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TaleTellers taking part in ‘Tellabration!’

Wednesday, November 19, 2008JOHNSON CITY – Tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 20), the TaleTellers of East Tennessee State University will present an evening of stories as part of the worldwide “Tellabration!” storytelling event scheduled from 7-8 p.m. at the Acoustic Coffeehouse, 415 W. Walnut St.

“Tellabration!” was formerly called “The Night of Storytelling,” and originated in 1987 through the efforts of J.G. “Paw-Paw” Pinkerton. In 1988, the Connecticut Storytelling Center launched the evening of benefit storytelling performances in six towns across that state. Then in 1990, the event came under the umbrella of the National Storytelling Network based in Jonesborough, and just one year later, “Tellabration!” boasted an audience of 12,000 listeners in 74 communities located in 27 states.

Communities across six continents now participate in “Tellabration!” with stories being shared in 44 states and 14 countries, including Japan, Bermuda, Canada, Western Australia, Thailand, Scotland, New Zealand, Brazil and France.

And tomorrow night, the TaleTellers – composed of ETSU students in the Master’s Degree Program in Storytelling – invite members of the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia region to join such audiences gathering around the world to hear stories and celebrate the art of storytelling.

Featured tellers include:

  • Valerie Menard has come to ETSU from Nashville, where she works as a professional photographer, to pursue her storytelling degree. Before her photography career, she was a freelance storyteller, mime and teacher.
  • Kenny Tedford is president and CEO of Attitude Concepts Unlimited. Originally from Dallas, he just graduated “as a late bloomer” from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a degree in theater and is now pursuing his master’s degree at ETSU. Tedford, who loves telling personal tales of “living in a world of silence,” is also a motivational speaker, actor and comedian who wants to write books and plays.
  • David Claunch surrendered 21 years of seniority in the construction industry to go to graduate school to study storytelling. He is well-known in the guise of Dilly Dally, a motorcycle-riding clown.
  • Delanna Reed is a member of the storytelling faculty at ETSU. She hails from Dallas and loves telling folktales, legends, historical and inspirational tales, and ghost stories.

The evening includes a preview of “And Now in Hip: Comic Works of Lord Richard Buckley,” performed by TaleTeller Lethan Candlish.

For more information or special assistance for those with disabilities, contact David Claunch at (423) 439-7606 or storytel@etsu.edu.

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