Meet the Storytellers

Motoko

Award-winning storyteller Motoko enchants audiences of every age with her weaving of ancient lore, original tales, lyrical movement and traditional music. A native of Osaka, Japan, Motoko first came to the U. S. as an exchange student to the University of Massachusetts. She has trained with late master mime Tony Montanaro (1927-2002), and with master storytellers Eshu Bumpus and Elizabeth Ellis. Motoko has performed professionally since 1993. Her featured appearances include PBS' "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood", CarnegieKids in Miyazaki Concert sponsored by Carnegie Hall, and the 2007 National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Bil Lepp

Bil has been a regular at the West Virginia Liars Contest since 1990 and, having won five Biggest Liar titles, he tells tales for a living. He tells original tall-tales written by himself and his brother. Bil, who has been a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival and the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, has been telling tales for nearly a decade for anyone who will listen.

Consuelo Samarripa

As a second generation Texas native, born in the barrios of San Antonio, Consuelo Samarripa shares her stories of culture, history and ghosts. Her performances highlight her unique bilingual blend of storytelling in English and Spanish, "Consuelo Style." Consuelo believes that stories are a gift, un regalo, to be shared and cultivated with a passion. "One must have a feeling for it in the hands, in the heart," and she brings a zarape de cuentos for the many colors of our world cultures.

Tim Tingle

Tim Tingle gave his first performance at the National Museum of the American Indian on Saturday, June 23, 2007 at the outdoor amphitheater of the Smithsonian complex. An appreciative audience, including dozens of Oklahoma Choctaws, saw Tingle sing "Shilombish Holitopa Ma," play the native flute, and perform "Crossing Bok Chitto," "The Choctaw Way,"and "Turtle Grew Feathers," his latest children's book. Tingle is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a sought-after speaker and storyteller, and an award-winning author of Native American fiction and folklore. Choctaw Chief Gregory Pyle has requested a story by Tingle previous to his Annual State of the Nation Address at the Choctaw Labor Day Gathering--a celebration that attracts over thirty thousand people-- from 2002 to the present.

Kim Weitkamp

Kim Weitkamp has been telling stories for almost 19 years, 15 of them being dedicated to helping youth in crisis. A few years ago she took her love of humor and storytelling to the stage and has been warmly received! Best known for her original Pitscreek stories, Kim will charm the audience with her storytelling style that volleys back and forth between comedy and heart felt story weaving. As one reporter put it, "With complete fluidity she took us from heartwarming childhood stories into the outrageous world of the impossible. It was a hilarious take off and a wild ride. Kim weaves the threads of her individual stories into a single tapestry full of quirky characters, fantastic situations, and heartfelt wisdom - all the best that a storyteller can offer."

Youth Storytellers

Samantha DeWees Kiran Edwards Kaleb Herman
Ben Kelly Olivia Larson Lareesa Ryan