The three featured storytellers for the 22nd Storyfest are James B. Ford, Tim Tingle and Yvonne Healy, two familiar voices at Storyfest and one who visitors will hear for the first time.
In 2000 and 2006, James B. Ford graced the Storyfest stage with his blending of pathos and humor into his personal history and family stories, as well as his tall tales. Ford, a member of the Houston Storytellers Guild since 1988, has been a featured teller at festivals across Texas and has told stories at the Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tenn. In addition to telling stories, Ford has helped govern various storytelling entities, having served as President of the Houston Storytellers Guild and the Tejas Storytelling Association and on the board of the National Storytelling Association. In 2000, Ford won the coveted John Henry Faulk award for his contributions to the preservation of storytelling.
Another familiar voice at this year’s Storyfest will be that of Tim Tingle, who captivated the Storyfest audience in 2005. An Oklahoma Choctaw, Tingle is a renowned concert performer, an accomplished author, and a popular keynote speaker. As a storyteller, he delivers lively historical and traditional stories, accompanying himself on the Native American flute and singing Choctaw songs to the rhythms of a whale skin drum. Tingle has performed at festivals and conferences covering a 40-state area and completed 11 performance tours for the United States Department of Defense, sharing tales and humor with children of military personnel stationed in southern Germany. Tingle performed at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tenn., in 1997, 2002, 2005 and 2008.
Of the three, Healy is the newcomer to the Storyfest stage. Healy was born in Ireland but raised on an American Main Street with Irish language, stories, and culture. Described as “an Irish pixie of a performer,” Healy didn’t simply kiss the Blarney Stone, she swallowed it. From Healy’s performances, expect weird Irish legends, outrageous family lore, and thought-provoking tales. Comic or haunting, Healy’s stories delight all ages. Some are her parents’ bedtime tales recorded in the Irish National Folklore Archive; others are family stories with their first-hand accounts of the birthing of a new nation and the withering of an old one.
Area residents won’t want to miss these nationally renowned storytellers at this year’s Storyfest.