Storytelling Festival this weekend

Published 6:38 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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Back many light years ago, a “story” was something that was told that was not the truth.

Children would get a switchin’ by mama with the fly swatter or by papa with his leather belt if they told a “story.”

Stories will be told on Friday night at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge and all day Saturday at the Trojan Center Theater. And, there will only laughter and a tug at the heart from the stories told.

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WTBF’s Doc Kirby grew up listening to stories and, perhaps, telling a few But, he will say that there is no form of entertainment that equals the well told story.

This weekend, the Doc will be in the theaters primed and ready to enjoy his favorite form of entertainment by a lineup of his favorite storytellers.

“Donald Davis is rightly considered the Dean of Storytellers,” Kirby said. “I have been a fan of his for about 30 years, having first heard his incredible stories when reviewing his cassettes from August House Publishers in the early 1990s.

“Although my childhood was much different from his, and not nearly as colorful as his neighbors were, when Donald Davis tells a story it somehow seems as though I am right there as one of his boon companions, or in his kindergarten class in the basement, or remembering the time he played circus acrobat with his little brother on the family furniture.”

Kirby asked, wouldn’t most every kid have liked to have lived in that sweet little town with its delightful cast of characters, and known Donald Davis’ mother and father, and the fountains of wisdom flowing from them?

“Another famous storyteller, Mark Twain, said that he could live for a whole month on a good compliment. I could do the same on one good Donald Davis story.”

“On the other hand, Bil Lepp lives in a world that I don’t think, even he, really inhabits,” Kirby said, laughing. “But that’s normal, because he is, after all, a five-time champion of the West Virginia Liar’s Contest. His stories are as hilarious as Donald Davis’ are sweetly hilarious. They might be the Ying and Yang of ‘tellers: Davis tells the truth with a twist, Bill tells a lie with a sprig of truth. Both will keep you in stitches.”

Kirby said Barbara McBride-Smith brings alive the bad boys of the Bible and their uppity women, which she’s been doing since she was six.

“The award-winning librarian, seminary teacher, writer and ‘teller reflects on rock n roll, growing up Boomer, and mammograms, all in that sweet Waco drawl. She might be a Texan, but she’s a real peach,” Kirby said

Then, there’s Tim Lowry who feels like a comfortable pair of jeans.

“His stories ring true and joyful” Kirby said. He has been called “The Sweet Tea Commentator”, who tells old folk tales, true American history stories, and tales to warm your heart.

These wonderful people have been coming to the Pike Piddlers Storytellers Festival for years, and Donald Davis since its inception in 2007.

“It’s lovely to welcome them back. I can’t wait to see them again, the Doc said, storytelling is good for what ails you.’

The Friday night storytelling concert at the We Piddle Around Theater is sold out. Tickets will be available at the door at all three storytelling concerts at the Trojan Center Theater on the campus of Troy University. Time 10 a.m. and 2 and 6:30 p.m.

Sponsored in part by the Alabama State Council on the Arts with support from the Natioal Endomnet for the Arts.