Thanks to our Major Corporate Sponsors
FLATWATER TALES TICKETS NOW ON SALE!!
The Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival features three nationally acclaimed storytellers for the June 2023 performances: Lyn Ford, Bil Lepp and Rev. Robert B. Jones.
Known for their wit and wisdom, all three will perform different stories at every show. Our 6th annual event returns live to the Historic Grove Theater in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on Friday, June 2 and Saturday June 3, 2023. Performances are at 7 PM June 2 and at 10 AM, 2 PM and 7 PM on Saturday, June 3.
Robert Jones and Lyn Ford kick off the festival with special daytime workshops on June 1 and 2.
Two Special Events!!
Our Friday and Saturday evening shows each include a special event. On Friday, June 2, Robert Jones will headline with a feature presentation, “American History Through Music.” And on Saturday night, June 3, Bil Lepp will perform an Oak Ridge-themed story, “I Guess Ol’ John Wasn’t Crazy After All: John Hendrix, the Prophet of Oak Ridge.” Both evening shows are from 7 – 9 PM including stories from all tellers
Saturday, June 3, also includes a morning family show, 10 AM – 12 Noon, and an afternoon show, 2 – 4 PM, when every teller will perform different stories at every show.
Two Special Workshops!!
Thursday, June 1, Lyn Ford will lead a 3 hour workshop, “COLLECTING FAMILY STORIES: Gathering and Creating Spoken and Written Narratives for Your Personal Story Box” from 12:30 to 3:30 at the UT Arboretum auditorium in Oak Ridge.
Personal and family stories and folklore are valuable treasures beyond the family tree. This workshop is not a genealogy session! We’ll nurture memories and find ways to gather and regift the stories that even the littlest family members tell. We’ll discover or rediscover gems that increase the richness of your personal narratives. Whether you want to tell or write or encourage or create personal stories, or simply play with remembrances and creative ideas, this is a session for story-sharing fun. How-tos, resources, and down-to-earth tips are offered in a fast-paced and joy-filled session.
On Friday, June 2, Robert Jones will lead a 3 hour workshop,“Celebrating Diversity: Using Music and Stories to Build Bridges” from 9:30 to 12:30 at the UT Arboretum auditorium in Oak Ridge.
Musician and storyteller Robert Jones has opened for BB King, Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal. He presents stories and songs at the National Storytelling Festival and around the country. Every community, family and person has a story worth telling, but how do we learn to fashion and present a story?
Workshop participants will use stories and/or songs to help communicate across artistic platforms and cultures. This workshop will explore techniques in storytelling context, framework, and structure.
You can learn about the effective use of music and sound effects to enhance your stories. He discusses keeping stories concise and identifying themes that are universal and relevant to both the teller and the listener, building bridges to create common ground.
You don’t have to be musician to enjoy this workshop, but if you are, bring your instrument and your imagination!
Free Driving Tour of Oak Ridge Manhattan Project
This year’s history tour by city historian, Ray Smith, will include a visit to John Hendrix’s grave since Bil Lepp will be telling the John Hendrix story Saturday evening. The tour will also include stops at The Alexander Guest House lobby, the Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell, the Secret City Commemorative Walk, and the Scarboro Community Center. Driving portions of the tour will feature Jackson Square and the east portion of the Oak Ridge Historic District.
We request that you “buy” the free ticket for the tour online like your show or workshop tickets. Your email and phone # you use to get the ticket will allow us to communicate about any important changes affecting the tour.
The tour will begin and end at the Grove Theater parking lot and starts at 1:00 PM on Friday, June 2, 2023.
Several generous donations enable us to reduce all storytelling ticket prices for 2023. We are also providing tickets for children at each show but request that children at the evening shows be 10+ years old due to the length of the show into the night.
Tickets are now on sale with our red Buy Tickets! button on the Menu, at Eventbrite, or in person at the Ferrell Shop in Oak Ridge (cash or check only please). These tickets make great gifts for family and friends of all ages. Shop now!
Rev. Robert Jones, Sr. is a native of Detroit and an inspirational storyteller and musician. He celebrates history, humor and the power of American Roots music. Whether he’s telling stories about growing up in his native Detroit, sharing tales about old blues musicians or inspirational stories drawn from history or scripture, Robert loves telling stories that reach both the mind and the heart.
He shares his deep love for traditional American and African American traditional music in live performances that interweave timeless stories with songs. For more than 30 years Robert has entertained and educated audiences of all ages at festivals, schools, colleges, libraries, union halls, prisons, churches and civil rights organizations. At the heart of his message is the belief that cultural diversity tells a story that should be celebrated, not just tolerated. He makes his home in Detroit and performs throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. An award-winning multi-instrumentalist, he is accomplished at guitar, harmonica, mandolin, banjo and fiddle and has recorded many albums of original and traditional songs.
Lyn Ford, a “Teller of Home-Fried Tales,” is a fourth generation, nationally recognized, Affrilachian* storyteller. Lyn is also a teaching artist, author and creative narrative workshop presenter. She was the first storyteller in the state of Ohio to be nominated for a Governor’s Award for the Arts. Lyn is a two-time recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s ORACLE award, receiving both its Leadership and Service and Circle of Excellence awards. In addition to being a published writer, she is a recording artist with award-winning CDs. Her “Home-Fried Tales” are folktale adaptations, spooky tales, and original stories rooted in Lyn’s family’s multicultural storytelling traditions.
*Afrilachian or Affrilachian: of African American heritage and history from the region called Appalachia.
Bil Lepp, a five-time veteran of the Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival, is the star of the History Channel’s “Man vs. History.” An award-winning storyteller, author and recording artist, Bil’s humorous family-friendly tall tales and stories have earned him the appreciation of listeners of all ages from all walks of life. Though a five-time champion of the West Virginia Liar’s Contest, Lepp’s stories often contain morsels of truth which present universal themes in clever and witty ways. His 28 books and audio collections have won numerous awards.