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WTAMU to Host Lives and Legends Storytelling Festival

April 30, 2012

COPY BY:    Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU to Host Lives and Legends Storytelling Festival

CANYON, Texas—West Texas A&M University’s Department of Communication and the Panhandle Storytelling Guild will bring the Lives and Legends Storytelling Festival to the stage Friday, May 4 in a concert featuring professional storyteller Barbara McBride-Smith at 7 p.m. in the Branding Iron Theatre (BIT) on campus.

Other events planned for the storytelling festival include two children’s concerts—at 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.—in the BIT, and an afternoon workshop conducted by McBride-Smith from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Room 185. The workshop, “Making Myths for Modern Millennials,” will examine the possibilities in telling ancient myths in one’s own unique contemporary voice without losing the pathos, the poignancy and the humor of the classical tales, proving that myths are as relevant today as they were two millennia ago.

The 7 p.m. concert will feature McBride-Smith and seven WTAMU graduate students enrolled in the Art of Storytelling Graduate Seminar. Students helping with the production and performing stories are Aaron Howerton, a graduate student in communication from Amarillo, Jere Ellison a graduate student in English from Kamay, Derrick Alan Peoples, a graduate student in sports management from Diana, Georgia Romig, a graduate student in communication from Canyon, Duy Phan, a graduate student in communication from Binh Duong, Vietnam, Edward Chung, a graduate student in interdisciplinary studies from Taipei, Taiwan, and Gabbie Hieu Nguyen, a graduate student in communication from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  

 “My time spent learning the Art of Storytelling this semester has been simultaneously eye-opening and enjoyable,” Ellison said. “I’ve seen some great stories.”

McBride-Smith grew up in Texas, was educated in Massachusetts, discovered the ways of the world on the Jersey shore and finally settled down in Oklahoma. She has been a school librarian for 44 years and a seminary professor for more than 20 years. As a performing storyteller, she has entertained audiences across the United States and is frequently featured at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn. She specializes in retelling Greek myths, southwestern style. She is a member of the National Storytelling Circle of Excellence and a recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award for Outstanding Contributions to Storytelling.

WTAMU’s Department of Communication has partnered with the Globe-News Center’s Windows on a Wider World to bring elementary school children to campus for the morning concerts. Schools attending include Bivins (Amarillo), Boys Ranch, Friona, Panhandle, Nazareth, Lamar (Amarillo) and Wilson (Pampa).

“One of my favorite parts of the festival each year is seeing how the children respond to our featured teller,” Dr. Trudy Hanson, adviser to the Panhandle Storytelling Guild and festival director, said “Inevitably, the children are drawn into the story, participating, laughing and imagining in a way that only oral storytelling has the power to do.”

The morning concerts, the afternoon workshop and the evening concert are free and open to the public. Please contact Hanson at thanson@wtamu.edu or 806 651 2800 to reserve seats. Festival events are made possible by funding provided by WTAMU’s Guest Artist Series. Additional festival sponsors include the Holiday Inn Express in Canyon.



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