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Stories abound at 19th annual ‘Tellabration!’ in Murrysville

December 3, 2018

When it comes to storytelling, Marva Seymour of Murrysville has plenty of source material from which to draw.

“I’m old enough to have lived through World War II, so I have plenty of stories,” said Seymour, who grew up on a farm in northeastern Colorado.

Seymour will be joined by a half-dozen other featured storytellers at this year’s “Tellabration!” on Nov. 17 in Murrysville.

Free to the public and geared toward anyone age 10 and up, “Tellabration!” is the annual storytelling festival organized by the Storyworks Storytelling Guild. It is sponsored by the National Storytelling Network and is part of a worldwide celebration typically observed the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Seymour has been part of the festival since its beginning.

“I like telling my stories and listening to others,” she said. “Some are made up, some are personal.”

Seymour prefers to tell personal stories from her life. This year, she will focus on her college years at the former Colorado State College of Education in Greeley, Colo.

“It goes back to the days of rationing during World War II,” she said.

Other featured storytellers include Barb Gugar of Monroeville, Dean Hazelton of Mt. Lebanon, Misty Mator of Springdale, Mike Perry of Forest Hills, Mary Jo Sonntag of Pittsburgh’s Mt. Washington neighborhood and Marsha Wong of Murrysville.

Seymour said it takes her two to three weeks to get a story into proper shape for the festival.

“The biggest challenge is getting a story down to the 10-to-12-minute time limit,” she said.

“Tellabration!” will begin at 7 p.m, Nov. 18 at Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church, 4600 Old William Penn Highway in Murrysville. There is no cost to attend.

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