Speak Story Series

Season 7

Season Seven
join us from March to November 2019 as we present
Ten Fantastic Storytellers !

Concerts begin at 7:30 in Reynolds Hall unless otherwise noted

photo by Debbie Block

photo by Debbie Block

Bill Harley
November 12

Bill Harley is well‐traveled, well‐read, well‐educated, well‐spoken and well‐loved. Accompanied by his guitar, his narrative songs and stories, both original and traditional, are a celebration of our common humanity. Best known for his work with children and families, his ability to navigate through a confusing world with humor and wisdom is evident in his masterful storytelling as well as his numerous award‐winning recordings and books. A two‐time Grammy winner, he is vibrant, outrageous, unpredictable and genuine with songs and stories about growing up, schooling and what it is to be human — our connections with one another and with the planet we share. Recognized by audiences and peers as one of the finest performing storytellers in the country, his work has influenced a generation of children, parents, performing artists and educators. Bill tours internationally as a performing artist, author and keynote speaker from his home in Seekonk, Massachusetts.

Tuesday’s Program will be Growing Up Is A Full-Time Job: stories about childhood from an adult who survived it.

here are the concerts from earlier this season

photo by Reid Shimabukuro

photo by Reid Shimabukuro

Alton Takiyama-Chung
Tuesday March 19

Japanese-Korean storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung grew up with the superstitions and the magic of the Hawaiian Islands.  He tells stories of Hawaii, of WWII Japanese-Americans, and Asian folktales and has performed at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, the National Storytelling Festival, and at international storytelling festivals in the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. 

Tuesday’s program will be Pineapples and Kimchee: a program of Korean folk tales and personal stories about the Korean experience in Hawai’i. It is a join presentation with the Shepherd University Common Reading Program.


Michael & Carrie Kline
Appalachian Heritage

Schedule for the Week (click here for fuller details)
Sunday April 7 Workshop from 2:00 - 5:00 in the Cumberland Room of the Shepherd University Student Center. $20. To register, use our contact form here.
Sunday April 7 Auditions for Revelations at 7:00 in the Cumberland Room of the Shepherd University Student Center
Tuesday April 9 Concert at 7:30 PM in Reynolds Hall. “Granny Get Your Stick and Come and Walk with Me: Old Time Songs and the Stories They Tell.”
Friday April 12 Revelations at 7:30 PM in the Byrd Center for History and Education

Michael and Carrie Kline weave West Virginia stories and folklore with spine tingling harmonies on voice and guitar. To hear them and be invited to join in on a chorus is to be transported to a country church, a one-room school, or grandma’s kitchen. The Klines present their music both as entertainment and social history, with engaging ease and hard-hitting passion. They have spent years recording music and spoken narrative in Cherokee, North Carolina, the Appalachian coalfields and mountainside farms, along with industrial cities from Cincinnati to New England.

Tuesday’s program will be Granny Get Your Stick and Come and Walk with Me: Old Time Songs and the Stories They Tell.

Friday’s program will be Revelations. Revelations is a theatrical presentation about Appalachian resiliency in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. In Revelations, Carrie interweaves oral testimonials of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered West Virginians. Carrie explains, “This 13-person reader’s theatre performance illuminates these West Virginians’ determination to express themselves in a way that is worthy of respect and admiration. Revealing their paths toward self-acceptance, audience members will glean a fresh perspective on concepts of gender from people who have broadened their own views through complex intellectual and spiritual journeys.”

photo by Paul Porter

photo by Paul Porter

Carolina Quiroga-Stultz
Tuesday May 14

Carolina Quiroga-Stultz is a bilingual storyteller, performer, and podcaster who graduated in 2013 with a Masters in Storytelling from the East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Her large repertoire of bilingual stories explores the Native and Afro-Latin American and Hispanic myths, legends, and mysteries ranging from El Río Bravo to La Patagonia. Her bilingual storytelling enchants her audiences with her compelling mannerisms and the passion she brings to each story. She is recipient of the 2016 National Storytelling Network J. J. Reneaux Emerging Artist Grant. In early 2019, Carolina's literary podcast "3Cuentos," dedicated to the myths, legends, and folktales of Latin American and the Hispanic world, was awarded two grants for its continuation.

Tuesday’s program will be MUERTOS: THE SOULS OF THE DEAD. Muertos brings to the stage different Latin American tales related to El Día de Los Muertos. Stories rooted in religious beliefs inherited from Catholicism and Native American traditions. Some had left believing that the dead are still around.

photo by Johanna Austin

photo by Johanna Austin

Megan Hicks
Tuesday June 11

This concert will take place in the Storer Ballroom located on the third floor of the Shepherd University Student Center, 210 N. King Street.

Megan Hicks's storytelling credits span The National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, small rural venues, regional stages throughout North America, and international programs combining storytelling and origami presented in China, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Tuesday’s program will be Boom! and will include fairy tales and stories about growing up. Megan is a baby boomer, raised in a family where Dad worked, Mom stayed home, and nothing much out of the ordinary seemed to happen. (Yeah. Right.) Like a magician who pulls coins, cards, and critters out of thin air, Megan Hicks reaches into the "normal" of everyday life and BOOM! Behind the suburban picket fence, under the auspices of an average nuclear family with the requisite 2.5 children, extraordinary stories were unfolding, just waiting to take flight. 


Judith Black
Tuesday July 9

This concert will take place in the Storer Ballroom located on the third floor of the Shepherd University Student Center, 210 N. King Street.

Judith Black is a professional storyteller, story maker, and teacher/coach with an international following. Originally trained at Wheelock College as an early childhood educator, Judith leapt from the classroom to the stage after training at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Ultimately she bound these two passions with storytelling and for 35 years has been using story to motivate, humanize, entertain, and teach. Most recently she has turned her attention to the climate crisis and in June of 2016 gave a TEDX talk on the link that can bind storytelling and climate.

Tuesday’s program will be Bug Girl. “For as long as anyone could remember Bettina was always known as Bita the bug girl." Come and meet the shy entomologist Bita and her quirky Akron, Ohio, family and take a journey with them from grilling burgers in the yard to fending off a full neighborhood attack when they inadvertently bring zika back from Puerto Rico to their suburban enclave. This story will engage your heart and mind and take you into one of the many side effects of our climate crisis.

photo by Katelyn Watson

photo by Katelyn Watson

Adam Booth
August 13

Adam Booth's storytelling blends traditional folklore, music, and an awareness of contemporary Appalachia. His original cinematic style, both humorous and touching, is influenced by generations of diverse storytellers from West Virginia. His telling appearances have included Teller-In-Residence at the International Storytelling Center (three times), New Voice at the National Storytelling Festival, Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, resident at the Banff (Alberta) Spoken Word program, multiple events in twenty-three states, and collaborations with the West Virginia Dance Company, Goose Route Dance Company, Frederick Chorale, and Hagerstown Choral Arts Society. He is a member of the Recording Academy and his stories and recordings have been honored with a Parents’ Choice Gold Award, two Parents' Choice Silver Honors, five Storytelling World Awards and Honors, the NSN's J.J. Reneaux Mentorship Grant, and four West Virginia Liars’ Contest wins. Adam is most at home sharing stories and music with the next generation of listeners and tellers throughout Appalachia.


Clare Murphy
September 17

Irish born Storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy has been telling stories since 2006 on stages all over the world.  She has performed at The Globe and the National Theatres in London, National Storytelling Festival USA and Boca du Ceu Brazil to name a few.  Her work ranges from the political folkloric work such as her Syrian piece "The King of Lies" to playful pieces like UniVerse which explores where quantum physics, philosophy and mythology meet. Her work has taken her to some pretty unusual places from telling to President Mary Robinson of Ireland to performing at the Writers Room of the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is also a storytelling consultant for Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA.

Tuesday’s program will be UniVerse. Where does myth meet science? Is it only in the middle of the night when we half wake and half sleep? In this eternal place of wonder and insight, time stretches and a fissure opens that builds a dream bridge between many worlds… Performance storyteller Clare Murphy dances into this liminal space; merging myth, deities, science and a hefty amount of turtle, in a playful exploration of the beginnings of the universe.


Tim Tingle
October 8

Tim Tingle is an Oklahoma Choctaw and an award-winning author and storyteller. His great-great grandfather, John Carnes, survived the Trail of Tears as a ten year-old, and his grandmother attended rigorous Indian boarding schools in the early 1900’s. In 1992, Tingle retraced the Trail of Tears to Mississippi and began recording stories of tribal elders. 

His first children’s book, Crossing Bok Chitto, was an Editor’s Choice in the New York Times Book Review. Tingle was a featured author and speaker at the 2014 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., based on the critical acclaim for How I Became a Ghost, which won the 2014 American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award. He has spoken numerous times at the Library of Congress and performed stories from his books at the Kennedy Center and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. For younger students audiences, Tingle shares fun Choctaw Indian folktales and audience-participation stories, while playing his Native flute, drum, and offering students the opportunity to play tribal rattles.