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Art of the Story: 11th Annual Storytelling Festival

Save the Date!  The 12th Annual Storytelling Festival will be April 2-9, 2016.

More information will be available in February 2016.

A WCCLS Event... Art of the Story: a Storytelling Festival

Information about 2016 Storytelling Festival will be available in February 2016.

In 2015, Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) hosted its 11th Annual Storytelling Festival — Art of the Story April 11-18. The week-long storytelling extravaganza featured sixteen storytelling performances throughout Washington County.

Performers in the 2015 festival included both local and national storytellers - Judith Black, Sam Payne, Kuniko Yamamoto, Chetter Galloway, and performers from Portland's Brody Theater company.

Admission was always free and all festival performances were designed for the enjoyment of adults. In addition, the performance schedule indicated specific programs that also welcomed children ages 6 and up.

On the evening of April 18, the Sherwood Public Library hosted the final storytelling finale at the new Sherwood Center for the Arts, featuring performances by all four storytellers and the Brody Theater ensemble. A reception preceded the concert offering a no-host bar with complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

See the schedule of events

Please call 503-846-3222 no less than 3 business days prior to an event to schedule assistive listening devices or sign language interpreters.

Festival Schedule

Unless otherwise noted, programs are 1 hour long.

Jump to events on:
Saturday, April 11 · Sunday April 12 · Monday, April 13 · Tuesday, April 14 · Wednesday, April 15 · Thursday, April 16 · Friday, April 17 · Saturday, April 18

Saturday, April 11

Beaverton City Library: 7 - 8:30pm
12375 SW Fifth St, Beaverton, OR 97005

Story Slam Contest: Festival Kick-off (Adult program)

This Story Slam Contest is a competition within a set time limit, placing emphasis on a storytellers content and performance. This contest features Amy Theberge, Lisa Miller, Jill Michaelree, and Val Mallinson. Each story must be an original work. First person, real life adventures are expected. Fiction, folktale/myths are not allowed. The four tellers each have 10 minutes to tell their story from memory.
This Slam is judged by the audience! The winner receives a cash prize and the opportunity to tell a story at the Festival Finale April 18 at the Sherwood Center for the Arts.

Sunday, April 12

Tualatin Public Library: 2pm
at Tualatin Heritage Center, 8700 SW Sweek Dr, Tualatin, OR 97062

A Tale of a Few Tricksters: Chetter Galloway (Adults & Children ages 6+)
One sneaky, one clever, one greedy, one wise, these characters are like birds of a feather whose stories flock together.

Monday, April 13

West Slope Community Library: 6:30pm
at Raleigh Park Elementary School 3670 SW 78th Ave, Portland 97225

One Upon a Story: Brody Theater (Adults & Children ages 6+)
A series of improvised vignettes focused on who, what, where, and why.

Tuesday, April 14

Walters Cultural Arts Center: 7pm
527 East Main Street, Hillsboro 97123

From the Top!: Brody Theater (Adult program)
A collection of improvised scene work focused on beginnings, middles, and ends.

Wednesday, April 15

Banks Public Library: 7pm
111 Market St, Banks, OR 97106

Japanese Folk Tales and Myth with Mask: Kuniko Yamamoto (Adults & Children ages 6+)
Several short stories performed with audience interaction and participation. The stories portray the culture and moral perspectives of Japan. The audience is encouraged to compare Japanese and American tales, arts, and other cultural elements.

Forest Grove City Library: 7pm
2114 Pacific Ave, Forest Grove, OR 97116

Esau, My Son: Judith Black (Adult program)
In a family of Jacobs, the intellectual inheritors of the tribe and tradition, what happens when you birth an Esau, a hairy lover of meat and hunting? This very funny and poignant tale for parents, educators, and teens struggling to make meaning of their lives, is about the barbed wire of parenting, and how our children, if we listen and learn, eventually teach us who they are and how to nurture them. It includes eight Broadway parodies, and appeals to the musical lover in all of us.

Hillsboro Main Library: 7pm
2850 NE Brookwood Pkwy, Hillsboro, OR 97124

A Soldier's Tale: How the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B Survived the War: Sam Payne (Adult program)
Stories about getting out alive in spite of the odds.

Thursday, April 16

Garden Home Community Library: 7pm
7475 SW Oleson Rd, Portland, OR 97223

Sweet, Sour, and Sassy: Stories of Modern Womanhood: Judith Black (Adult program)
What happens when the cars will no longer stop for you to cross the street? You wait for a cute 19-year-old before the traffic parts. From stories contemplating this status change to the deep stories of our eating disorders and fears in the tale HUNGRY, to a visit with a Senior Citizen super heroine who is fighting the pharmaceutical industry and explaining senior sex, you will leave this evening having your heart, mind, and funny bone deeply touched.

Tualatin Public Library: 7pm
18878 SW Martinazzi Ave, Tualatin, OR 97062

Six Steps to Become a Wise Man: Kuniko Yamamoto (Adult program & ages 6+)
A Japanese boy wanted to become a wise man someday, but he did not want to wait many years like his mother told him. He found a way: the wise man in the village told him the six steps to become a wise man.

Friday, April 17

Hillsboro Library - Shute Park Branch: 2:30pm
775 SE 10th Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97123

Blooming: Folk, Fairy, and Original Tales to Grow On: Judith Black (Adults & children ages 6+)
This program offers stories from all sources, but each one offers a model for growth and success.

North Plains Public Library: 7pm
at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, 12930 NW Old Pumpkin Ridge Road, North Plains, OR 97133

How My Elementary School Custodian Helped Me Survive Camelot: Sam Payne (Adult program)
Stories about first kisses, stage jitters, and learning to sing.

Cedar Mill Community Library: 7pm
12505 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR 97229

Origami Tale: Kuniko Yamamoto (Adults & children ages 6+)
Welcome to the infinite world of Origami! In Japanese, ori- which means to fold, and -gami means paper. Using origami, music and audience participation, Yamamoto provides a magical entry into Japanese culture. In her new show Origami Tales, mythological character masks and puppets, amazing flowers and dragons - all made from origami - set the stage while the teller shares heartfelt stories.

Saturday, April 18

Oregon College of Art & Craft - Centrum Studio (see campus map - PDF): 11am - 1pm
8245 SW Barnes Rd, Portland, OR 97225

The Techniques of Telling: Judith Black (For adults & ages 10+)
The wonderful thing about storytelling is that it is a folk art rather than a fine art. Far from having to balance on your toes or hit high C, all one has to do is figure out how they tell best. During this workshop we will play with and stretch all of your potential assets for making a story you love come alive for listeners. From dramatic use of your voice, an expressive body, an imagination that creates images in thin air, to dancing fingers, participants will play with techniques. Ultimately, you will emerge with a broader palette of expressive tools to choose from in your storytelling.

Aloha Community Library: 1pm
17455 SW Farmington Rd. Suite 25b Aloha, OR, 97007

Juba This & Juba That: Chetter Galloway (Adults & children ages 6+)
A diverse collection of fun-filled stories sprinkled with a little bit of African and African American seasoning!

Story Swap with Portland Storytellers' Guild

(Adults & children ages 10+)

Oregon College of Art & Craft - Centrum Studio (see campus map - PDF): 1pm
8245 SW Barnes Rd, Portland, OR 97225

An opportunity for members of the public to tell a 5-minute story. Designed for both beginners to seasoned tellers interested in testing out new material. Meet and mingle with members of the local storytellers’ guild.

Finale Concert

Sherwood Public Library: 6:30 – 9:30pm
at Sherwood Center for the Arts, 22832 SW Washington St., Sherwood, OR 97140

6:30-7:00pm: Reception - No host bar & complimentary hors d'oeuvres

7:00-9:30pm: Finale Concert (Adult program)


  • Story Slam: Winner of the Festival kick-off story slam tells.
  • Step After Step: Brody Theater. A quickly moving, wholly improvised single story narrative based on audience suggestions.
  • The Story of Musa: Chetter Galloway. As he approaches his 18th season, Musa faces a challenge to earn his rite of passage.
  • Move These Little Ones: Sam Payne. Stories about dancing from a guy with two left feet.
  • Fish Out Of Water: Kuniko Yamamoto. Kuniko's stories of coming to the United States from her native country of Japan.
  • Goodbye Mom: Judith Black. Some relationships take a lifetime to understand.

Map of the new Sherwood Center for the Arts - at SW Pine St & SW Columbia St in Sherwood