Tellers & Artists 2023

Donna Washington


Donna Washington is an award-winning internationally known master storyteller, artist-educator, and author who has been performing for audiences of all ages for over thirty-five 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. During the pandemic, she has presented over two hundred shows & workshops virtually online. In 2020, she co-founded the non-profit organization Artists Standing Strong Together with Master Storyteller Sheila Arnold for which they won a 2021 Oracle Award.

Donna’s eleven storytelling CDs have garnered thirty national awards. She has authored numerous articles about storytelling and education including her very popular blog Language, Literacy & Storytelling. She is also the author of five children’s books: Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa, A Pride of African Tales, The Story of Kwanzaa, A Big Spooky House, and award winning Boo Stew. Peachtree Press is scheduled to publish her next picture book, Prak Fills The House, in September 2023. She travels all over the world performing and giving workshops. She lives with her husband and cat in Durham, NC.

Donna Washington
Tom Muir

Joe Brennan


Joe Brennan from Wexford, has been telling traditional stories for over 20 years across Ireland and beyond. He has travelled to Norway, Iceland, USA, India, Egypt, Lithuania, Russia, Austria, Belgium and Romania telling stories and delivering workshops. 

Joe was Artist in Residence with Waterford Healing Arts, sharing stories and delivery workshops with the staff at University Hospital Waterford.  He is the author of Donegal Folk Tales. He has written and created a number of theatre performances for young audiences, including a storytelling performance ‘Whispering Waves’.

Joe Brennan has been a featured teller at Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival in the past and we look forward to welcoming him back to share his many wonderful tales.

Colin Urwin

N. Ireland

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.

Colin Urwin Pic by Brid ODonovan
Máirín Mhic Lochlainn

Mairin Mhic Lochlainn

Éire/ Ireland

As Ros a’ Mhíl ó dhúchas do Mháirín, agus tá cónaí uirthi anois i mBaile na mBrabhach. Tá roinnt duaiseanna bainte amach aici in Ealaíon na Scéalaíochta, ina measc Corn Neidí Frainc ag an Oireachtas. Tá sí ina ball do SOI, nó Aos Scéal Éireann. Bíonn sí ag déanamh Ceardlanna ar fud na hÉireann agus i dtíortha thar lear freisin, chun ealaín na Scéalaíochta traidisiúnta a fhorbaird agus a chur chun cinn; agus a cuid scéalta a roinnt le sean agus óg.

Siad na scéalta Fiannaíochta, nó na Scéalta Gaisce a rogha scéil; scéalta a chuala sí cois teallaigh, óna hathair, Beartla Ó Maoileóin. Agus insíonn scéalta beaga agus scéalta móra faoi na ceantar dúchais chomh maith faoi a rinne a hathair roimpi, agus a mháthair siúd roimhe sin. Bhí an-tionchur ag na Scéalta Gaisce uirthi, mar ba bhreá ó Bheartla craiceann a chur ar scéal. Mar a deir sí féin, ba mhinic léi agus í ina gasúr, tuitim ina codlaigh ag éisteacht le fuaim na seolta móra pucóideacha pacóideacha (ina hintinn).

Tá Máirín ina Scéalaí Cóínaitheach in Ionad Léann na nÉireannach in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe don bhliain 2023.

Living in Indreabhán, Co. Galway, but originally from Rós a Mhíl, Máirín is an award-winning storyteller, claiming many prizes including the Corn Neidí Frainc at the Oireachtas festival. Developing the craft of story-telling is a mission for Máirín and she has conducted workshops in story-telling throughout Ireland, Wales and Denmark. Her story-telling repertoire includes the Scéalta Fiannaíochta. Máirín grew up listening to stories and cites her father, Beartla Ó Maoileoin as the first storyteller that she heard and his dramatic renditions have had a long standing influence on her. As she say herself, she often went to bed listening to the sound (in her imagination) of the Seolta Móra pucóideacha pacóideacha being hoisted…

Máirín has told stories across the globe to both children and adults. Máirín is Storyteller in Residence at University of Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies 2023.

Valentina Zocca


Valentina Zocca is a professional storyteller from Italy with a broad repertoire of tales.

She regularly performs in educational settings, nursing homes, community groups and for the public. This will be her first time at Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival, we are excited to have her join us for the festival weekend!

Valentina Zocca
Con O Drisceoil

Con Ó Drisceoil

Éire/ Ireland

Con “Fada” Ó Drisceoil is a songwriter, accordion player and balladier 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.

Con is a firm favourite in the Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival, we are happy to have him again this year!

Seamus O Drisceoil

Ireland- Cape Clear Island

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!

Seamus Ó Drisceoil