Last updated: August 26th, 2014 @ 22:08:49
Expect plenty of homespun humor and toe-tapping music at the 2013 Alabama Tale-Tellin’ Festival Oct. 11-12 as Donald Davis and Bobby Norfolk share the spotlight with The Dill Pickers.
The family event founded by the late Selma author Kathryn Tucker Windham headlines its 35th year with storytelling giants Davis and Norfolk, along with the ever-popular and multi-talented Dill Pickers, a vocal stringband and theatrical group based in Birmingham.
Davis, who declares, “I didn’t learn stories, I just absorbed them,” grew up in western North Carolina, an area rich with Welsh and Scottish folktales and scary mountain lore. He learned that through stories, he could “…safely dream any dream, hope any hope, go anywhere I pleased, fight any foe, win or lose, live or die…” For Davis, storytelling “is not what I do for a living…it is how I do all that I do while I am living.”
The retired Methodist minister is also a prolific author and teacher of storytelling workshops and courses. He has chaired the board of directors of the National Storytelling Association and told stories at the Smithsonian Institution, the World’s Fair and numerous festivals around the world. More information about Davis is at www.ddavisstoryteller.com.
A native of St. Louis, Bobby Norfolk has spent more than three decades perfecting the arts of storytelling, acting and teaching. The former National Park Service Ranger for the Gateway Arch is known for “high-energy performances, lively animation and special sound effects.”
Norfolk creates characters that come to life through stories and living history which often features the African-American experience, sometimes with music and singing included.
The storyteller is also a three-time Emmy award winner as host of CBS-TV’s “Gator Tales,” a Parents’ Choice honoree and recipient of the National Circle of Excellence Award for storytelling. Find more information about Norfolk at www.folktale.com.
The Dill Pickers, a group of men and women from the Birmingham area, play and sing a variety of music in an upbeat fashion that keeps the audience wanting more. They add a few comedy routines in the mix, and it’s entertainment that is fun for all.
Headed by Norton Dill, the group got its start in 1999 as performers in the off-Broadway production of Smoke on the Mountain. They have been playing, singing and entertaining together ever since. Check out their music at www.thedillpickers.com.
Audiences for last year’s festival “were double that of the year before, and we have room for even more,” said Ann Thomas, Tale-Tellin’ chairman. “Kathryn believed there wasn’t anything more important than families who laugh together, and that is what the Alabama Tale-Tellin’ Festival is all about…having a good time sharing stories, music and laughter.”
Sponsored by ArtsRevive, the festival opens at 5:30 each evening with the Swappin’ Ground and food court at Carneal ArtsRevive, 3 Church St. Come early, tell your stories and have supper on the terrace overlooking the scenic Alabama River.
Music and stories vary each night, so plan to attend both Friday and Saturday. Admission is $15 per night for adults or $25 for both nights and $10 for students 12 and under or $15 for both nights. Tickets can be purchased in advance at The Lily Pad, The Centre for Commerce, and The Selma/Dallas County Public Library. Once again, the festival coincides with Riverfront Market Day, an arts and crafts festival on Water Avenue, on Saturday, Oct. 12.
For more information, call 334-878-ARTS (2787), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.artsrevive.com, and look for updates on the ArtsRevive Facebook page. The ArtsRevive mailing address is P.O. Box 2548, Selma, AL USA 36702.
- Rack Card: PDF
Archived pages of past Tale Tellin’ events: