No fibbin’: Lepp sure to offer some tall tales at festival

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

“Bil Lepp is the Wonder Bra of storytelling. He takes something small and insignificant and pushes it into something really big and mighty interesting.”

That’s a quote from Oklahoma Storyteller Barbara McBride-Smith.

Now, what does that tell you about two of the storytellers that will take the stage of the Eighth Annual Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival this weekend in Pike County?

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Bil Lepp is an award-winning storyteller, author and recording artist. He’s also a big liar.

Lepp is a five-time winner of the West Virginia State Liars’ Contest. He’s won the event so often that he’s not even allowed to enter. But, he is invited to emcee the annual event.

Legendary Alabama storyteller the late Kathryn Tucker Windham said what is so amazing about Lepp’s wild stories is that he makes people believe them.

Lepp has been telling stories – and lies – for most of his life. Professionally, he’s been in the tale-telling business for about 15 years. He’s a regular teller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., and other storytelling festivals from coast to coast. This will be Lepp’s third appearance at the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival.

Dr. David Dye of Troy said that he can’t remember all the lies Lepp has told but he just knows that he has always left the theater laughing.

“Judy and I enjoyed Bil Lepp so much and found him so engaging that we bought a CD and played it for our grandchildren. They enjoyed it as much as we do. Bil Lepp is a wonderfully talented storyteller. We can’t wait to hear him and the other tellers, Donald Davis, Barbara McBride-Smith and Dolores Hydock,” Dye said.

Dye and his wife have attended the National Storytelling Festival and said the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival is every bit as good.

“We traveled all the way to Jonesborough, had to pay for festival tickets, lodging and food, and we have a great storytelling festival with top storytellers right here in our backyard,” Dye said. “It is a rare opportunity to have a festival like this in a relatively small county like ours.”

Dye said the Trojan Center Theater is an ideal location for storytelling.

“It’s an intimate theater. and there’s not a bad seat in the house,” he said. “If you are sitting on the back row, it’s just as if you are right on the stage with the storytellers. I encourage everyone to come and enjoy a great night of storytelling.”

Concert times for the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival at the Trojan Center Theater on Saturday are 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ($10 each) and 6:30 p.m. ($15). The Friday night concert is sold out. All concerts feature pre-show music 30 minutes prior to storytelling concerts and stories by all four tellers. Different stories are told at each concert.

Tickets are available at studio 116 on Main Street in downtown Brundidge and The Messenger in Troy or by calling 334-735-3125 or 334-670-6302 or 334-685-5524.