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Word power

Peninnah Schram i
Peninnah Schram i
Angela Lloyd
Angela Lloyd
Janice Del Negro
Janice Del Negro

29th storytelling festival celebrates wit and whimsy

The state storytelling festival is a spring rite in Denton, and this weekend marks the 29th year that some of the best and brightest storytellers have traveled to the city to share folklore, mix music with tales, and compete to see who’s the best liar around.

Four storytellers are on tap to wrap up the daily workshops and concerts with their best: Peninnah Schram, Angela Lloyd, Tim Couch and Janice Del Negro.

Schram draws from the Jewish oral tradition, sharing folk tales, legends and parables. Schram is the founding director of the Jewish Storytelling Center in New York City, and her book Jewish Stories: One Generation Tells Another is a staple in the libraries of storytellers across the country.

Lloyd draws on world folk tales, oral tradition, original works and children’s literature to showcase her style and timing. She braids poetry, story and song, and accompanies herself with washboard, autoharp, ukulele and bells.

Couch uses storytelling to seek answers to the big common questions. He has told stories in venues such as the State Fair of Texas and the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas.

In stories that range from the lyrical to the macabre, Del Negro’s repertoire appeals to listeners of all ages and experiences. Her award-winning books include a collection of supernatural tales for young adults, a picture book and Storytelling: Art and Technique.

— Staff report


When: Thursday through Sunday

Where: Denton Civic Center, 321 E. McKinney St., with a few events at Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St., and the Denton Woman’s Club Building, 610 Oakland St.

Details: A full festival ticket costs $130 for all four days. Single-day tickets are available for $55. Tickets for individual events cost $10 for concerts, $15 for workshops and $50 for master classes. Tickets are available online and at the event. Talespinner Dinner tickets cost $25 each. Discounts are offered for Tejas Storytelling Association members.

On the Web:


Kids’ Day is Saturday, which includes activities with free admission for children and an accompanying adult.

9 to 10:30 a.m. — Family Concert featuring Angela Lloyd, youth tellers and friends, main stage at the Denton Civic Center

10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — “Kids Meet the Tellers” at Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St.

12:15 to 1:30 p.m. — Lunch and Kids’ Story Swap, Emily Fowler Central Library (lunch is provided for children, but adults should furnish their own lunch)

1:30 to 3 p.m. — Kids’ Storytelling Workshop, Emily Fowler Central Library


Events are at the Denton Civic Center, 321 E. McKinney St., unless otherwise noted. Some events are at the nearby Emily Fowler Central Library and the Denton Woman’s Club Building.

Asterisks indicate events that will include an American Sign Language interpreter. Arrangements can be made to have any portion of the event signed by sending a request to or calling 940-380-9320.


7 to 9:15 p.m. — *“Goosebumps and Graveyards: Ghost Stories”


9 to 10:30 a.m. — *Opening concert

10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Morning concert, main stage; Workshop A: “Improvised Stories: Learn to Create New Stories Quickly and Effortlessly,” Sean Hill and Troy Miller, Bluebonnet Room; Workshop B: “Storytelling 101,” Rosie Best-Cutrer, Yellow Rose Room

12:15 to 1:15 p.m. — Lunch and story swaps

1:15 to 2 p.m. — John Henry Faulk concert, main stage

1:15 to 2:45 p.m. — Workshop C: “Presenting a Campus Slammer,” Carolyn Stearns, Bluebonnet Room; Workshop D: “All Ages?Maybe ...,” Fran Stallings, Yellow Rose Room

2:15 to 3:15 p.m. — “Journeys End in Lovers’ Meeting: True Love and Vagabonds,” Janice Del Negro, main stage

3:15 to 3:45 p.m. — Social hour, main stage

5 to 6 p.m. — Rising Star concert, main stage

6 to 7:30 p.m. — Break

7 to 7:30 p.m. — Pre-show music with Sleepy Creek, main stage

7:30 to 10 p.m. — *Evening concert of featured tellers, main stage


9 to 10:30 a.m. — Family concert featuring Angela Lloyd, main stage; Workshop E: “StoryCrafting: Retelling Folktales in Your Own Voice,” Janice Del Negro, Bluebonnet Room; Workshop F: “Using Tall Tales to Teach Science,” Judy Alton and Kay Tobola, Yellow Rose Room

10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Liars Contest, main stage; Workshop G: “A Conversation With Peninnah Schram,” Bluebonnet Room; Workshop H: “Prospecting Your Past to Uncover Hidden Story Treasures,” Craig Harrison, Yellow Rose Room; Kids’ Day “Kids Meet the Tellers,” Emily Fowler Central Library

12:15 to 1:30 p.m. — Lunch and story swaps, main stage; Kids’ Day lunch and Kids’ Story Swap, Emily Fowler Central Library

1:30 to 3 p.m. — Afternoon concert, main stage; Workshop I: “From ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’ to ‘Face to Face: Making Scripture Personal,’” Tim Couch, Bluebonnet Room; Workshop J: “Say Wha...???” Loralee Cooley, Yellow Rose Room; Kids’ Day storytelling workshop, Emily Fowler Central Library

3:15 to 4:45 p.m. — Workshop K: “Coming to Our Senses: Telling in the Key of See,” Angela Lloyd, Bluebonnet Room; Workshop L: “Belly Laughs and Beyond,” Bob Reiser, Yellow Rose Room; fringe concert, Emily Fowler Central Library

5 to 7 p.m. — Talespinner Dinner and Silent Auction, main stage

7 to 7:30 p.m. — Pre-show music with David Goodroe, main stage

7:30 to 10 p.m. — Evening concert of featured tellers, main stage; presentation of John Henry Faulk Award


8 to 9 a.m. — Labyrinth Walk with Dallas Storytelling Guild, main stage

8 to 11a.m. — Master Class: “Journeys Through Midrash, Biblical Texts and Storytelling,” Peninnah Schram, Denton Woman’s Club Building

9:30 to 11 a.m. — *Sacred Tales concert, main stage

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — *Closing concert of featured tellers, main stage