Storytelling (2018 program)

The San Francisco Free Folk Festival had our first-ever storytelling program at the 2017 festival, presented by the Storytelling Association of California (SAC).  We are happy to offer this again this year in Room 220.

The Storytelling Association of California is an organization dedicated to promoting storytelling as a living art form. We tell stories to adults and children, at festivals and schools; we share ideas and strategies for developing and telling stories in all venues; we’re interested in personal stories, as well as traditional tales, legends, and myths. We hope you will join us for workshops and story sets.


12 noon-1 pm: Dave Pokorny offers insight into Creating Personal Narratives.
Using excerpts of his upcoming solo piece, “Big Lessons from Little League,” as well as some from his previous show, “Based on a True Story,” Dave will talk about taking five minute StorySlam pieces and turning them into a solo play.

Dave Pokorny actually quit his day job, and hit the road, making a living as a stand-up comic in the ’90’s. After becoming house emcee at San Francisco’s top club and a regular in Vegas, he gave it all up to pursue a lucrative career as a stay-at-home dad. He returned to the stage a changed man with more to say than, “Because I said so, that’s why.”

1 pm-2 pm: Local Swap Groups Share Stories. Dave Pokorny will emcee a hour of talent from local swap groups. All swap groups invite others to join and participate in the fun in their regular swap times!

2 pm-3 pm: Tim Ereneta will dive into the nuts and bolts of story structure in “Building Stories from Scratch.”

A Berkeley, California, storyteller, Tim Ereneta, a former company member of BATS Improv in San Francisco, leads a hands-on exploration of tools to create stories anytime, anywhere. Just as you can build a song from three chords, you can build a story with these three techniques.


3 pm-4 pm: Dana Sherry and Ann Riley will be performing exotic “Silky Road Tales” from Central Asia. Dana and Ann have both explored the cultures of the Silk Road out of love and fascination. We will provide the camels – join us!

Dana Sherry was a respectable historian of Central Asia until she turned to a life of storytelling. Now she brings folk tales from the heart of the Silk Road alive and transforms historical events into tales of wonder and horror. She also hosts the Caravan of Stories at the Silk Road House in Berkeley, a monthly storytelling series dedicated to the oral traditions of Central Asia.

4 pm-5 pm: Sara Armstrong shares “Dilemma Stories for Democracy” through attendee participation in evaluating options presented in a set of stories.

Currently, Sara Armstrong serves on the Board of the Storytelling Association of California. She is a long-time educator, and works with teachers regarding thoughtful stories, effective technologies, and caring educational practices.


5 pm -6 pm Brandon Spars shares Travel Odysseys: Brandon will tell selected stories from his adventures in Indonesia, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, and even his home state of Missouri. Brandon believes that every trip one takes is a story, and that travel abroad offers particularly unique insight into oneself and humanity.

Brandon Spars lived and traveled in Indonesia and the Pacific Islands for six years before earning a Master of Arts in Southeast Asian Studies and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Brandon recently released his first collection of tales, entitled Live to Tell. This collection includes the scripts of six award-winning performances at The Moth in Berkeley and San Francisco as well as at West Side Stories in Petaluma. Brandon lives with his wife and two children in Santa Rosa, California.