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Northeast Storytelling Festival Announces Storytellers for 2nd Annual event

(8/15) Bil Lepp is a consummate liar. Generally this is not a good thing. In Bilís case, it is something to look forward to. Bilís stories start out as humorous yet plausible reflections on life in rural America. His sense of timing draws an audience in with details that many can imagine as their own. Then you find yourself hearing an impossible scenario play out before your very ears. No wonder Bil is a five time champion of the West Virginia Liars Contest. Youíd never suspect that he trained as a Methodist preacher before he found his true calling. Lepp has regaled audiences at the Smithsonian Folklife and National Storytelling Festivals.

Bil has written The Armadillo Recon Unit, Inept: Impaired: Overwhelmed, and The Monster Stick and Other Appalachian Tall-Tales, co-authored with his brother, Paul. His audio recordings, The Divine Bovine, The Teacher in the Patriotic Bathing Suit, Mayhem Dressed as an Eight Point Buck, and Buck Meets the Monster Stick, are almost as funny as he is in person. Duke Divinity Magazine describes Bilís work: "With Lepp, the sorry, low-down lie becomes a grand and glorious creation, a verbal sculpture in which a hundred small fibs, stretchers, falsehoods and prevarications are piled together, shaped and molded into one stunning, awe-inspiring cathedral of flapdoodle and bull."

Making his second appearance at the festival, Lepp will be joined by other nationally known and regional storytellers including Dovie Thomason.

Native American "teaching" stories often took the place of punishment or scolding, showing values that the people respected and wanted to pass on to future generations. Dovie gently replaces false images of the First Nations People of North America with warm, traditional wisdom. She has shared her stories and love of the spoken word with audiences as diverse as NASA scientists, Shakespeareís "Globe Theatre" patrons, and those at poetry festivals and powwows.

Thomasonís latest recording, Fireside Tales: More Lessons from the Animal People, has recently been chosen for the ALA Notable Recording and Pegasus Awards. Her childrenís book, The Animalsí Wishes, is the first Native story to be a part of the highly regarded Rigby Literacy early reader series. As a storyteller, teacher, lecturer and author, Dovie establishes a rapport and bond with audiences of all ages, creating a climate where laughter, learning and respect come together.

The Festival scheduled September 21-23, 2007 at the Gettysburg Village Factory Stores at the intersection of Route 15 and the Baltimore Pike includes a Friday night olio, Saturday shows throughout the day, a Liarís Contest, a contest of Ghostly Tales Saturday night and Inspirational Stories on Sunday morning. For additional information or to order tickets, phone 717-337-0080 or email customerservice@northeaststorytelling.org. On the Internet at www.northeaststorytellingfestival.org.

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