OKC Storytelling Festival

Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival, September 11-12, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival, formerly known as the WinterTales Storytelling Festival, has a new name and new season, but will continue the 28-year tradition of entertaining adult audiences with imaginative stories and performances.

Now held in the fall, the Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival will take place Sept.11 and 12 at Stage Center in downtown Oklahoma City.

After much planning, volunteer co-chairs Phil Carlton and Kym Koch Thompson promise a weekend full of entertaining stories from world-famous tellers Kevin Kling, Susan Klein, Motoko and Minton Sparks.

“Everyone should go for the simple fact that a single person on a bare stage can hold an audience spellbound for hours without any visual aids – just their voice painting a vivid, compelling picture in your imagination,” said Koch Thompson, who has been volunteering for the storytelling event for five years.

“Storytelling is an art form that easily creates connections and communities of people by offering life lessons or shared experiences. No matter whether the story covers common or uncommon ground, the listener can always relate to it because the art is in the telling,” she said.

With four renowned tellers of different backgrounds, adult audiences are sure to relate to their colorful, humorous and inspirational stories.

Featured storyteller, Kevin Kling, is a well-known playwright and storyteller from Minneapolis, Minn. His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world. He is best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and his storytelling stage shows, like “Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log,” delivers hilarious, often tender stories. His artistry has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, The Bush Foundation, The Jerome Foundation and others.

Born, raised, and still residing on Martha’s Vineyard Island, Mass., Susan Klein is an award-winning spoken-word artist. She is a much sought-after editor and story coach for the stage and page, and leads workshops in America and Europe through her business, Story Wisdom, and is the owner of Ruby Window Productions. During her touring career she has appeared in more than 120 storytelling festivals. Susan is a winner of numerous awards for her audio work as well as the coveted Circle of Excellence Award.

Motoko Dworkin, a native of Osaka, Japan, first came to the United States as an exchange student to University of Massachusetts. Her partner Eshu Bumpus introduced her to the world of American storytelling. Motoko has performed professionally since 1993, going to hundreds of schools, libraries and festivals. Motoko has appeared on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” and an educational video by Harcourt. Her debut CD, “The Promise of Chrysanthemums,” won a 2002 Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award and a 2003 Storytelling World Award.

Spoken-word artist, Minton Sparks, is in a category all her own – fusing poetry and her gift for storytelling into a series of one woman performances punctuated with world class music. Minton Sparks travels extensively, performing at various universities, clubs, conferences, and music and poetry festivals nationwide. Grammy-nominated Sparks was featured nationally on the NPR’s “All Things Considered” and internationally on the BBC’s “Bob Harris Show,” along with the syndicated Woodsongs’ “Old Time Radio Hour.”

Festival Performance Schedule
There are two evening performances that feature all four tellers and cover humorous and inspirational themes. These performances are intended for adults. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.artscouncilokc.com, at the event or by calling 405-270-4848.

8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 – “Humorous Stories” with Minton Sparks, Motoko, Susan Klein and Kevin Kling

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 – “Inspirational Stories” with Minton Sparks, Motoko, Susan Klein and Kevin Kling

“Art of Storytelling” workshops are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 11 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 12 at Stage Center. The featured tellers will teach adults to incorporate storytelling into their business, daily life and home, school, church and other situations. Workshop registration can be completed online at www.artscouncilokc.com. A weekend pass that includes two days of workshops is $50 if purchased before Tuesday, Sept. 8 or $65 after Tuesday, Sept. 8. Individual workshops are $20. A one-day pass is $35.

The Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival is produced by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, presented by Devon Energy, with additional support from Allied Arts, Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. For performance or workshop information and complete schedules, visit www.artscouncilokc.com or call 405-270-4848.


Friday, Sept. 11

Art of Storytelling Workshops
9:00 - 10 a.m. – Registration
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. – Workshop: “Healing Through Stories Part 1” by Kevin Kling
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. – Lunch: Open Mic Storytelling*
12:30 - 2 p.m. – Workshop: “Healing Through Stories Part 2” by Kevin Kling
2:30 - 4 p.m. – Workshop: “From Here to There: Mining Our Personal Stories” by Minton Sparks

Evening Performances
7 - 7:45 p.m. – Opening Reception
8 p.m. – “Humorous Stories” with introductions by Minton Sparks
Session 1: Motoko and Susan Klein
Session 2: Kevin Kling
10:30 p.m. – “Late Night Ghost Stories” in the Cabaret

Saturday, Sept. 12

Art of Storytelling Workshops
9:00 - 10 a.m. – Registration
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. – Workshop: “Finding Your Own Voice” by Kevin Kling, Susan Klein and Motoko
11:30 - 12:30 p.m. – Lunch: “Oklahoma Olio” by Territory Tellers*
12:30 - 2 p.m. – Workshop: “Crafting Myth, Folk and Fairytale” by Susan Klein
12:30 - 2 p.m. – Workshop: “Mime and Movement for Storytellers” by Motoko

Evening Performances
8 p.m. – “Inspirational Stories” with introductions by Minton Sparks
Session 1: Motoko and Kevin Kling
Session 2: Susan Klein
10:30 p.m. – Closing Reception

Unless noted, all performances and workshops are held in Stage Center (400 West Sheridan)

*Free event, lunch not included