Introducing the 2023 National Storytelling Festival Exchange Place Tellers

Included in your Festival ticket, this one-of-a-kind concert features storytellers from across the country. It’s a great opportunity to hear new talent! 

April Armstrong 

Award-winning storyteller April Armstrong weaves melodies and words into her multi-cultural folktales, including African-American and Latino stories. She has performed for the National Association of Black Storytellers’ (NABS) Conference, The National Storytelling Network Conference, the Beaver Tales Storytelling Festival, the Connecticut Storytelling Festival, Hudson River Clearwater, and for schools in Jamaica and Indonesia. Armstrong is the recipient of the National Storytellers Network’s 2020 J.J. Reneaux Emerging Artist and the 2015 Bronx BRIO awards for Storytelling, and her debut CD won a Parents Choice Silver Award.

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Rachelle Dart

Traditional storyteller, theatremaker, and teaching artist, Rachel Dart grew up on stories, where mythology was woven into the foundation of her home, folklore hung on the walls like vines, fairy tales danced through the air, and histories walked the halls. Dart trained in storytelling under Liz Weir, MBE, and together they received the JJ Reneaux Mentorship Award from the National Storytelling Network. An Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors, Dart is inspired by characters who endure hardship, are magical helpers, explore gritty truths, and display kindness. Rachelle teaches theatre students at Shea Middle School. 

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Steve Daut

Steve Daut has been performing in various venues for over 35 years. Whether telling folk tales, tall tales, personal stories, or Mark Twain adaptations, Steve brings quirky characters to the stage, often finding wisdom in the most unlikely places. Onstage credits include magic, sketch and stand-up comedy, improvisation, storytelling, and MC work, but he ultimately found a true home with storytelling, which has become his focus for the last 8 years. Daut is a graduate of the Second City and the Purple Rose Theatre Actor-Director Lab.  His book of short story adaptations, Telling Twain, received Honors from the 2020 Storytelling World Awards.

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Tim Ereneta

Storyteller Tim Ereneta connects ancient stories to modern-day life, as he shares classic and forgotten fairy tales with audiences of all ages—but especially adults.  Trained as a playwright and actor, Ereneta brings more than 25 years of stage experience to his performances. He has shared his work from Washington, DC, to Chennai, India, including the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, the Capital Fringe Festival, the Stitching Star Storytelling Festival, the National Storytelling Conference, and in theaters, art museums, camps, churches, nightclubs, and virtual audiences.

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Cory Howard

Storyteller, performer, and producer, Cory Howard has hosted his award-winning, multi-media, immersive storytelling show ‘The Campfireball’ in schools, organizations, and backyards all over the country. The Campfireball show is crafted in the moment around the lives and stories of the audience, and each event is completely unique to whoever happens to be sharing the space together. The result is an experience unlike any entertainment option out there, the show with the twist ending where — surprise! — the audience was actually a community all along.

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Loren Niemi

Loren Niemi has spent 45 years as a storyteller – creating, collecting, performing, and producing storytelling experiences in urban and rural settings. Whether at Fringe Festivals, poetry and story slams, working in “Post-Troubles” Northern Ireland, or performing on the Great Wall of China, Loren lives the stories he tells. He is the founder and CSO (Chief Storytelling Officer) of The American School of Storytelling and the author of six books, including an award-winning collection of ghost stories and three books on crafting stories. In 2016 he received the National Storytelling Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

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