The Mariposa County Arts Council's 26th Storytelling Festival, March 8-10, will present a lineup of six nationally known storytellers -- presentations of Irish ballads, personal stories, American folktales and imaginary adventures to fascinating places.
Storytellers Lyn Ford and David Novak are two of six nationally known artists who will appear at the festival, along with Patrick Ball, Donald Davis, Angela Lloyd and Laura Pershin Raynor.
Ford's folktale adaptations, spooky stories and inspiring "home-fried" tales are rooted from her fourth generation African American heritage and multicultural history from the region called Appalachia. Ford's Afrilachian tales are seasoned with humor and heart. Her repertoire includes anecdotes often enriched with rhythm and rhyme and her sense of joy.
When she is not performing across the U.S., Ford is a story artist with the Columbus Arts Council and a Thurber House mentor for young authors. She is very involved with YES (Youth, Educators, Storytelling) working with teachers to add storytelling, the "first educational tool," to their curriculums.
Storyteller Novak returns to the festival this season bringing with him a background in theatre arts, clowning, creative dramatics, playwriting and directing. Whether telling the story of Cinderella in iambic pentameter or an original tale of Sterling, the salt shaker that falls in love with the sugar bowl, Novak's stories offer universal themes of character, courage, caring and wonder that resonate with all audiences.
Novak received the 2002 Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network and has performed at numerous theatres and festivals, including Woodstock Theatre Company, Timpanogos, Hawaiian Talking Island Storytelling Festival, Northern Appalachian Festival, the Lincoln Center and the Mariposa event in 1997 and 2001.
Novak has also been a guest instructor for the University of San Diego, International Storytellng Institute, Oklahoma Arts Institute, the John Campbell Folk School, and Walt Disney Imagineering.
Friday and Saturday's 7 p.m. storytelling performances take place at Mariposa County High School and Sunday's events take place at the East Auditorium in Yosemite National Park.
The festival also features a Back Stage Party with the storytellers after opening night as well as a Children's Story Concert, Tales for Those a Bit Older, Mother Lode Revue and Nuggets and Gems Saturday afternoon.
Tickets range from $9 for Saturday's daytime presentations to $74 for a two-day festival pass. General admission tickets cost $28 for Friday and Saturday night performances featuring all six storytellers. Children, student and senior discount are available.
Details: Mariposa County Arts Council, (800) 903-9936, arts-mariposa.org.