sean buvala speaking into a microphoneSean Buvala, Director of and the StoryRise Host.

Bad Boys. Petulant Parents. Slapping. Knives. Knackers. Death. Sin. Violence. Rewards. These are just some of the things that Storyteller Sean Buvala tackles from those “fairy tales” you think you know. But when it comes down to it, you really don’t have a clue what’s buried in those tales. Along with stories of real life, Irish tales and others, Sean dishes it out good and bad. In his tales, you will find out why an angry fairy can ruin your day. An Avondale resident Sean has been busy performing and teaching storytelling for more than two decades. In whatever state you call home, Sean has probably performed there. Recognized by the National Storytelling Network with the “Oracle Award,”  Sean describes his stories as somewhere between “in your life and in your face” depending on the needs of his audience at any moment. When he’s not working in performances, you can find Sean coaching and training other artists or working as a trainer for corporate and non-profit leaders, teaching them to use the power of the storytelling to develop their own businesses. Find his website at or on Twitter at @storyteller .

Other Guest Performers, Present Past and Future:

sandy oglesby wearing a red jacket Sandy Oglesby,

Sandy Oglesby, whose motto is “connecting through story,” has honed her storytelling craft as an Arizona tour guide, museum educator, Elderhostel instructor, keynote speaker, and early childhood educator. Of course, all that Arizona storytelling work is between her events in Ireland (pics) and Germany as well as a few other countries we don’t know about. She conducts workshops and in-service seminars for museums, libraries, and schools on the benefits of oral storytelling. As well, she serves on the Board for the National Storytelling Network. You can find her website at

Liz Warren (website)

“The Arizona Bard of Mythic Tales”, Liz Warren is a storyteller, teacher and award winning recording artist.

Liz Warren, a fourth-generation Arizonan, is a storyteller, teacher, writer and co-founder of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Her recorded version of The Story of the Grail received a Parents Choice Recommended award in 2004 and a Storytelling World award in 2006. In June 2007, she was a featured teller at the Dublin Yarnspinners and at Cultra, the annual storytelling festival of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Belfast. The Path of Truth, her new cd of Arizona family stories will be released in 2008. She has just completed a semester long storytelling residency at the Tertulia Pre-College Community. Representing SMCC’s Storytelling Institute, she is the producer of the annual Mesa Storytelling festival held at the Mesa Arts Center.

Elly Reidy, (website)

Elly Reidy has been telling stories professionally since 1998. She tells across generations and cultures, looking for humor and the quarter turn of perspective in the stories she tells.

“I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where the idea of traveling by paddling some kind of water craft to get someplace remarkable was pretty common. “Paddling the Storied Water” is what I do every time I invite someone to come with me into the stories I tell.”

She has been a member of the National Storytelling Network since 2002, and is a 2007 graduate of the Storytelling Institute at South Mountain Community College. She is a three-time member of the Nu Wa Storytelling Delegation to China’s premiere storytelling village of Gengcun.

Elly has presented workshops on storytelling genres and techniques to high school child development classes, Head Start Teacher In-service Programs, Middle School ESL classes, other storytellers and at the International School of Beijing.

And she has a Slinky and a “light up” yo-yo.

Marian Giannatti

I have been a teacher of the arts and a substitute in the Phoenix Union High School District for 39 years! In 2013 I took a chance on a little class called The Art of Storytelling and I fell in love. I have been telling ever since, and I enjoy every minute of it. I have earned my Storytelling Certificate from The South Mountain Storytelling Institute where I continue to take classes. Nothing brings me greater joy than to share the ancient oral tradition with an audience.

I have three daughters, one granddaughter, and one very patient husband who has gone from, “So this storytelling – it’s really a thing?” to “Now I get it!” I also have two dogs, two cats, and one tortoise – all rescue critters. I love dance, music, art therapies, nature, and reading. I like to share stories. Will you tell me yours?

Past Guests:
Annie GustafsonAnnie Gustafson

Like the crop circles in her native state of Indiana, Annie’s interest in storytelling has been intentional, certainly, but not linear.