"To be a person is to have a story to tell." - Isak Dinesen
Meet some of our featured national tellers:
Donald Davis was born in a southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories. Listening to folk tales, fairy tales, true stories and legends of mountain lore as a youngster in North Carolina, Davis absorbed the culture and discovered his life's passion. Weaving stories that capture the audiences' imagination and take them on creative journeys, he shares personal stories while encouraging listeners to draw on their own experiences. The winner of dozens of storytelling awards, including the National Storytelling Network's Lifetime Achievement Award, Davis is considered "among the most popular figures on today's storytelling circuit," according to the Los Angeles Times. A featured teller at the Smithsonian Institution, the World's Fair and festivals and concerts throughout the world, Davis is a prolific author, master teacher, recording artist and a guest host on National Public Radio.
Diane Ferlatte has wowed audiences across the globe, performing at festivals, theaters, conferences, universities and churches. Her affinity for the craft stems from spending her early childhood years on her grandparent's porch in Lousiana, swapping stories, lies and tales with family and neighbors. A mother of two, Ferlatte began telling stories to entice her second child to read rather than watch television. Known for dynamic characterization with animation, expression and interaction, the New Orleans native believes the tradition of storytelling must be nurtured. A Grammy nominee and international award winner, Ferlatte was named to the National Storytelling Network's Circle of Excellence Award for her commitment to the art of storytelling.
David Novak is an award-winning storyteller who uses his background in theater to engage and entertain audiences. Described as "the Brothers Grimm and Carl Jung meets Monty Python," Novak creates experiences to promote imagination, engage emotion and discover common ground with his listeners. Through his highly interactive performances, he contrasts simplicity with complexity, the familiar with the surprising and the ordinary with the fabulous. From the simple power of the spoken word to the circus hijinks of a veteran entertainer, this North Carolina performer offers unique stories that feature universal themes of character, courage, caring and wonder. A teacher, author, recording artist and professional actor, Novak was honored with the National Storytelling Network's Circle of Excellence Award.
Dovie Thomason learned Indian stories from her Kiowa Apache and Lakota relatives, especially her grandmother and father, and has dedicated her life to sharing her Native American culture through storytelling. Her wise, boisterous tales come alive in listeners' imaginations, and her performances reveal sly humor and astonishing vocal transformation. Using elegance, wit and passion, she inspires delight in the spoken word and teaches respect for values passed on through generations. The Pennsylvania resident is an award-winning storyteller and has performed throughout the world, including Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the Smithsonian Institution and the Kennedy Center. She also is a published author, recording artist and narrator of children's books, and the National Storytelling Network named her to their Circle of Excellence.