Tellabration Celebrating 10 Years Of Tradition

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

Vic McGraw is one of the many storytellers returning for the 10th annual Tellabration event Saturday, Nov. 21 in the cultural hall of the Pine Community Center.

Rim Country residents and visitors are invited to gather round in the cultural hall of the Pine Community Center for an old-fashioned evening of storytelling.

The 10th annual Tellabration Storytelling Event, sponsored by the DPS Quilt Angels, is Saturday, Nov. 21. The price of admission for this wonderful show is only $5. Tickets go quickly, so stop by Sunny Mountain Realty or reserve tickets by calling (928) 476-2766 or (928) 476-3623.

Proceeds from the popular event benefit the Pine Senior Center this year.

Another special feature about this year’s event is that the DPS Quilt Angels will be unveiling two very special quilts. One to honor the tellers who have participated in the event over the course of the past 10 years, and another is a remembrance for loved ones who have experienced cancer or are battling against cancer.

You may submit a name for remembrance at the Tellabration event or beforehand by calling Willene Smith at (928) 476-3587. Both the quilts will be permanently displayed in the Cultural Hall after the event. There will also be a quilt auctioned that evening.

The tellers

Don Doyle — A retired professor of theater from Arizona State University, Doyle is now a free-lance director of theater and opera and a nationally recognized professional storyteller. 

He appears as a featured teller and workshop leader at storytelling festivals, educational institutions and as a consultant on storytelling with corporations in this country and abroad.

He served three years on the board of directors of the National Storytelling Association and received the Leadership Award from that organization. 

Ricardo Provencio — A native Arizonan with pioneer roots dating back to pre-New Mexico-Arizona territorial days, Provencio is a professional storyteller and one of the co-founders of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute. Provencio is a community college professor, counselor and therapist. He loves to tell his stories bilingually, reciting mitos (myths), leyendas (legends), cuentos (stories), and historical stories from old Mexico and the Southwest. Provencio also mixes in his unique personal transformational and often humorous stories about growing up Latino with his extended familia in rural Arizona.

Vic McCraw — McCraw was born and raised in Tacoma, Wash. McCraw began taking storytelling classes in 2001 at South Mountain Community College. He has completed classes in the art of storytelling, multicultural folktales, creating and telling personal stories and storytelling in a business environment. He has been invited to tell at many local events and storytelling festivals, and has been invited to the Pine Tellabration in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

“Buckshot Dot,” aka Dee Strickland Johnson — “Younger than Springtime; older than dirt.”

Johnson is as authentic Arizona as the ponderosa, sagebrush, ocotillo, and saguaro, having been born in the northern part of the state and lived in the habitats of them all. She grew up on the Navajo and Hualapai (Wal-a-pi) reservations and at Petrified Forest National Monument. She and her husband John “Ol’ Buck” had a cattle ranch in the Arkansas Ozarks in the 1970s.

Her most recent book, “Arizona Women Weird, Wild and Wonderful” was the Western Music Association’s Cowboy Poetry Book of the Year. Both it and “Arizona Herstory: Tales From Her Storied Past” have been awarded the Will Rogers Medallion Award by the Academy of Western Artists. They are both illustrated with Johnson’s drawings and scratch boards from historical photographs. She has two other books of cowboy poetry.

Dorothy Daniels Anderson — Anderson has been a professional storyteller for more than 20 years and brings her training and experience as an actress to her storytelling performances. She specializes in researching, writing and telling true historical tales about the old Southwest.

Kindra Hall — Hall began storytelling 17 years ago. Since then she has presented her work from the Pacific Northwest to the rolling hills of Tennessee, including at The Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival in 2008. However, no matter where her travels take her, telling at the Pine Tellabration is one of her favorite performances.

Doug Bland — Bland is a teacher, a writer, an environmentalist and the pastor at the Tempe Community Christian Church (aka “the storytelling church”).  He has received awards for producing multi-cultural, interfaith storytelling concerts.

This month he’s initiating a new worship experience called “Anam Cara” (a Gaelic word that means “soul friend”), which is a story-based journey in search of holy ground. Storytellers from a variety of spiritual traditions and ethnic backgrounds tell the sacred stories they hold closest to their hearts.

Liz Warren — Warren, a fourth-generation Arizonan, is a storyteller, teacher and writer. She is the director of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute in Phoenix. Her recorded version of “The Story of the Grail” received a Parents Choice Recommended award in 2004 and a Storytelling World award in 2006.

“The Path of Truth,” her new CD of Arizona family stories will be released this year. In June 2009, she was a featured teller at the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival, the annual storytelling festival of the Midlands of Ireland.

Representing SMCC, she is the producer of the annual Mesa Storytelling Festival. Her new textbook, “The Oral Tradition Today: An Introduction to the Art of Storytelling” was published in 2008.

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