Master Classes
Thursday, July 21 • 1:00-6:00pm

Additional $100 fee; class size limited for maximum class interaction



Rocking the Flock with Stories
with Geraldine Buckley

This class is designed for counselors, ministers, prison and hospital volunteers, Sunday school teachers, interfaith and intergenerational leaders and anyone who wants to change people’s lives through story.  It explores:

  • The power of personal stories in communicating with a faith based audience

  • Using humor to transform lives

  • Using stories as an outreach tool

  • Shaping a personal story


Part lecture and part group discussion with an interactive element, you will be telling stories before the time is through!


Some feedback:
 “An outstanding, well-crafted workshop.”
 “Awesome!  Fun, inspiring, packed with activity and information.”
 “It gave me a whole new way to think about sermon construction and delivery!”

An ordained minister, Geraldine was the Protestant Chaplain at the largest men’s prison in Maryland, until January 2010.  Since then she has conducted storytelling workshops in US prisons, and also in Rimutaka, New Zealand’s largest men’s prison.


Known primarily for personal stories that make people laugh and think, Geraldine teaches and performs in conferences, colleges, schools, corporations, and house-concerts.  She has appeared as a featured teller in festivals throughout the US, including the National Storytelling Festival, in Jonesborough, TN. 


Geraldine is frequently heard on NPR, and Sirius radio, and is the recipient of two gold awards from Storytelling World.

“A teacher, an artist and a supreme storyteller.” – Washington City Paper



Techniques to Rule the Stage:  Pathways to Command Your Story Performance
with Leeny Del Seamonds


Making the leap to the main stage can be daunting but we push ourselves to learn, grow and blossom. Claim the stage and make it your own in this master class allowing individual direction and coaching. Learn performance skills including vocal variety, developing diverse story characters, and how to “stand in your setting.” Gain confidence and know-how with professional behavior techniques such as making the audience feel welcome, presenting yourself as a pro, dressing to impress, reading an audience and establishing mutual connections, practicing and applying stage presence, handling unexpected problems, and creating well-designed story sets to WOW audiences.

With a face and voice that launched a thousand characters, Leeny Del Seamonds, Master Story Performer™, is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning entertainer of Latino, original and World tales spiced with mime and palpable characterizations. She holds a BA in Theatre/Performing Arts and Directing and is an NSN ORACLE Circle of Excellence Award recipient. Leeny’s renowned book, “Techniques to Rule the Stage: Pathways to Command Your Story Performance,” is a labor of love and available at With Latino passion, fire and wit, Leeny’s dynamic one-woman shows and celebrated workshops headline festivals, concerts and events worldwide.


“Internationally acclaimed Leeny Del Seamonds is a natural entertainer whose multicultural stories and songs reflect her love of people. An award-winning master storyteller, Del Seamonds peppers her tales with humor, mime, character impersonations and her vivacious personality.” –The Boston Globe


Educating the Mind and Heart: Storytelling’s Creative Keys to Socio-Emotional Skills
with Lyn Ford


The word “storytelling” is used everywhere!  The tools of the enhanced spoken story - and its gifts to educators and storytellers as they develop empathetic learning environments and actively-listening audiences - are not.  Join us for an overview of what this centuries-old, oral-tradition “format” for sharing knowledge, building community, and encouraging communication can do for your K-2, 3-5, and 6-12 classroom behaviors and storytelling presentations. As teacher, teller, model, or mentor, experience interactive playfulness and individual moments of work and reflection, all shared with humor and common-sense flare by teaching artist Lyn Ford.  Handouts, resource information, and smart but silly fun will be available.

Lyn Ford is an award-winning Affrilachian storyteller, nationally recognized workshop facilitator, and published author. Lyn is also a Thurber House mentor to young authors, a teaching artist with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) and the Ohio State-Based Collaborative Initiative of the Kennedy Center (OSBCI), and a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. Lyn’s 2015 book, Hot Wind, Boiling Rain: Scary Stories for Strong Hearts is also a creative-writing resource; Lyn’s fourth book (with storytelling star Sherry Norfolk), Boo-Tickle Tales: Not-So-Scary Stories for Kids, is set for publication in the summer of 2016.


"Sharing is Ford’s most valuable ingredient in her recipe for healing humanity’s ills with one another. Her home-fried stories warmly resonate with the human spirit on a multi-cultural and universal level." - Joshua Salmans, contributor to and The Dictionary of Literary Biography



Fire and Water, Mining Powerful Personal Stories
with Jim May


Entertainment and inspirational narratives in our culture are dominated by stories of heroic achievement and triumph: of victims saved, goals reached, and passions fulfilled.


However, from youth to old age, life experience reminds us that not all passionate action leads to fulfillment, and not all can be saved. World mythology and spiritual parables from all faiths advise us that we must recognize and face the demons, failures, and discouragements to find peace, integration, and serenity; that, in fact, there are riches to mine from difficult times.


We’ll explore life’s crooked and undulating path, meandering like water, uncertain of its eventual goal yet often stumbling upon the unexplored, underground caverns where our gold awaits, shimmering in the darkness.
We’ll discuss our conflicts, rake the ashes of our most paradoxical relationships and life stations to, perchance, find the buried, glowing coals of insight, having faith that the territory of our wounds can light the way to our most powerful stories. 


Bring your life stories to work on and share.

EMMY award winner Jim May has been, for some 30 yrs, a full time storyteller. His collection of stories: Trail Guide For A Crooked Heart was released in March 2016 by Parkhurst Brothers, Marion, MI.


“To be a great guide is to allow adventure, discovery and, at the same time, allow one to arrive safely at one’s destination. Jim May is a great guide.
Dante had Virgil
The Sufi poet, Rumi, had Shams of Tabriz


We have Jim May.”
--- Kevin Kling (Storyteller, Playwright, NPR Commentator)