Donald Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories, surrounded by a family of traditional storytellers who told him gentle fairy tales, simple and silly Jack tales, scary mountain lore, ancient Welsh and Scottish folktales, and most importantly, nourishing, true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin. Featured at festivals throughout the U.S. and world, Davis is also known as a prolific author, producer of books and CDs, and as a guest host for NPR’s Good Evening. Davis is a recipient of the NSN ORACLE Circle of Excellence and Lifetime Achievement awards.
Linda Gorham’s performances are filled with surprising twists and unconventional humor. For the past 25 years, she has engaged audiences with poignant and humorous family stories; interactive folktales, distinctive myths and notably twisted fairy tales; and riveting, well-researched historical stories. Each performance is infused with her unique, signature ‘sophisticated attitude.’ In 2016 Linda was awarded the Distinguished National Service Award by the National Storytelling Network. She also received the Linda Jenkins Brown Nia Award for Service from the National Association of Black Storytellers.
Bill Harley A two-time Grammy award-winning artist, recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and an NPR commentator, Bill Harley paints a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling, and family life. Bill’s songs and stories - "Zanzibar," "Monsters In the Bathroom," "50 Ways To Fool Your Mother," "You're In Trouble," "Dad Threw The TV Out The Window," "Down in the Backpack," and "The Ballad of Dirty Joe," - span the generation gap, guaranteeing laughter for all ages.
Barbara McBride-Smith transports you from the ancient world of the Greek gods and goddesses to the post-modern experiences of her Baby Boomer generation, narrates the lives of shady ladies and bad boys of the Bible, navigates literature with the heart and soul of a librarian, identifies with country music and rock n’ roll, and interprets it all with a Texas-born cheerleader’s perspective. Entertainer, historian, preacher, and storyteller all rolled into one, Barbara McBride-Smith serves up sweet truth with a side of southern grit.
Motoko A native of Osaka, Japan, Motoko first came to the U. S. as an exchange student. Later she trained with late Master Tony Montanaro and was introduced to the world of American storytelling. Motoko has performed professionally since 1993, going to hundreds of schools, libraries, museums and festivals. She shares hilarious and poignant tales from Rakugo, a storytelling tradition that originated in 17th century Japan.
Antonio Rocha, a native of Brazil, began his career in the performing arts in 1985. In 1988 he received a Partners of the Americas grant to come to the USA to perform and deepen his mime skills with Master Tony Montanaro. Since then he has earned a Summa Cum Laude Theater BA from the University of Southern Maine and studied with Master Marcel Marceau. His unique solo shows of stories and mime have been performed from Singapore to Vancouver and many places in between.
Ed Stivender In reviews of his work, Ed Stivender has been called “the Robin Williams of storytelling” by the Miami Herald and “a Catholic Garrison Keillor” by Kirkus Review. Since 1977, when he left his day job as a high school teacher in Connecticut and turned to storytelling full-time, Ed has “fabulated” his way around the globe --appearing in schools, churches, coffeehouses and theaters, as well as at major storytelling festivals. The National Storytelling Association inducted Ed into its Circle of Excellence in 1996.