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Local storyteller’s Speak Series continues for 6th season

By Staff | Mar 23, 2018

Toni Milbourne/Chronicle Adam Booth, founder of the Speak Story Series, shared his talents at an event sponsored by the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library on March 15.

Six years ago, storyteller Adam Booth had a vision that he worked to turn into reality. That vision culminated in the Speak Series, which offers a venue for storytelling in Shepherdstown.

Booth, a renowned storyteller, has participated in the Series for the past five years, but said this year he plans to take a break.

“This year, we are offering others the spots to tell their stories,” Booth said.

This week, Booth was the guest at a storytelling event sponsored by the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library. He told stories and sang songs for an audience of more than 50 people.

At the Bolivar event, Booth promoted the Speak Series, which began this week with a performance by Storyteller-In-Residence Elizabeth Ellis, who kicked off the Series on Tuesday evening at Reynolds Hall. Ellis grew up in the Appalachian Mountains hearing tales from her preacher grandfather, and Irish fairytales from her aunt.

While serving as Storyteller-in-Residence, Ellis will also visit local schools and make other public appearances.

Other Speak Series storytellers include Motoko, who will tell tales of Asian folklore, Rakugo and Zen tales and personal stories of her childhood in Osaka. She appears at Reynolds Hall on April 10.

Following on May 8, is Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, a storyteller influenced by his musical background. He has presented to over a million people in the U.S. and abroad.

June 12 sees Scott Whitehair take the lead. A former boardmember of the National Storytelling Network, Whitehair has been a featured instructor at Hong Kong Story Worthy Week and has taught narrative at All Hallows College in Dublin.

Featured on July 12 is Pennsylvania’s Dovie Thomason, who has spent a lifetime gathering and weaving traditional tales she first heard as a child with stories from her own life. She will present ‘How the Wild West was Spun.’

Corinee Stavish is the featured storyteller on Aug. 14. A Detroit Jewish Woman of the Year, she specializes in personal and historical narratives and biblical interpretative tales that are warm and witty. She will present ‘When Good People Do Something,’ the story of integrity and humanity in World War II-occupied Denmark.

Donald Davis follows up on Sept. 11. He’s authored 18 books and more than 40 original recordings.

The session on Oct. 9 features Linda Gorham, whose performances are filled with surprising twists and unconventional humor.

Megan Wells concludes the 2018 Series on Nov. 13. Wells comes with a repertoire of more than 186 stories.

Tickets for each of the evening’s events are $12 at the door, and free for Shepherd students who show their IDs. Season tickets can be purchased for $100. All shows are held in Reynolds Hall and begin at 7:30 p.m. each evening. For more information on Speak or to offer support to the Series, visit www.speakstoryseries.com.