Bil Lepp engrosses a crowd at a storytelling festival in Timpanogos, Utah.

Bil Lepp engrosses a crowd at a storytelling festival in Timpanogos, Utah.

Annual Forest Storytelling Festival features five speakers

Tellers and audiences will gather for stories at Peninsula College’s Little Theater in Port Angeles.

PORT ANGELES — Got stories? Bring ’em on!

Professional storytellers and story lovers will converge on the Peninsula College campus for performances and workshops today, Saturday and Sunday for the 22nd annual Forest Storytelling Festival, hosted by the Story People of Clallam County.

For more than two decades, the Story People have conducted the festival that this year features five internationally renowned tellers: storyteller, humorist and five-time winner of the West Virginia Liars Contest Bil Lepp; Dovie Thomason, whose stories enchant while teaching invaluable lessons about human nature and indigenous worldviews; poetic storyteller and drummer Oba William King, whose stories often employ rhythm and rhyme; Scottish-born Norma Cameron, who tells traditional African tales and personal stories; and Pacific Northwest favorite Will Hornyak, who draws from oral traditions including Celtic, African, Greek and Native American for his stories.

Tickets, passes

Attendees can purchase tickets for individual events or a full festival pass that covers all of the festival’s offerings, except for a workshop that Lepp will offer today that costs $50 and is limited to 30 participants.

Tickets can be purchased at the door of the college’s Little Theater, but in recent years, evening performances have sold out. Advanced tickets can be purchased at www.clallam storypeople.org.

Tickets for performances tonight, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon also are available at Odyssey Bookshop in Port Angeles.

Master workshop

The festival will kick off with a master workshop on how to craft a story offered by Lepp this afternoon.

Tonight and Saturday night, all of the featured tellers will have the opportunity to take the stage in the Little Theater for a “buffet” of performances.

On Saturday morning, participants will choose among workshops offered by all of the featured tellers.

On both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the featured tellers will offer 45- to 60-minute solo performances.

Sunday morning will begin with a free session of inspirational stories at 10 a.m.

The full schedule of the festival is available at www.clallamstorypeople.org.

Audience members can sign up at the festival to participate in the weekend’s first-ever Story Slam on Saturday afternoon at lunchtime.

Those interested in telling at the slam should prepare a five-minute true, personal story that somehow addresses the theme, “Maiden Voyages,” then put their name in the hat at the start of the slam.

Anyone interested in volunteering — be it work as an usher for performances or helping with the silent auction — should contact festival director Chris Wright at 360-452-8092.

Events throughout year

Though the annual festival is their biggest event, the Story People also host storytelling events throughout the year, including a Celtic Concert, Liars Contest and free monthly story swaps in the evenings of the third Tuesday of every month September through June in the Raymond Carver Room of the Port Angeles Library.

For more information about the festival and the Story People, go to www.clallamstorypeople.org.

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