Panhandle Storytelling returns to WT for festival

2012 Storytelling Festival Poster. Photo courtesy of Panhandle Storytelling Guild Facebook page.

2012 Storytelling Festival Poster. Photo courtesy of Panhandle Storytelling Guild Facebook page.

Since 1991, the Panhandle Storytelling Guild has held festivals for the WTAMU family and surrounding community.

On May 4, they will hold their annual festival with this year’s theme being ‘Lives and Legends’ with guest artist Barbra McBride-Smith.

“I’ve never met McBride-Smith in person, but we’ve watched her [story]telling in class throughout the semester,” Jere Ellison, Vice President of the Guild, said. “Her mix of familiar Greek tales with a ‘southwest’ twist should be appealing to all who attend.”

Dr. Trudy Hanson, head of the Department of Communication, said the festival will follow its normal format, with a few changes.

“We’re following the same formula for the festival,” Hanson said. “But this year, we will have three international students and they’ve chosen stories in their interests.”

Hanson said there will be two children’s concerts in the morning, a workshop with McBride-Smith at 1:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Complex room 185 and a performance at 7 p.m. with McBride-Smith and WT graduate students in the Branding Iron Theater.

“One of the things the students have worked on [is] getting sponsors from the community to help with the costs,” Hanson said. “And [the event was] also made possible from the funding by the Guest Artist Series.”

Ellison will be performing a scary tale named “Lockers,” by author Roberta Simpson Brown.

“We have a lot of going on at the festival,” said Ellison. “The guest speaker does amazing work …and we have a wide range of stories going on: family, scary, inspiration and folk.”

Joe Phan, a graduate Communication student, is a member of the Guild as well.

“It is my honor to be one of the students to perform at the show,” Phan said. “My performing will be different because I am not performing alone.”

Phan will be performing with Edward Chung, a student from Taiwan.

“We will bring the laughter to the audience with a Korean foliate called ‘The Green Frogs’,” said Phan. “I hope everybody will enjoy our performance.”

Phan said he and Chung have been working on their performance for two weeks and are very excited.

“As a student from Vietnam, I found it exciting for international students to join activities on campus,” he said. “We don’t have many good activities for students like this in Vietnam.”

The festival will have something to offer for all age groups and interests.

“Every part of [the festival] will be interesting,” said Phan. “It’s tough to choose which one is the best, but I think once the audience participates, they will figure out which is best.”