2016 Texas Storytelling Conference Workshops



Capture Your Audience With Puppetry!

Elizabeth Beamon

Puppets can capture and captivate listeners from 3 to 83. Each member of your audience will watch and listen closely to figure out where your furry friend is going and what will happen next. Your puppet can create a comfortable curiosity.

Known as “Ms. Elizabeth” in North Texas for 20 years, Beamon is one of the Top Ten Things to Love About Southlake in 2016, especially when she’s accompanied by her host puppets Mabel Monkey and Mr. Peepes!



Storytelling 101: Let Your Story Breathe

Esther Malone

New to storytelling? Start your weekend with a workshop that will help you release anxiety and tell with ease and flair. Know the bones of the story, then come to know and be comfortable with your own style of telling. Learn techniques for assessing your audience, staying “light on your feet,” and turning a story risk into a huge reward!

Esther connects story, the teaching arts and drama therapies to craft experiences that nurture artists, educators and storytellers—mind, body, and soul. Esther is director of Dawn’s Early Light, performing and teaching arts agency and The Malone Connection, creative coaching agency.



Tell a Story, Mend a Heart

Darlene Dufour

There are 13 ways that stories heal. Can you count them? This workshop will focus on healing stories and the functions of story to educate, nurture, and strengthen the human spirit, to preserve and perpetuate memories, and to share experiences from everyday life.

Storytelling on her weekly radio program for ten years, Darlene discovered that adults were as eager as children to hear good stories. She has performed in the US, Australia, France, and South Africa. Seeds of Greatness is her second book.



Bridge Beats — Quieting the Storm: Bringing People Together Through Percussion

Janet Latham

Using percussion instruments from around the world, we will quiet the storm created by our differences and come together as one. We will create a thunderstorm of percussion and slowly bring it back to quiet contemplation. Take our experience home with you to serve as a model for bringing people together.

A storyteller with a passion for travel and music, Janet has collected instruments from the Middle East (Bahrain), Africa (Kenya) and other places where she has taught. She is the 2014 recipient of TSA’s Colson-Herndon Educator Award.



Calling the Ancestors: Exploring Heritage Through Folklore

Lorene McHutcheon Stilwell

This workshop explores how myths, folklore, and historical narrative can be used to enliven and broaden family tales or forge a deeper connection with one’s heritage. It also addresses how personal and family stories can be used to make history and folklore alive and meaningful for a modern audience.

Lorene springs from a lineage of Scots “seanachies” whose stories and songs sustain her. She has told tales and shared how one can get in touch with one’s heritage at events ranging from Highland games to Celtic and women’s groups.



For a Good Emcee, “Brevity is the Soul of Wit”

MaryAnn Blue

This interactive workshop focuses on the how-to’s of handling the emcee job with poise, confidence, and humor. We will practice writing introductions that are brief but have substance and delivering them in a smooth, lively manner.  Participants will leave with that Shakespearean knowledge of what “to be or not to be” as a good emcee.

This workshopper is blue, but not because of her storytelling students — they’re winners! Not because of her delightful grandchildren — oh, no! Not because she never gets to emcee special concerts; she does! It’s because, well….Please help me welcome MaryAnn Blue.



What Comes After the Story?

Charlie Temple

The discussion after the story can be as interesting as the story itself. Choosing good stories for discussion, questioning different kinds of stories, and helping people of all ages make interpretations and debate them politely — these are the topics of this workshop, based on decades of literacy and peace-building work around the world.

Storyteller, folk musician, and children’s author, Charlie leads workshops on storytelling and critical thinking around North and South America, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Africa. Lately he’s been working with storytellers in post-conflict countries in Africa publishing peaceful books for children.



Aware > Care > Dare: Storytelling for a Green Tomorrow

Fran Stallings

We know that stories can touch the mind (Aware) and heart, inspiring concern for our

environment (Care). But can they also Dare listeners to change behaviors? We’ll discuss recent research in social psychology and connect it with stories that model how individuals and communities have cooperated to take action. Stories can help build a sustainable future for us all.

Fran taught undergrad biology and now uses storytelling to share information, concern and action on environmental topics. Holder of a Ph.D. in Botany/Biochem, she co-founded NSN’s Environmental Storytelling Discussion Group, convened three ecoteller retreats, and writes for The Environmentor e-newsletter.



Grants 101

Valerie Kimble

The kind of information grantors require can be confusing, and their questions can befuddle even the most ardent and articulate applicants. This workshop will provide an overview of the grant writing process from the nonprofit organizational perspective for beginners and tips for more experienced applicants on crafting successful proposals.

Valerie Kimble has written grants for libraries, nonprofits and storytelling organizations for over 25 years. In 2015, she wrote the narrative that netted her library system over $300,000 from a single donor. Valerie writes grants as a volunteer for TSA.



What Comes After the Story?

Charlie Temple

(We have asked our keynoter to offer his workshop twice. See description at Workshop G)



Making Midrashim: Retelling Blblical Stories

Corinne Stavish

In this spirited, highly participatory workshop, we will examine Biblical text respectfully through kaleidoscopic lenses and activities to find richer and deeper meanings. Participants will develop midrashim (retellings) in groups so that we will understand the traditional text with historic and contemporary insights.

“Mesmerizing…capturing hearts and minds,” Corinne specializes in personal and Biblical narratives. Featured at the National Storytelling Festival, a frequent Teller in residence at ISC and an NSN Conference Keynoter, Corinne was Detroit’s Jewish woman Artist of the Year in 2001.

www.stavishstorytelling.com and cstavish@ltu.edu


Start With the Truth — Then Stretch It!

Donna Ingham

Every story, even an outright lie, has to have some semblance of truth -- at least at the

beginning. So how does that work? This workshop will explore techniques for creating "believability" in a tall tale before the exaggeration starts. Then we'll discuss ways to stretch that truth into a proper whopper before the tale comes back down to a reasonable finish.

Once a mild-mannered college professor, Donna Ingham has turned to lying for fun and profit -- although she occasionally tells the truth. A past president of the Tejas Storytelling Association, she received the John Henry Faulk Award in 2007.

www.donnaingham.com and tell.write@gmail.com


The Five Keys to Energize Your Artist Marketing

K. Sean Buvala

Marketing is not a dirty word! You will experience the five essential tools for marketing your

artistry. From “quick fire” to “social media,” you will start to develop your niche plan in a time where the old marketing rules almost never apply. Then, work together with peers to create a sample of one of the tools.

Sean has 30 years of experience in storytelling in both applied and platform settings. He has presented workshops for over 200 organizations. He is the founder of storyteller.net and author of many books for both performers and kids.

seantells.com and seantells@gmail.com


Fractured, Twisted and Bent: Telling Fairy Tales in Modern Times

Laura Packer

Fairy Tales are everywhere; it seems like the whole world is looking for happily-ever-after. How do storytellers, the people who knew fairy tales were cool before anyone else, reclaim them and use them to build bridges across cultural divides? Together we will discover new stories, redraft them, look at audience, context, history and storytelling techniques.

Laura knows the best way to truth is through a good story. She holds a degree in folklore and mythology and works around the world. Winner of the Regional Oracle for Service/Leadership and the Brother Blue Award.

www.laurapacker.com and laura@laurapacker.com


Storytelling Techniques Used in K-5 Classrooms for Celebrating Our Differences

Nancy S. Self, Ph.D.

“Stamp out Bullying” is a current headline in education journals. A more positive approach could read, “Teach Students to Respect All People.” the focus should be upon the behavior we value, not just upon the unacceptable behavior. Through storytelling, teachers can demonstrate the value of respect for individuality, an appreciation of multiple cultures, and the celebration of personal differences.

Nancy is a retired Associate Clinical Professor from Texas A&M University. She taught and administered programs in Early Childhood Education for 26 years. Storytelling techniques were taught as part of the curriculum in several courses.



Showcase: Born Deaf, Living Out Loud

Barbara McBride-Smith

Barbara remembers her sister, Pat, who taught everyone she met that her deafness was not a

handicap ... just a “different gift.” In the last days of her life, Pat faced cancer with grit and humor, even then teaching her sister that real hearing happens with the heart. Barbara will perform her work, discuss her artistic process, and respond to audience comments.

Barbara serves up sweet truth with a side of southern grit. Through her stories, she takes you on a journey through your life as it intersects with hers and brings you back home to yourself!

www.barbaramcbridesmith.com and bmcbrides@aol.com


Old Boats, New Waters: Exploring New Traditional Storytelling

Danielle Bellone

Learn about New Trad stories and explore topics not usually dealt with by folktales. Use traditional forms and tropes (Crones! Dragons! Quests) to construct stories that have the emotional truth of folktales but do not risk trampling on other cultures. Leave with the bones of a new trad story ready to be crafted into brilliance.

Danielle is a storyteller, harpist, tarot-reader, and poet with a Master’s in Storytelling from East Tennessee State U. A native Louisianan, she now lives in the strange hills of Austin. Enjoy her work in Modern Grimmoire and Moon-Eyed Sister.

www.pocketmousetells.com and danielle.bellone@gmail.com


Windows and Mirrors: Broadening our Students’ Views Through Storytelling Activities

Sue Kuentz

Storytelling opens up a window into the world for children by sharing the unknown. That window can also be a mirror, allowing children to make connections and see where they fit into the world. Sue presents higher order thinking, hands-on storytelling activities and stories that allow students to interact with each other and bridge their differences.

Sue knew early on the importance of storytelling in the classroom! An HEB Excellence in Education Awardee with 32 years’ experience in San Antonio elementary schools, Sue is also a touring artist on the Texas Commission on the Arts Roster.

www.door2lore.com and sue.kuentz@gmail.com