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Storytelling Festival To Open in Tampa Bay Next Week

Story Days in Tampa Bay is set for Oct. 3-8 in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 3, Tampa Bay area residents will share moments of their life next week for the third annual festival, "Story Days in Tampa Bay.”

From Oct. 3 to Saturday, Oct. 8, in Tampa and St. Petersburg, guests can celebrate oral history by hearing others stories through dramatic monologues or going on a pub crawl, where people are encouraged to talk to with one another.

Credit WUSF/Naomi Prioleau
Dr. Lillian Dunlap is the executive director and co-founder of Your Real Stories.

Executive director and co-founder of Your Real Stories, Lillian Dunlap, said the various forms of storytelling exists to reach different people.

“What’s important to us is that people hear other people’s stories. And however they can hear it that’s how we want to present it,” she said.

Slam-poetry, dance and singing are just some of the ways guests can enjoy a story.

“Different forms of art, different forms of storytelling in general, but especially different forms of art, speak different to different people,” Artistic director and co-founder of  Your Real Stories, Jaye Sheldon said. “You might understand the medium of dance in a way that you don’t understand the medium of slam poetry.”

Stories will consist of two parts: the performance by an actor and then an appearance by the actual person whose story was just told.

The festival won’t just be comprised of performances though. Writing workshops, photo exhibits, seminars and culinary activities are all scheduled for the week-long event.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn about something you didn’t know about and perhaps meet some people that you might not have met otherwise and really experience good art,” Dunlap said.

Sheldon said guests should expect the unexpected when they come.

Credit WUSF/Naomi Prioleau
Jaye Sheldon is the artistic director and co-founder of Your Real Stories

“I guarantee you if you come to this festival, you will see yourself and you will see yourself in likely places and you will see yourself in places you previously thought you might not ,” she said.

Dunlap agreed.

“It’s a wonderful contribution to the community because at the core of who we are and what we do is our desire to get people to be interested in knowing and talking to each other.”

To see a full schedule of events, click here.

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