Claflin Shares Wit, Warmth, and Original Mother Moose Tales

Claflin Shares Wit, Warmth, and Original Mother Moose Tales

Willy Claflin is a master at telling stories, and his stuffed sidekick, Maynard Moose, is quite unique. As the only authentic Native American Moose currently on the festival circuit, Maynard is the last known teller of ancient Mother Moose Tales.

A favorite duo at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, Willy and Maynard have been traveling and working together since 1977. They turn familiar classics upside down and keep their audiences wondering where they’re headed as they attempt to catch a breath between laughs.

As you spend time with Willy and Maynard, you’ll discover stories you’ve never heard before (although the titles might sound a bit familiar). In The Wolf Who Cried “Sheep!, the wolf tricks his friends by continuing to fool them until they stop believing his cries and coming to his aid.

Truck Crash Christmas, a different kind of Christmas story, is the tale of a goat afflicted with Random Hostility Syndrome that drives his truck through a family’s farmhouse on Christmas morning.

In The Bully Goat Grim, competing troll heads Bertha, Gladys, and Louise do their best to knock each other out. Click on the video below for a glimpse into this hilarious story.

Willy’s original stories introduce ideas we’re not likely to have thought of—like a national sugar-eating contest—but they always end with a moral such as, “If you talk with your mouth full, the cheese could fall right out of your mouth and somebody else might get it!”

Claflin, a favorite at festivals throughout the country, has been described as a one-man festival who covers the full spectrum of spoken word entertainment. He is an accomplished guitarist and narrative ballad specialist, and his original, traditional, historical, personal, and comedic stories delight audiences of all ages. His latest one-man show is the story of his great-great aunt—the notorious and mesmerizing Victoria Claflin Woodhull. She was the first female stockbroker, as well as the first woman to make (and lose) a bid for President on the free-love ticket.

Entertaining audiences with fractured fairy tales and nonsense comes naturally for Willy and Maynard and they’ve earned numerous awards including the Storytelling World Award, NAPPA Award, Mom’s Choice Award, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Recording Award—to name just a few.

Click below to get your ticket and join us as we experience Willy and Maynard at the 2022 Timpanogos Storytelling Festival next week (September 8-10) at Ashton Gardens in Lehi, Utah.

The World Needs Storytelling

The World Needs Storytelling

Tim Lowry says no other storytelling festival does a festival quite like the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. “They put the ‘fest’ in ‘festival,’” Lowry said.

This year will be Tim’s third time as a featured teller at the Festival, and he’s looking forward to the interaction and exchange of energy and ideas. “I need this!” he said. “I’m a very social creature by nature and this gives me a chance to interact.”

Tim, who grew up in Kentucky, has wanted to be in show business ever since he visited the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus when he was six years old. In elementary school, he played Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and Jed Clampett in A Beverly Hillbillies Christmas. He also played the part of King Herod in the annual church Christmas pageant—after he proved he could look wicked when he raised one eyebrow at a time.

As a teenager, Tim formed a puppet company providing entertainment for children’s birthday parties. His fee was $20 per show, but he offered a $5 discount if they gave him a ride as he was not old enough to drive.

Tim became a storyteller when the High School National Forensic League considered dropping storytelling from its roster of competition events. “It was dearly loved, and it would’ve been really sad to lose it. We made such a fuss that when they entered me for the competition, I couldn’t turn it down.” Lowry went on to tell stories all through high school and very quickly saw that it could be a career for him—it was the perfect combination of show business and human interaction.

An award-winning high school drama student, Tim toured the United States in 1987 with a Broadway-style musical, performing in more than a dozen states. As a theater major in college, Tim studied Shakespeare and romantic opera, but when he took a storytelling class, he found himself at home. After college, he taught English language arts for five years, but his love of show business caused some to consider his teaching methods “unorthodox and disruptive.” In 2000, Tim left the classroom to pursue a career as a professional storyteller because he believes the world needs storytelling. (Ironically, he is now an educational consultant, bringing creative and innovative programs to schools across the country.)

In 2012, Tim began touring nationally on the storytelling festival circuit, performing on stages from Connecticut to California. Occasionally, Tim also provides applied storytelling workshops for corporate and nonprofit groups. Tim received the Oracle Award from the National Storytelling Network in 2020 for exceptional commitment and exemplary contributions to the art of storytelling in the Southeastern Region of the United States.

Tim loves storytelling because the stories are never the same twice. “That’s the great difference between storytelling and other theater pieces,” he explained. “Other live theater is very carefully planned. Storytelling is organic with the stories chosen and told in response to audience reaction and makeup.”

Tim is hoping to introduce Smokey and Stinky to this year’s Festival crowds and intends to tell a “very tasteful” story about the COVID-19 virus, Helen Keller on Zoom!

Get your tickets now and join us on September 8-10 in Lehi, Utah’s stunning Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point.

Simon Brooks—Raised on Stories, Ancient Hills, and Castles

Simon Brooks—Raised on Stories, Ancient Hills, and Castles

It’s no wonder British storyteller Simon Brooks has been telling stories since childhood—he was often taken to the places where those stories began: ancient hills, standing stones, and castles.

A master storyteller, Brooks tells folktales and historical tales along with personal stories and humorous tales. He has taught and performed at libraries, schools, colleges, festivals, camps, and museums. He has engaged and transfixed audiences with his powerful performances throughout the New England area, the United States, and Europe. With his Celtic bodhrán and unique tales, he combines the intensity of a solo performance with the intimacy of a face-to-face conversation—whether live or virtual.

“In my 20s I saw storytelling as a profession for me. I used to write stories and I ended up running a youth hostel where I would read stories to the kids there.”

He started his storytelling career by charging $25 an hour until a storytelling friend told him the going rate at the time was $200-$300 an hour. “It’s not about that,” he laughs. “It’s about caring for the world and connecting.”

As an acclaimed storyteller, Simon has also recorded several audio books and has four storytelling CDs: “Second-Hand Tales,” “More Second-Hand Tales,” “A Tangle of Tales,” and the recently released “Moonlit Tales.”

Both “A Tangle of Tales” and the story ‘Three Feathers’ have garnered honors from Storytelling World. In addition, Parent’s Choice recognized “More Second-Hand Tales” with Silver Honors and “A Tangle of Tales” with their Gold Award.

“There is a lot of power in stories. There are deep grains of truth in stories. Stories speak to us. They are a safe way to figure out problems.” Brooks figures he will tell stories “. . . until I drop dead on stage!”

Simon’s first performance at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival was in 2019 and he loved it. “The setting is idyllic,” he said. “There are a lot of families, and the audience is very appreciative.” He enjoys an audience that laughs. “Laughing is what I’m all about.”

Enjoy a hearty laugh with Simon at this year’s 33rd annual Festival September 8-10, 2022, in Utah’s stunning Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point or online.