Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Hear some great stories, or learn to tell them, this weekend

10/14/2019 12:43PM ● By J. Chambless

Some of the nation’s best storytellers will be featured in the inaugural Yorklyn Storytelling Festival.

Everybody loves a good story. The first edition of the Yorklyn Storytelling Festival will feature a lineup of nine nationally known storytellers in the spoken-word equivalent of a major music or arts festival. The event will take place from Oct. 18 to 20 at the Center for the Creative Arts in Yorklyn, Del.

Headlining the festival are National Storytelling Network Circle of Excellence inductee Andy Offutt Irwin of Covington, Ga., seven-time Storytelling World Award-winner Kim Weitkamp, and Delaware Division of the Arts Established Professional Fellow TAHIRA.

The event starts on Friday night with four of the tellers, then hits its stride on Saturday with seven storytelling workshops, seven performances for children, eight Saturday afternoon featured storytelling performances, an open microphone contest for audience members, a StoryCorps open microphone contest featuring Yorklyn, and a Saturday night finale featuring four more acclaimed storytellers. The event sends everyone home on Sunday after a spiritual session of “Sacred Tales.”

For more information or to order tickets, visit

These artists and performers are coming to Yorklyn from all over the country:

Andy Offutt Irwin – Covington, Ga.

The Rev. Robert Jones – Detroit, Mich.

Kim Weitkamp – Mount Vernon, Ohio

TAHIRA – Claymont, Del.

The Twin Poets – Wilmington, Del.

Michael Reno Harrell – Morganton, N.C.

Antonio Rocha – Gray, Maine

Pippa White – Lincoln, Neb.

Bruce Fite – Nottingham, Pa.


The Center for the Creative Arts is at 410 Upper Snuff Mill Row, Yorklyn, Del. Ticket prices range from $10 to $95, with prices for individuals, students and families. There are weekend passes covering Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as single-day tickets. Sunday performances are free for all.

The event hours are Friday, Oct. 18 from 7 to 10:15 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The festival offers seven workshops on Saturday morning, spotlighting a range of storytelling skills that can enhance a participant’s storytelling skills, classroom delivery, business presentation, or interpersonal communication. Each workshop is free with a paid festival ticket. Workshop 1: “How We Say It” Oct. 19, 9 to 10 a.m.

A workshop on delivery using basic theater techniques to improve storytelling skills (emphasis, phrasing, dynamics, etc.). Leader: Pippa White. 

Workshop 2: “Write Now” Oct. 19, 9 to 10 a.m.

An introduction to the craft of journaling, spoken-word poetry, and the transformative power of the arts to fuel personal and social change. Leader: The Twin Poets .

Workshop 3: “Ignition Point for Non-Profits” Oct. 19, 10 to 11 a.m.

Participants will learn to find their organization’s “Ignition Point,” and then learn how to apply it. The secret is storytelling. Leader: Kim Weitkamp.

Workshop 4: “Pin the Tail On the Narrative” Oct. 19, 10 to 11 a.m.

An exploration of personal story creation in which participants will explore themselves as characters. Leader: Andy Offutt Irwin.

Workshop 5: “Incorporating Music into Storytelling” Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to noon

Participants will how to use music to create a mood, act as a sound effect, or even tell the story itself. Leader: The Rev. Robert Jones.

Workshop 6: “Using Humor in Storytelling” Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to noon

This workshop explores the elements of humor and how to go about finding those elements and using them in story. Leader: Michael Reno Harrell.

Workshop 7: “Beyond the Voice” Oct. 19, 9 a.m. to noon

This workshop focuses on the use of body language and mime techniques to make the invisible visible, creating atmosphere and seamless transitions. Leader: Antonio Rocha.


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline