ONEIDA, Tenn. — The 24th annual Haunting in the Hills Storytelling Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 17. Make plans now to join thousands of folks who will come to the Bandy Creek Field and enjoy the beautiful Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area for a fun-filled day of stories, music, crafts and more. Craft classes and concerts are free and open to the public.
Featured storytellers for 2016 are Madafo Lloyd Wilson, Priscilla Howe, Fran Stallings, and Linda Gorham.
Madafo is a storyteller and musician. His stories speak from an African experience and are told in the tradition of the “Griot” — those individuals responsible for keeping the history, traditions, principles, and values of the people alive and vibrant. Madafo is a master musician and has collaborated with artists throughout the diaspora. He combines traditional and contemporary percussion instruments to accentuate the imagery created by the listener…and, with chant, demonstration, characterization, and audience participation, takes his audience on a fun-filled, therapeutic, educational, and enchanting journey. Madafo’s story presentations breathe life into the age-old art form.
A full-time storyteller since 1993 and a former librarian, storyteller Priscilla Howe travels the world with a bagful of puppets and a headful of stories. Her favorite audience is the one in front of her at any given moment. Children? Yes! Teens? Definitely. Grown-ups? You bet. She tailors the storytelling experience to the audience. She recently spent five months as Fulbright Scholar in Bulgaria collecting folktales and performing. She’s also searching for the best restaurant pie on earth.
Fran Stallings’ favorite word is imagination. Using no props or pictures, she paints vivid images in listeners’ minds. Stalliangs is a nationally known storyteller, author, and recording artist. She tells world folktales and original creations enlivened with audience participation in action and song. Her tales of our fellow creatures and the environment have earned her the title “Earthteller.”
Linda Gorham performs internationally as a storyteller, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. Gorham’s performances are filled with surprising twists, unexpected turns and unconventional humor. For the past 25 years, Linda has engaged audiences of all ages with interactive folktales, distinctive myths and notably twisted fairy tales; riveting, well-researched historical stories; and humorously heartfelt stories about family life. Each performance is infused with her unique, signature “sophisticated attitude.”
Each year, thousands of students in area schools get to experience dynamic storytelling programs by world renowned storytellers during festival outreach programs. Local schools will again have an opportunity to see these tellers in action during the week leading up to the event.
Storytelling predates writing, with the earliest forms of storytelling usually oral combined with gestures and expressions. Stories have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and instilling moral values.
For more information about the event or for directions to Bandy Creek, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275 or park headquarters at (423) 569-9778. The storytelling festival is on Eastern Time. The event is free to the public. Bring a blanket or folding chairs to settle in and listen to the stories and the music.
For more information about this annual event, please use this link: http://www.nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/storytelling.htm.