Arts and Entertainment Editor
The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival returns to Troy for its ninth year, featuring storytellers Barbara McBride-Smith, Donald Davis, Tim Lowry and Josh Goforth.
Troy University will host a free performance for students, faculty, staff and local schools with McBride-Smith.
The free performance at Troy University will be on Friday, Jan. 30, at 11:05 a.m. in Claudia Crosby Theater.
McBride-Smith has been across the country telling her stories, but she has also been a librarian and seminary professor.
She often performs at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and she’s also a member of the National Storytelling Circle of Excellence. McBride-Smith has been the recipient for the John Henry Faulk Award for Outstanding Contributions to Storytelling.
McBride-Smith is decorated and educated, and her storytelling “transports you from the ancient world of the Greek gods and goddesses to the post-modern experiences of her baby boomer generation,” her website said.
Davis, another one of the storytellers, who will be at the festival and not the free performance, hails from Waynesville, North Carolina.
He has told stories at the Smithsonian Institution, the World’s Fair, and across the world.
“I didn’t learn stories. I just absorbed them,” he said. He’s lived his whole life around storytellers, so it was natural that he continued on the legacy.
Lowry, from Summerville, South Carolina, has been telling stories for the past 15 years. He tells folk tales and stories from his personal life in his performances.
Goforth is a musician, and has been playing instruments since he was 4, starting with the piano. Next, he learned from his great-uncle how to play guitar.
And from that point on, he learned 10 more instruments. He’s most famous for his fiddling skills, however.
“Storytelling is a dying art, and for these people to pass it on is a wonderful opportunity,” said Maryjo Cochran, one of the organizers for the event on Troy University’s campus.
Cochran invites all history, English, theater and communication students to attend the performance. She also advises those who are going to attend to sit as closely to the performers as possible “to have the best experience with the performer.”
The performance featuring all of the performers will be on Saturday, Jan. 31, in the Trojan Center Theater at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and those performances will cost $10.
There will be another performance at 6:30 p.m., and that will cost $15. Tickets for all of the performances on Jan. 31 can be purchased for $30.