Speak Story Series

Season 5

Thank you for making Season Five a smashing success! Check back soon for the lineup of tellers for Season Six. 

Previous Season 5 Shows

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April 18  Antonio Rocha

7:30 at Reynolds Hall, $12
from Maine
Born and raised in Brazil, Antonio presents a unique fusion of verbal narrative and mime that has taken his work to 16 countries across 6 continents. His tenor voice, realistic sound effects, and exquisite moves will take you on the journey of a lifetime. Here in the USA, where he has made his home for the past 28 years, Antonio has performed at prestigious venues such as the National Storytelling Festival, The Smithsonian, The Kennedy Center, The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, The Mesa Performing Arts Center and more.


7:30 at Reynolds Hall, $12
from Hungary
Csenge travels the world, bringing the magical folktales of her homeland to audiences of all ages, and gathering fascinating, unusual, and thought-provoking stories from various other cultures. She has a special love for the oldest, longest narratives of the world: In 2015, she was the recipient of the J. J. Reneaux Mentorship Grant (with her mentor Cathryn Fairlee), and spent the year creating storytelling fringe performances based on traditional epics. Her first book in English, Tales of superhuman powers: 55 traditional stories from around the world (McFarland, 2013) gathers ancient myths, legends, & folktales that showcase the earliest forms of superpowers we encounter in comic books and movies today. 

June 13 Charlotte Blake Alston

7:30 at Storer Ballroom, 3rd Floor of Shepherd University Student Center, $12
from Pennsylvania
A nationally recognized teller, narrator, and singer, Charlotte breathes life into traditional and contemporary stories from the African and African-American oral and cultural traditions. She has made multiple appearances in such venues as the Smithsonian Institution, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Storytelling Festival and the National Festival of Black Storytelling. Her international appearances include performances or festival appearances in Accra, Ghana; Cape Town, South Africa; Beijing, China; Basel, Switzerland and the Cape Clear Island Storytelling Festival in Ireland.

July 11  Tokaheya Inajin
(Kevin Locke)

7:30 at Storer Ballroom, 3rd Floor of Shepherd University Student Center, $12
from South Dakota

Kevin is a world famous visionary Hoop Dancer, preeminent player of the Indigenous Northern Plains flute, traditional storyteller, cultural ambassador, recording artist and educator. Kevin is Lakota and Anishnabe.  While his instructions were received from his immediate family and community, from extended family in every part of the world, Kevin has learned many lessons in global citizenship and how we each can draw from our individual heritages to create a vibrant, evolving global civilization embracing and celebrating our collective heritage. He is a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship, with nearly 40 years of performing to over hundreds of thousands of people in over 90 countries.

August 8  Jane Dorfman

7:30 at Reynolds Hall, $12
from Maryland
Jane will share some of the less-heard stories from the Arabian Nights. Tales for adults, full of twists and turns, somewhat risqué, with a bit of cross-dressing, a little erotic poetry, and a lot of fun. She has taught storytelling as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland, has performed at the Smithsonian Institution, and told on television Channel 32's holiday storytelling program. She is a repeat teller at the Washington Folk Festival and storytelling classes at The University of Maryland and Catholic University.

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September 19 Bill Harley

7:30 Reynolds Hall, $12
from Rhode Island
Bill Harley uses song and story to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of American life.  Recipient of two Grammy® awards, with over 35 award-winning recordings and numerous books to his credit, Bill's work honors the universal - joys and hardships we all share through slice of life vignettes that exude warmth, wit and wisdom

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October 10  Janice del negro

7:30 Reynolds Hall, $12
from Illinois
*please note that this is a change from the original lineup

Janice M. Del Negro, PhD, is a storyteller who excavates and decorates the bones of traditional folk and fairy tales as an invitation to others to do the same; her focus is reimagining traditional folktales to make them emotionally resonant for contemporary listeners. In 2016 Del Negro received the National Storytelling Network's Circle of Excellence Award, "presented to artists who are recognized by their peers to be master storytellers who set the standards for excellence and have demonstrated, over a significant period of time, a commitment and dedication to the art of storytelling." Del Negro is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Information Studies at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. This program will include seasonally-appropriate spooky storytelling.
Please note this will be an exclusive live-streamed event.
Visit Janice's website here.

November 14  Marc Harshman

7:30 Reynolds Hall, $12
from West Virginia
Poet Laureate of West Virginia, Marc Harshman has authored fourteen children’s books, including The Storm, a Smithsonian Notable Book. He recipient of the Weatherford Prize for Believe What You Can, his second full-length collection of poems. His poems have been anthologized by Kent State University, the University of Iowa, University of Georgia, and the University of Arizona. He was an invited reader at the 2016 Greenwich Book Festival in London. His monthly show for West Virginia Public Radio, "The Poetry Break," began airing in January.

December 12  Adam Booth

7:30 Reynolds Hall, $12
from West Virginia
Adam Booth's original stories blend traditional mountain folklore, music, and an awareness of contemporary Appalachia. He has been featured at the International Storytelling Center, the National Storytelling Festival, the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, the National Storytelling Conference, and has been a Spoken Word Resident at the Banff Centre. His recordings have received two Parents’ Choice Silver Honors and four Storytelling World Awards and Honors. He is a four-time champion of the West Virginia Liars' Contest.