Join us for Epworth By The Sea’s 8th annual St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival
February 17-19, 2023: Relive past times and celebrate the best of humanity in the joy-filled space of story. You will laugh, you will cry and you will discover how very alive you can feel!
Charlotte Blake Alston
Charlotte is a master storyteller, narrator, librettist, instrumentalist and singer who performs in venues throughout North America and abroad. She breathes life into traditional and contemporary stories from African and African American oral and cultural traditions. Her solo performances are often enhanced with traditional instruments such as djembe, mbira, shekere or the 21-stringed kora. In 1999, Charlotte began studying the kora and the West African history-telling traditions of Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. Her teacher was the highly respected Senegalese griot (jali), the late Djimo Kouyate. She has recently resumed her studies with Malian Virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko.
She brings her stories and songs to national and regional festivals, schools, universities, museums, libraries and performing arts centers throughout the United States and Canada, as well as local and national radio and television.
Donald’s long career as a storyteller and his promotion of the cultural importance of storytelling through seminars and master classes has led him to be dubbed the “dean of storytelling”. Donald Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories.
During his twenty-five year career as a United Methodist Minister, Davis began to use stories more and more. He was also asked to begin performing at festivals and in other settings until he retired from the church to tell stories full time.
The author of eighteen books and more than forty original recordings, Davis is the recipient of both the Circle of Excellence and the Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Storytelling Network.
The wise, boisterous teaching tales of her Lakota and Plains Apache relatives come alive in listeners’ imaginations as Dovie Thomason shares her culture with understanding, sly humor and astonishing vocal transformations. Told with elegance, wit and passion, her stories inspire delight in the spoken word and teach respect for values passed on through generations.
Andy Offutt Irwin
One of the most sought after performing storytellers in the United States, we are glad to have Andy back as one of our amazing storytellers. With a silly putty voice, hilarious heart-filled stories, and amazing mouth noises (arguably, the greatest whistler in the world) one-person-showman, Andy Offutt Irwin, is equal parts mischievous schoolboy and the Marx Brothers, peppered with a touch of the Southern balladeer. Andy is especially known for relating the adventures of his eighty-five-year-old-widowed-newly-minted-physician-aunt, Marguerite Van Camp, a woman who avoids curmudgeonship by keeping her finger on the pulse of the changing world around her as she seeks to grow – even at her advanced age – in the New South. Marguerite steps lively through this existence, loving as many people as she can.
Bil Lepp, Emcee
Bil is an award-winning storyteller, author, and recording artist. He’s the host of the History Channel’s Man Vs History series, the occasional host of NPR’s internationally syndicated Mountain Stage, and a contributing columnist to the West Virginia Gazette-Mail. Bil’s humorous, family friendly tall-tales and stories have earned the appreciation of listeners of all ages and from all walks of life.