It’s arguably humankind’s oldest form of entertainment: storytelling. On Saturday, you’ll get a chance to hear some of the best “tellers” in the nation. The PowellsWood Storytelling Festival will fill the lush Federal Way garden with tales newly sprouted and others with long roots.
The festival is the brainchild of the garden’s owner, Monte Powell, and Margaret Read MacDonald, a retired King County librarian.
Powell and his wife, Diane, are longtime fans of storytelling and have traveled several times to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn.
“We’re into the listening. We’re not good with the storytelling,” Monte Powell said.
The Powells have long wanted to host a storytelling festival at their botanical haven, which is open to the public April through October. Monte Powell said listening to others’ stories can be therapeutic.
“You can have all the business worries in the world. You can go to a storytelling and forget it all. You can be totally transported to another place. It’s healing.”
The PowellsWood festival is pulling in storytellers of national caliber, including local storytellers. Each hour will feature four performances, two for adults and two for children. Tents will shelter participants if the weather turns sour.
The garden itself has its own stories to tell with perennial borders, wetlands, creeks, shade gardens and forests. Seven garden “rooms” make up the richly planted space carved from a 40-acre parcel.
“I just think hearing stories in a garden will bring a special magical tranquility to the whole event,” MacDonald said.
The event is co-sponsored by the Seattle Storytellers Guild as well as the Mount Tahoma Storytelling Guild and the Fireside Story League, both of Tacoma.
• Donald Davis is a retired Methodist minister who grew up in North Carolina’s Appalachian mountains. He didn’t learn stories, he said, he absorbed them. Davis travels the country telling stories of his “free range” youth and of his ancestors. ddavisstoryteller.com.
• The duo of Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo make up the storytelling group Eth-Noh-Tec. The Bay Area-based pair perform contemporary takes on Asian folktales. ethnohtec.org.
• Alton Chung tells stories based on the oral histories of Hawaii’s peoples. His stories range from ancient Hawaiian legends to the histories of Japanese Americans during World War II. firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8541