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday is designated as Scout Night with a 6:30 performance of “Peter and the Wolf.” Boy and Girl Scouts from throughout the area will attend in uniform.

Thanks to the contributions of numerous donors, events are free to the public with the exception of the fundraising banquet. For reservation requests and banquet information, contact Judith Mitchell at 801-626-6626. 

“For me, the magic is perpetuated each year in the WSU Storytelling Festival,” Ellis said. “I arrive with the same sense of hushed expectancy to be whisked away into other worlds.”

Visit for more information about the Storytelling Festival, including biographies of the storytellers. Visit for more news about Weber State University.

Ann Ellis, festival chair and teacher education associate professor
801-626-7343 •

Judith Mitchell, festival steering committee
801-626-6626 •
Kelsy Peterson, University Communications
801-626-7295 •