Tellabration Celebrating 10 Years Of Tradition Honoring Past



Andy Towle/Roundup -

Storytellers and their fans gather in Pine Saturday night for the annual Tellabration event. The program is at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21 in the cultural hall of the Pine Community Center. The evening includes performances by masterful storytellers sharing a variety of tales — some funny, some historical, some legendary — but all entertaining. This is the 10th year that Don Doyle and the DPS Quilt Angels have brought the Tellabration to Pine, and each year it seems to get more popular. The cost is only $5 per person.


Andy Towle/Roundup -

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 before hand 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 theatre from Arizona State University, Doyle is now a free-lance director of theatre 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 has received several prestigious honors since his early retirement from the university, including the Medallion of Merit Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters for a lifetime contribution in theatre to the state of Arizona; The Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (artists and educators serving young people). 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. After graduating Saint Robert Bellarmine Preparatory, a Jesuit high school, in 1981, he attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. where he studied electrical and computer engineering. McCraw left the U of A and attended the Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy in early 1986, and became a member of the Arizona Highway Patrol Division of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. He began his law enforcement career as a remote duty highway patrolman. He became a police instructor in various fields, a certified emergency paramedic, and a SWAT team negotiator and tactical medic. Having also served as a training officer, highway patrol sergeant, training sergeant, paramedic sergeant and Metro Phoenix Highway Patrol District Commander, today Lt. McCraw serves as the operational training commander for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

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.

Johnson is an Arizona Culture Keeper, has opened for Lyle Lovett, and been an AWA Female Cowboy Poet of the Year. She has been featured at The National Auditory Theater Festival, National Society of Poetry for Therapy, the AZ Lecture Series and Goldwater Lecture series. She has appeared in 16 states, Canada, and the British Isles.

She has recorded five albums. Her song, “Old Hank Morgan’s Place” from the CD Buckaroo Bonanza, was a finalist for AWA’s Cowboy Song of the Year. Her latest CD is One More Dance, one number from which is included in Marvin O’Dell’s Silver Screen Project album. Other albums include First Roundup, Cowman’s Wife, and a collection of British Ballads.

In her “other lives” she has taught American history, drama, art, and English at secondary level, the gifted program in elementary grades, composed and co-directed four dance folk operas, written heritage articles for an Ozark newspaper, and dramatized and presented three Ozark folk tales. She and Ol’ Buck have three children, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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. She is a? published author and a produced playwright. Whatever format Anderson uses for a story, whether it is telling, writing or creating it as a? play, it is always the lives of people who have lived before that continue to capture her interest and excite her to share those ?stories with audiences. Anderson has a master’s of arts degree from Columbia University and is a former high school history and an elementary school teacher. She lives in Phoenix, Ariz.

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. From corporate gatherings, to storytelling festivals and conferences, audiences of all ages and up to 15,000 in number, have enjoyed listening to Hall’s uniquely honest stories.

Doug Bland

Bland is a teacher, a writer, an environmentalist and the pastor at the Tempe Community Christian Church (a.k.a. “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, Ariz. 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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