When students think of storytelling, they think about being in kindergarten again sitting in a circle with classmates while a teacher reads to them out loud. But the Communication Department at West Texas A&M University thinks of it as more than that. Traveling Through Tales is the name of the theme for this year’s Storytelling Festival. The Storytelling Festival is an event that gives students the opportunity to work with a nationally known storyteller. The event will be open to the public and people of all ages.
“There are some misconceptions of storytelling,” Dr. Trudy Hanson, Department Head of Communication, said. “If you look at the art of storytelling, its rebirth is in the United States and has much to offer.”
The event will also offer a workshop that will be run by the guest storyteller, Laura Simms, who will be attending the event.
Simms is a well-known storyteller and is known for performing workshops and being a keynote speaker for schools and other organizations around the world. She will be hosting a workshop titled Transformations for the festival, which will allow participants to interweave their own personal stories into her telling of a traditional tale.
Dr. Hanson’s graduate storytelling seminar class will be in charge of this event from performing the kids concerts to making sure everything back stage is going as planned.
“I’m a writer and I enjoy hearing stories,” Jes Roskens, senior Mass Communication major, said. “Storytelling is more important than people think because no matter what you do you are always telling a story.”
Roskens said he is into the creative side of storytelling, from making advertisements to making videos, so that people can always tell a story no matter how they do it.
Aside from the workshop for WT students and other participants to attend, there is also going to be a show for kids and others who would like to attend. Graduate students of the storytelling seminar run this show.
“We are all individually performing some type of story,” Izaak Chavez, graduate Communication Studies major, said. “I will be telling a scary story using my guitar.”
Chavez used a scary story from a book and was able to incorporate his guitar with the story he is telling for the kids concert. When Chavez was an undergraduate, he was in the storytelling puppetry class and decided to take a graduate level story level class.
The event will be held on May 2 at 10 a.m. in the Branding Iron Theatre of the Fine Arts Complex.