Troy University will be hosting the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival this weekend. Each year it occurs the last weekend in January. This year is no exception with its free performance on Friday and three other performances on Saturday, all located in the Trojan Center Theatre. The Saturday performances are at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
The Pike Piddlers are a group of storytellers that make it their mission to be able to create magic with the spoken word. The Brundidge Historical Society and the Alabama State Council of Arts sponsor them.
This year’s group of storytellers includes Sheila Kay Adams, Donald Davis, Carmen Deedy, Elizabeth Ellis, Michael Reo Harrell, Andy Offutt Irwin, Kevin Kling, Bil Lepp, Barbara McBride-Smith, Kathryn Tucker Windham, Suzi “Mama” Whaples, B.J. Abraham, Aleta Davis, Brent Holmes and Shelia Jackson.
Donald Davis, Barbara McBride Smith, Dolores Hydock and Bil Lepp happen to be four of the top storytellers in the country. This brings a piece of the National Storytelling Festival that occurs in Jonesborough, Tenn. to Troy.
Lepp, who has previously been at the festival twice, is the headline storyteller.
Lepp is the 5-time champion of the West Virginia Biggest Liars Contest, as well as renowned humurous storyteller.
Davis, also known as “The Donald” in the storytelling community, is lauded by The New York Times as a master storyteller.
According to the Times, Davis’ stories often “leave listeners limp with laughter at the same time they struggle with a lump in their throat.”
McBride has been described as an energetic speaker, reminiscent of a fire-and-brimstone preacher.
Hydrock is new to the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival, but she has previously performed at the We Piddle Around Theater.
The Birmingham News described Hydrock as, “smart but not cynical, heartwarming yet never corny.
The audience is encouraged to arrive early. Before the show, traditional music will be played including the genres of Southern Gospel, bluegrass and country.
The Pike Piddlers will also perform Friday night at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge with supper provided.
Prices for the Saturday performances are $30 for a daylong pass, $10 for a 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. performance and $15 for the 6:30 p.m. performance. Friday’s performance is at 11 a.m. For more information about tickets and performances call (334) 735-3125, (334) 735-3675 or (334) 670-6302.