Storytelling school

Flatwater Tales storytelling shows June 3 and 4

The Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival, featuring three nationally acclaimed storytellers, returns with in-person performances June 3-4. This popular annual event will return live to the Historic Grove Theatre, 123 Randolph Road, Oak Ridge.

All tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite or The Ferrell Shop at Jackson Square in Oak Ridge. Tickets for individual shows and events are available.

The three-day event will feature storytellers Sheila Arnold, Bil Lepp and Kim Weitkamp known to audiences nationally for their wit, wisdom and ability to make audiences laugh, cry and reminisce. Two special events have been added to the weekend: a writing workshop by Bil Lepp on Thursday, June 2, and a special tour of Oak Ridge by Oak Ridge historian Ray Smith on Friday, June 3.

For the Friday night show only, at 7 p.m. June 3, Flatwater Tales has commissioned famed storyteller Sheila Arnold to write and tell the story of the “Scarboro 85,” the 85 brave young people who desegregated schools in ‘Oak Ridge in 1955. Few people know of this landmark event of 1955. Sheila will honor the “Scarboro 85” in her presentation, “The Secret City of the Secret City: Scarboro”, by telling some of their stories. Storytellers Lepp and Weitkamp will also perform on Friday evening. Friday night tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

During the three shows on Saturday, June 4, storytellers will share different stories for each performance. The morning family show, from 10 a.m. to noon, will offer tickets for $10 for adults and $5 for school-age children. The afternoon show is from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the evening show is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets for the afternoon and evening performances are $25 for each show. All shows are Eastern time zones. For groups of ten or more, tickets will cost $20 each for afternoon or evening performances.

Lepp, star of the History Channel’s “Man vs. History,” will present a special writing workshop “Bringing a Story to Life and Including Your Audience in the Experience” from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, June 2 at the UT Arboretum Auditorium, 901 S. Illinois Ave., Oak Ridge. Tickets for the workshop are $50 and are also available at Eventbrite and The Ferrell Shop in Oak Ridge. The Ferrell store only accepts cash or checks.

A first-time special event has been added to this year’s Flatwater Tales. Oak Ridge Historian Ray Smith will lead a tour of select Oak Ridge historic sites at 1 p.m. Friday, June 3. Tickets for this free tour are available on Eventbrite. The event is free, but registration is required. Learn the history of Oak Ridge by spending the afternoon with Smith. The tour (in your own vehicle after Smith) will include the Oak Ridge International Friendship Bell, Secret City Memorial Walk, Historic Jackson Square, Alexander Guest House, Chapel on the Hill, a passing by several historic Alphabet Houses, including the “D” House in which famed Manhattan Project photographer Ed Westcott lived during his retirement years.

Storyteller Bil Lepp will perform at the Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival in June.

The Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival is led by volunteers from the three Oak Ridge Rotary clubs.

The festival has received significant corporate sponsorship for 2022. Consolidated Nuclear Security at the Y-12 National Security Complex is the presenting sponsor for the entire festival, and Pinnacle Bank is guaranteeing the Friday night premiere performance solely by Sheila Arnold. Other corporate sponsors are the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge, Bridgewater Balance and Hearing, Chuck’s Car Care Center and TNBank.

Storyteller Kim Weitkamp will perform at the Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival in June.