All the great tellers who will be featuring either Online or On Cape Clear Island at this year’s festival!
Len Cabral's Bio
Len Cabral is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning storyteller and author who has been engaging audiences young and old, with his unique and personable style, for more than four decades.
Len shares stories and folktales from around the world, as well as some personal stories, and some of the many proverbs he grew-up hearing from family members. He is a great grandson of a Cape Verdean whaler and lives in the USA.
Jan Blake's Bio
Jan Blake is one of Europe’s leading female storytellers and has been telling stories to adults, teenagers and children around the world since 1986. Born in Manchester to Jamaican parents she tells stories from Africa and the Caribbean and has an international reputation for dynamic, witty and exciting storytelling.
She has performed at all the major festivals in the UK, led workshops across Europe and has set up a storytelling company and school called The Akua Storytelling Project. Her performances weave together songs, jokes and gestures to ensure that every event is a unique and unforgettable experience.
Joel Ben Izzy's Bio
For over thirty five years, California based storyteller Joel ben Izzy has travelled the globe, gathering and telling tales from Tel Aviv to Tokyo, Manhattan to Managua, Paris to Petaluma and Rome to Rwanda. Back in 1994, Joel was the first teller booked for the inaugural Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival, which is where he first met and shared the stage with Liz Weir. He recently returned to share stories at the Cape Clear Festival and later to lead a master class version of this workshop.
In addition to his performances and teaching around the world, Joel has recorded seven award-winning CDs of his stories. His highly acclaimed memoir, The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness (Algonquin, 2003) weaves together stories from his travels with an astounding story from his own life. Now in its 7th printing and 18 foreign editions, it is currently in development as both a film and a musical. Joel is also a highly-sought after story consultant, with clients ranging from The United States Federal Reserve Bank to Pixar Animation.
Donna Washington's Bio
Donna Washington is an internationally known master storyteller, artist educator, and published author who has been performing for audiences of all ages for over thirty years. She is renowned for her storytelling for both children & adults from poignant & funny fables about the human condition to racy relationships stories to spine tingling tales of terror. She has been featured at numerous festivals, schools & libraries theaters and other venues around the world including Canada, Peru, Argentina & Hong Kong. She travels all over the world performing and giving workshops but she lives with her husband and two cats in Durham, NC.
Kate Corkery's Bio
Kate Corkery is a professional storyteller, teacher and writer of the recently published ‘Cork Folk Tales’. A native of Cork, she is based in London where her role as Storyteller in Residence at the Irish Cultural Centre won a Fringe First Award in 2009 for “her outstanding work in regenerating the art of storytelling in today’s society”. She is a founder member of ‘Everyday Magic’- a combined Arts Company, bringing stories, music and art to London schools. She is also one half of the dynamic Irish/Afro Caribbean duo’ Spud and Yam’ with whom she has produced music CDs and inspiring educational resources. In recent years, Kate has toured far and wide internationally telling stories in Colombia, China, Russia, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador as well appearing in many European festivals, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, The Faroe Islands and Spain. Kate has been a featured teller at most of Ireland’s best known Storytelling festivals, Cape Clear, Yarn, Derry, Courtmacsherry, Slieve Bloom and Ghost of the Glens. In 2012 her FATE commissioned piece,’ Sweet Shop on the Shore ‘. Kate is honoured and delighted to be bringing this and other stories to our festival this year.
Bill Harley's Bio
Bill Harley is well-traveled, well-read, well-educated, well-spoken and well-loved. Accompanied by his guitar, his narrative songs and stories, both original and traditional, are a celebration of our common humanity. Best known for his work with children and families, his ability to navigate through a confusing world with humor and wisdom is evident in his masterful storytelling as well as his numerous award-winning recordings and books. A two-time Grammy winner, he is vibrant, outrageous, unpredictable and genuine with songs and stories about growing up, schooling and what it is to be human—our connections with one another and with the planet we share. Recognized by audiences and peers as one of the finest performing storytellers in the country, his work has influenced a generation of children, parents, performing artists and educators. Bill tours internationally as a performing artist, author and keynote speaker from his home in Seekonk, Massachusetts.
Colin Urwin's Bio
Described as ‘keeping alive the tradition of the Seanchaí’, Colin Urwin is a folk singer, songwriter and storyteller from Co. Antrim. He is well known locally and performs at venues and festivals all over Ireland, the UK and further afield. As well as his beautifully woven stories drawn from the local legend and folklore of his beloved Glens of Antrim, Colin tells many traditional Irish and Scottish folk tales. In March 2021 he released his first collection of original songs, A Kind of Love Song, and in July two albums of magical stories entitled The Madman’s Window and The Swan Maiden. He has written a book of folk tales which is due for publication in 2022 with Orkneyology Press.
Ed Stivender's Bio
In reviews of his work, Ed Stivender has been called “the Robin Williams of storytelling” by the Miami Herald and “a Catholic Garrison Keillor” by Kirkus Review.
Since 1977, when he left his day job as a high school teacher in Connecticut and turned to storytelling full-time, Ed has fabulated his way around the globe –appearing in schools, churches, coffeehouses and theaters, as well as at major storytelling festivals. He has been a featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival, the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival in Ireland, Graz Festival, Austria and Philadelphia Folk Festival. Ed enjoyed narrating: “Paddington Bears Special Day” with the Harrisburg Symphony, “Ferdinan the Bull” with a violinist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and “Peter and the Wolf” with the LaGrange Symphony.
Orla Mc Govern's Bio
Órla Mc Govern is a Storyteller, Performer and Writer based in The West of Ireland. She tells & performs over the world from Athens to Kerry, from The Antrim Glens, to the North of Finland. She is the artistic director Moth & Butterfly collective; a storytelling & improvisation project that hosts. monthly events and an annual festival. As a playwright, her work has travelled the world and a couple of highlight moments include performances at Origin First Irish NYC (‘Kitchen’), Cúirt/Fregoli, Galway (‘Tick Tock’ & ‘Wristbands’) and 24 hour plays Abbey Theatre/DYT (‘Lyubov’ Eto Tsirk’). She performs as an actor in scripted and improvised theatre, film and tv. She regularly facilitates workshops in improvised theatre, storytelling and creative practices, and is a member of Poetry Ireland’s ‘Writers In Schools’. Órla has written two storytelling books, published by The History Press: ’Dublin Folk Tales For Children’, and ‘Wild Waves And Wishing Wells’. In 2022 she was Commissioned via Interface Inagh and The Arts Council to make a site specific storytelling piece set in the mountains of Connemara. She is a member of Storytellers of Ireland & Theatre 57. For more visit www.orlamcgovern.com
Con Ó Drisceoil
Ireland / Eire
Con Ó Drisceoil's Bio
Con “Fada” Ó Drisceoil is a songwriter and accordion player from West Cork.
He has written comic songs on a wide range of subjects which includes canine castration, Shakespearean tragedy, unwelcome percussionists and the wildlife of County Clare. In 2006 he published The Spoons Murder and Other Mysteries, a book and CD of his songs. In 2009 he was awarded Gradam Ceoil TG4 for his songs. His latest songbook/CD is called Hunting the Hair and Other Pursuits (2018), and tells of savage cats, anti-baldness quests, hypochondria, drunken deer and many such heroic topics.
N. Ireland / Japan
Masako Carey's Bio
Masako Carey was born in Tokyo, Japan. She met her Irish born husband through business and came to Northern Ireland 20 years ago. Her increasing repertoire of traditional Japanese tales, some comical, some serious, has expanded to include tales from around the world.
Ireland / Eire
Jack Lynch's Bio
Jack is firmly rooted in the Seanchaí tradition, as explored in recent times by the late great Eamon Kelly and John Campbell, both of whom he shared a stage with. He combines folkloric elements with ancient Irish myths and Wonder Tales and scurrilous Tall Tales set in the County Cavan. He has much experience in schools, libraries, hospitals and prisons throughout Ireland and has played festivals throughout Ireland and in England, Scotland, Belgium, France, Germany, Jordan, Estonia, the West Indies and the US. He is a founder member of Storytellers of Ireland.
N.Ireland / Ireland (depending on whether you are upstairs or downstairs)
Colum Sands' Bio
Colum is a world renowned song-writer and singer. He will be known to storytelling enthusiasts from his appearances at festivals such as Cultra, Courtmacsherry, Cape Clear and Scéalta Shamha. He has performed in concerts at clubs, theatres and schools; at the Sidmouth Folk Festival; the Celtic Connections Festival; The Belfast Festival at Queens; the Christchurch Festival in New Zealand; the Tel Aviv Storytelling Workshop and at other venues too numerous to mention.
Paddy O Brien
Ireland / Eire
Paddy O Brien's Bio
Born in Co. Kerry, Paddy O’Brien is a natural storyteller who has appeared at Storytelling festivals all over Ireland. He has been a featured teller on many occasions at the world-famous Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival.
Paddy can entertain any audience from age 3 to 103 with his fantastic stories, songs and verse – told in his own inimitable way.
Rugadh Pádraig Ó Briain i gCo. Chiarraí. Is scéalaí nádúrtha é agus scéalta ínste aige ar fud na tíre seo go léir. Bhí sé go minic mar scéalaí ag an bhféile iomráiteach ar Oiléan Chléire. Tá sé ábalta scéalta a rá atá oiriúnach do ghach éinne ó aois 3 go 103. Baineann daoine fíor taitneamh as a scéalta, a dhánta agus a chuid amhráin – ínste ina shlí speisialta, spóirtiúil féin.
Séamus Ó Drisceoil
Ireland / Eire
Séamus Ó Drisceoil's Bio
Séamus Ó Drisceoil, a resident of Cape Clear, has been involved with many aspects of Island life over the years. Creating walking routes on the Island has been one project. He will be leading a walk, including history and stories of the Island. Who knows, there might even be a special ice-cream involved!
Ireland / Eire
Frances Kennedy's Bio
Frances Kennedy is one of North Kerry’s most popular traditional storytellers, singers and entertainers. Originally from Freemount, Co. Cork, Frances now calls Listowel, Co. Kerry her home.
Simone Schuemmelfeder's Bio
Simone is a storyteller and writer from Germany. She had planned to become a teacher, but her love for stories and adventure lured her away from school benches and into the life of a professional storyteller.
Born in the small town of Beverungen in rural Germany, Simone grew up surrounded by stories. Her hometown is close to the Fairy Tale Road which runs all through Germany and connects the settings of various Grimm fairy tales. In 2011, Simone moved to Ireland where she founded the storytelling theatre StoryGate (www.storygate.net) together with Irish teller and puppeteer Michael Phelan.
She has performed extensively across Ireland, enchanting both adults and children alike, in libraries, schools and at festivals, including the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival, the Kilkenny Arts Festival and the Mountains to Sea Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Book Festival. Simone also was Reader-In-Residence for Laois Libraries in 2018 and Artist-In-Primary-Schools for Tipperary Arts Office in 2019 and 2022. She is part of Poetry Ireland’s Writers In Schools Scheme and writes children’s books. Her writing is represented by literary agent Marianne Gunn O’Connor.
Micheal Phelan's Bio
Michael is a storyteller, puppeteer and carpenter. A craftsman through and through, he is able to bring life to both puppets and stories. His wonderful collection of hand-puppets is ever growing and has enchanted children and adults alike in Ireland and abroad. He started off as a hospital clown for the Red Cross before he discovered storytelling. He is the co-founder of the storytelling theatre StoryGate and performs for schools, libraries and festivals. Michael has trained with Little Angel Theatre London to perfect his puppetry skills and can turn practically anything into a puppet! He teaches children the secrets of puppeteering in his hugely successful Sock-puppet workshops.