EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE THROUGH MAY 15
The Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival returns to the Historic Grove Theater in Oak Ridge with nationally acclaimed storytellers on June 2 and June 3, Lyn Ford,
Bil Lepp and Rev. Robert B. Jones. Well known to audiences throughout the country for their wit and wisdom, these three performers are guaranteed to make audiences laugh, cry and reminisce. The storytellers will perform different stories at each show both days. Two special workshops will be offered preceding the performances.
The Friday, June 2 performance will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 3 features a special family show at 10 a.m., and shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children for each show, except for the June 3 Family Show at 10 a.m. Tickets for that show are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For the Flatwater Tales website, click here.
Tickets are now on sale at Eventbrite or in person at The Ferrell Shop, 235 Jackson Square, Oak Ridge (cash or check only). Those interested in attending can take advantage of an early bird special and get a discount when they buy tickets for $25 per person for both the afternoon and evening shows on Saturday, June 3.
The festival has received significant corporate sponsorship for 2023. CNS Y-12 is the Presenting Sponsor for the entire Festival. Pinnacle Bank is underwriting the Friday night performance by Rev. Robert Jones, “American History Through Music.” Other corporate sponsors are Oak Ridge Associated Universities, OneBank, TNBank and Chuck’s Car Care Oak Ridge.
The Friday and Saturday evening shows include two specially themed programs. On Friday, June 2, Robert Jones will headline with a feature presentation, “American History Through Music.” On Saturday night, June 3, Bil Lepp will perform a special commissioned Oak Ridge-themed story, “I Guess Ol’ John Wasn’t Crazy After All: John Hendrix, the Prophet of Oak Ridge.”
Rev. Robert Jones, Sr. is a native of Detroit and an inspirational storyteller and musician. He celebrates history, humor and the power of American Roots music. Whether he’s telling stories about growing up in his native Detroit, sharing tales about old blues musicians or inspirational stories drawn from history or scripture, Jones loves telling stories that reach both the mind and the heart. Jones links his stories with original and traditional songs that celebrate the history, humor and power of American Roots music.
Lyn Ford is a fourth generation, nationally recognized, Affrilachian (of African American heritage and history) storyteller. She is also a teaching artist, author and creative narrative workshop presenter. She has recorded award-winning CDs and was the first Ohio storyteller to be nominated for a Governor’s Arts Award. Her “Home-Fried Tales” are folktale adaptations, spooky tales, and original stories rooted in her family’s multicultural storytelling traditions.
Bil Lepp, a five-time veteran of the Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival, is the star of the History Channel’s “Man vs. History.” An award-winning storyteller, author and recording artist, Bil’s humorous family-friendly tall tales and stories have earned him the appreciation of listeners of all ages from all walks of life. Though a five-time champion of the West Virginia Liar’s Contest, Lepp’s stories often contain morsels of truth which present universal themes in clever and witty ways. His 28 books and audio collections have won numerous awards.
On Thursday, June 1, Lyn Ford will lead a workshop,“Collecting Family Stories: Gathering and Creating Spoken and Written Narratives” from 12:30 to 3:30 PM. How-to’s, resources, and down-to-earth tips are offered in a fast-paced and joy-filled session.
On Friday, June2, Rev. Jones will lead a workshop for storytellers and musicians, “Celebrating Diversity: Using Music and Stories to Build Bridges” from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
Both workshops will be held at the University of Tennessee Arboretum auditorium, 901 S. Illinois Ave., Oak Ridge. Each workshop is $50 per person. Please register on Eventbrite for these workshops.
Oak Ridge Driving Tour
As a special, free feature of the festival, Oak Ridge City Historian Ray Smith will again offer a driving tour of Oak Ridge at 1 p.m. Friday, June 2, beginning and ending at the Grove Theater parking lot. Please register on Eventbrite for this free tour. The tour will include a visit to John Hendrix’s grave and stops at The Alexander Guest House lobby, the Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell, the Secret City Commemorative Walk, and the Scarboro Community Center. Driving portions of the tour will feature Jackson Square and the east portion of the Oak Ridge Historic District.
The Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival is led by volunteers from all three Oak Ridge Rotary Clubs.