WTAMU Hosting Annual Storytelling Festival

By Karl Wehmhoener | kwehmhoener@kamr.com

Published 05/02 2014 03:29PM

Updated 05/02 2014 08:36PM

CANYON -- Traveling through Tales is the focus of the West Texas A&M University 2014 Panhandle Storytelling Guilds annual festival.

This year features professional teller Laura Simms. 

"The theme was really important to us, and we put a lot of thought into it," Jackie Sorenson Llewellyn, a member of the guild, explained. "We wanted to highlight the ability that narrative possesses to transport the audience to where the story takes place, even when that place may be completely fictitious."

An award-winning performer and writer, Simms is a Research Fellow for the International Peace Institute at Rutgers University in Newark, a published author and a member of the Therapeutic Arts Alliance in Manhattan. Her one-woman show, Mercy into the World, premiered in 2008 at the Barbican Theater in London, University of Oslo and Frontier Theater in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has performed at venues worldwide, including the Khan Theater in Jerusalem, Royal Festival Hall in London, the Central Theater of Manila and Victory Theater and Town Hall in New York City.

Graduate students enrolled in the Art of Storytelling seminar produce the festival as well as perform during the evening concert. Those students include Alicia Johnson, graduate student in interdisciplinary studies from Garland, Izaak Chavez, graduate student in communication from Hereford, Maddisun Fowler, graduate student in communication from Amarillo, Jackie Sorenson Llewellyn, graduate student in communication from Amarillo, Christa Glasgow, graduate student in communication from Amarillo, Lee Anne Moore, graduate student in communication from Lewisville, Ark., Selden Hall, graduate student in history from Amarillo, Alejandra Carrasco, graduate student in history from Clovis, N.M., Blake Ryser Boone, graduate student in communication from Vernon, Justin Mize, graduate student in the Masters of Teaching program from Amarillo, Nathaniel Council, graduate student in communication from Dodge City, Kan., and Kellie Chandler, undergraduate communications studies major from Happy.

Festival events include Kids Concerts, an afternoon workshop facilitated by Simms at 1:30 p.m., and the evening concert at 7 p.m. in the Branding Iron Theatre. 

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