Regi Carpenter had a nervous breakdown when she was 16. But instead of defining her teenage years as discouraging and sad, it was instead a real turning point, Carpenter says. “It was very positive. It became a story of recovery.”

Carpenter, now 64, is not afraid to share very personal stories. “I heard somebody tell a personal story, so I went looking for the stories I could
share. I feel very alive when I’m telling my stories—the shared experience, the shared humanity. It’s fun,” she says. “I think we need to listen to stories. Here in the world, it’s what we can do to heal ourselves and give each other the opportunity to find joy and empathy.”

Carpenter is the youngest child in a “family full of contradictions—religious and raucous, tender but terrible, unfortunate yet irrepressible” as she puts it, and “grew up in a small town on a big river with an undercurrent.” She describes herself as a ‘river rat.’

Regi has been telling stories professionally for more than 20 years. Her keynote stories remind listeners of the impact each person in the world has on others. Tales of underwater tea parties, drowning lessons, and drives to the dump give voice to multi-generational family life and feature people like her who grew up on the St. Lawrence River.

Carpenter, who was a featured teller at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival two years ago when the event was held online due to the pandemic, is excited about performing at the Festival “in person” for the first time.

Regi has received a variety of awards including the Parent’s Choice, Storytelling World, and Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media Awards. Her story “Snap!” (the true story of her battle with severe mental illness) was a winner at the Boston Story Slam. She is the founder of “Stories with Spirit,” an initiative dedicated to bringing songs of joy and hope to grieving children and the caregivers who serve them in hospices, hospitals, and homes. She has taken her solo shows and workshops to theaters, schools, and festivals on the national and international stage. Please join us as we welcome Regi to our stage!

Click below to view a thought-provoking movie by Reed Freeman about Regi’s life, Emerging: A Storyteller’s Journey.