2024 Tellers

Diane Ferlatte

Diane Ferlatte

Featured Teller

Children’s Story Hour


Diane Ferlatte has been researching, collecting and telling stories for over 35 years. Diane has frequently been a featured storyteller at the annual National Storytelling Festival as well as many other festivals in the U.S. and throughout the world. She has toured internationally in over 20 countries on six different continents. Among her most memorable events is her performance for President Clinton at his inauguration, as well as performing at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, DC.

Diane has received numerous honors including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award, the National Black Storyteller’s Zora Neale Hurston Award, as well as the California Arts Council’s highest ranking. All of her recordings have also won awards including those from Parents’ Choice, the American Library Association, National Parenting Publications, the National Youth Storytelling Pegasus Award, Storytelling World Awards, as well as a 2008 Grammy nomination.


Erik Pearson has been playing the guitar since he was 12 years old. At Oberlin College he started studying South Indian music and began learning the banjo and old-time Appalachian string band music. He has been accompanying Diane for over 25 years while serving on the teaching faculty of the San Francisco Community Music Center.




Bil Lepp

Bil Lepp

Featured Teller

Bil Lepp is an award-winning storyteller, author, and recording artist. He’s the host of the History Channel’s Man vs. History series, the occasional host of NPR’s internationally-syndicated Mountain Stage, and a contributing columnist to the West Virginia Gazette-Mail.         

Growing up in a family where the truth was fluid, Bil Lepp became adept at spinning tales and exaggerating circumstances at an early age. A nationally-renowned storyteller and five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest, Bil’s outrageous, humorous tall-tales and witty stories have earned the appreciation of listeners of all ages and from all walks of life. Though a champion liar, his stories often contain morsels of truth, which shed light on universal themes. Be it a hunting trip, a funeral, or a visit to the dentist, Bil can find the humor in any situation. Lepp explains that while his stories may not be completely true, they are always honest.

Bil’s books and audio collections have won awards including the PEN Steven Kroll Award for Children’s Book Writing, Parents’ Choice Gold awards, awards from the National Parenting Publications Association, and the Public Library Association. He is also the recipient of the Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folk honor.

In 2011, Bil was awarded the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award. Lepp has been featured 19 times at the National Storytelling Festival, and performed at major storytelling festivals around the county, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and at corporate events and functions.

Bil lives in South Charleston, WV with his wife and two children.

“Just as New Jersey has Bruce Springsteen, West Virginia has…Bil Lepp.”–Goldenseal Magazine

“…Lepp, a cross between Dr. Seuss and…film noir….” –Charleston Gazette


Gayle Ross

 Featured Teller

   Gayle Ross is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and a direct descendant of John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee during the infamous “Trail of Tears”.  Her grandmother told stories and it is from this rich Native American heritage that Gayle’s storytelling springs.  During the past twenty-five years, Gayle has become one of the best-loved and most respected storytellers to emerge from the current surge of interest in this timeless art form.

   Gayle has appeared at almost every major storytelling and folk festival in the United States and Canada, as well as theaters and performance arts halls through out the U.S. and Europe, often appearing with some of today’s finest Native American musicians and dancers.  She is in great demand as a lecture artist on college campuses and as a keynote speaker at education and humanities conferences.  Most importantly, she continues to mesmerize children at countless schools and libraries across the country.   Whether she is provoking laughter with a Trickster tale or moving her listeners to tears with a haunting myth, Gayle is truly a master of the age-old craft of storytelling.  The prestigious National Council of Traditional Arts has included Gayle in two of their touring shows, “The Master Storyteller’s Tour” and the all Indian show, “From the Plains to the Pueblos”.  Internationally acclaimed musician and composer Peter Buffet featured Gayle and her stories in his epic stage performance “500 Nations”, based on the CBS mini-series produced by Kevin Costner.   Gayle also produced and directed an all-Native show entitled “Full Circle”, which featured the Grammy award-winning Mohegan musician Bill Miller, as well as the singing and dancing of Rob Greyhill, Jennifer Meness and the Great American Indian Dance Theater.

     Gayle was invited by then Vice President Al Gore to perform at a gala at his residence entitled “A Taste of Tennessee” and she was chosen by the Clinton White House as the only Native American speaker at the giant “Millenium on the Mall” celebration in Washington D.C.  First Lady Laura Bush selected Gayle to perform at the National Book Festival’s opening gala where she shared the stage with such luminaries as CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer and stage and screen star, Julie Andrews.   Gayle’s stories have opened evenings for such distinguished speakers as Maya Angelou, N. Scott Momaday and Alice Walker and she has appeared with such noted Native American artists as Rita Coolidge, Wes Studi, Kevin Locke and John Trudell.         As the author of five critically acclaimed children’s books, Gayle has been asked to speak at the American Library Association, the International Reading Association and the International Board of Books for Young People.  She was recently featured in the ground-breaking American Experience series “We Shall Remain” in the “The Trail of Tears” episode.  Her stories have been heard  on National Public Radio on such programs as “Living on the Earth” and “Mountain Stages”.  From the kindergarten classroom to the college campus to the Kennedy Center, Gayle stories have enthralled audiences of all ages. 





Featured Tellers

Since 1981, award-winning co-directors Nancy Wang, dancer, choreographer, performer and playwright, and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, musician, composer, performer, and playwright, have performed their interdisciplinary style of storytelling for over 1 million people across the nation and abroad. Using movement, music and stylized gesture, they perform ancient Asian folktales and myths as well as contemporary Asian-American inspiring and historical stories. Their tales express values and messages that are Asian specific and universal at the same time.

Eth-Noh-Tec, their Asian American kinetic storytelling non-profit, has gained international recognition with its mission to build cultural bridges that celebrate diversity and create compassionate communities through the art of storytelling. Their ability to represent the many and diverse Asian cultures, including Asian-American, has made them an essential asset to those organizations committed to presenting diverse voices.

Besides creating and staging original performances, they organize tours to Asia for storytellers to share stories and culture with Asian storytellers. They also conduct workshops on storytelling and movement, Asian music and dance, and others. They perform in libraries, festivals, museums, and schools, including at the presidential inaugurations of Bill Clinton in 1993 and of Barack Obama in 2009.

Their awards include the “International StoryBridge” and “Circle of Excellence” from the National Storytelling Network; the Izzy nomination for original music and performance; and various awards given to their CDs and DVDs. They have received numerous grants for their work: NEA, California Arts Council, SF Arts Commission, Robert Joseph Lee Memorial Fund, Zellerbach Family Fund, and many many more.

Eth-Noh-Tec is also a SF Green Business.

Nancy Wang, playwright, director, actor, dancer, and project manager co-founded Eth-Noh-Tec, an Asian-American storytelling theater nonprofit in 1981.

Drawing on her background in modern and ethnic dance, theater, and playwriting, Nancy co-scripts and sculpts Eth-Noh-Tec’s synchronistic and seamless tandem movements. With lyricism, rhythmic, and visual counterpoints drawn from Nancy’s choreography and staging skills, ENT’s stories provide evocative visuals to stimulate and deepen the imagination.

As a playwright, her plays of Asian-American themes include: Leave Me My Dreaming, Asian American Theater Company; Unspeakable Moons, Noh Theater; Takashi’s Dream, various festivals and theaters; In Need of Goddesses commissioned by Creative Work Fund; Bittersweet commissioned by Racebridges; Red Altar, an immigration story performed throughout the US in festivals and theaters; Shadows & Secrets reading, the SF International Arts Festival, United States of Asian America Festival, Orcas StoryFest; author A New Pair of Wings. Red Altar book pending publication.

Along with her husband and co-director of Eth-Noh-Tec, they have received numerous grants and awards for their performances and cultural products. 

Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, co-director of Eth-Noh-Tec, composer, creative consultant, multi-media graphic designer.

1977: began composing and performing songs celebrating vanishing towns and heroes of Asian America.

1981: co-founded Kalilang with Nancy, pioneering and introducing Southern Filipino kulintang gong music and dance to Northern California with a school and performing company. He received the prestigious NEA Folk Arts award to forward the research and performance of this indigenous music in the Filipino Community.

1987: having studied traditional Asian instruments and contemporary western modalities, he co-created Eth-Noh-Tec’s unique style of storytelling using language rhythmic and lyrical. He has written and co-written over 100 folktale performances.

He composed film scores for Wayne Wang Chan is Missing and Eat a Bowl of Tea, Felicia Lowe Carved in Silence; performing/songwriting for Asian American Yokohama, California; Bamboo Brew; The Noh Buddies.

He is also a visual artist.


Yuriko Takata was born in California to parents who emigrated from Japan after WWII. She went to the Academy of Art in San Francisco and worked as an artist in many different mediums, primarily watercolors and pastels, as well as some handmade paper and clay sculpture. Now she’s discovering the joys of a new creative expression: storytelling with Eth-Noh-Tec. 



Archy Jamjun

Archy Jamjun

Featured Teller

Archy Jamjun is the curator of Outspoken LGBTQ Stories at Sidetrack in Chicago. He first started storytelling at a Moth Story Slam in 2014 and went on to win two Grand Slams in Chicago as well as being featured on their podcast and mainstage shows. His solo show A BOY & A DIVA debuted in 2019 at the Fillet of Solo Storytelling Festival in Chicago and his writing has been published by Barrel House and Chicago Magazine. Last year he was featured in The Future of Comedy Festival in Chicago. When he isn’t storytelling Archy enjoys tennis, theater (especially musicals), and time with his friends, family, and cat. 


Tom Wade

Tom Wade

Guest Teller

An energetic teller of mostly-true tales, Tom Wade’s stories engage people of all ages. Tom grew up as one of 10 kids in Michigan, has worked in mental hospitals, traveled widely, and now lives as a gardener and homestead dairyman in California. His stories draw from all of this experience with the aim of inspiring others. Tom is also a six-time winner of the Sierra Story Slam.





Past Tellers: