LEHI—This year’s storytelling festival—the 2022 Timpanogos Storytelling Festival—welcomes Ed Stivender as its Master of Ceremonies, along with live audiences, new tellers, and popular favorites.

Stivender, described by some as the “Robin Williams” of storytelling, will introduce several storytelling segments and entertain audiences with his trademark wit and wisdom. He has performed at the National Storytelling Festival, the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival in Ireland, and in schools, theaters, and churches around the world.

He’ll welcome a line-up that includes veteran teller and Festival favorite, Donald Davis, Willy Claflin and his sidekick Maynard Moose (to be joined by the clone moose, Boris “with a B,”), and Tim Lowry, performing since he was six; along with Nestor “The Boss” Gomez; naturalist and herbalist, Doug Elliott; Orem storyteller Randy Evensen; Simon Brooks, whose mother says he’s been telling stories since he was a toddler; Regi Carpenter, whose list includes a personal story of recovery; Bluegrass musician Josh Goforth, already playing the piano at four years old; Lyn Ford, an Affrilachian teller of “home-fried tales;” Megan Wells, described by her children as a storytelling jukebox; and author Donna Washington who has told stories for 34 years and who has a book on racial sensitivity coming out this year. Watch for in-depth Storyteller Spotlights to be published every other week beginning on March 29.

Stephanie Ashton oversees storyteller research and invitations. “Each year we try to invite a variety of storytellers who tell different genres and use different styles. We try to include some music every year as well. We keep an eye out for new tellers and we look at Festival favorites who are still doing great work in the storytelling world. We then sit down as a board and decide who we want to invite,” Ashton said.

As in the recent past, this year’s Festival will include the opportunity for patrons to participate in pottery-making, enjoy live musical performances, and delight in puppet and magic shows.

Tickets to the Festival (for in-person and online viewing) are now on sale at TimpFest.org.

Ashton expects this year’s Festival to not only feature live storytelling, music, and other entertainment, it will afford audiences the opportunity to gather once again with audience members and storytellers following the constraints of a pandemic.

The storytellers are enthused about getting back together and to be in front of a live audience once more.

“I missed it terribly,” said Claflin. “We all felt it. The storytelling experience is utter joy!”

“I need this. It gives me a chance to combine my acting with storytelling,” Lowry said.

Make plans now to enjoy storytelling in the Gardens September 8-10, 2022, and online a few weeks later.