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2020 Ojai Storytelling Festival!

We are so sorry to announce that due to the dangers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have sadly decided to CANCEL this year’s festival. Please join us next year for the 20th Ojai Storytelling Festival. 

October 28-31, 2021 

Oct 29-Nov 1


The Tellers



Vibrant ~ Hilarious ~ Poignant ~ Original

Regi Carpenter

Master of Ceremonies, Storyteller

Regi Carpenter brings a remarkable blend of warmth, humor, and depth to every performance she gives. She captivates audiences with traditional stories from around the world as well as stories of the irrepressible Carpenters growing up in the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River in Clayton, New York for four generations. With a voice that dances, it can at a moments’ notice, be light as a feather, playful as a puppy or leap with sudden power and surprise.  Best of all is the sheer joy she communicates in telling her tales of hope and wonder.  An award winning performer, we are so glad to have Regi back as our official emcee and storyteller for the 20th Ojai Storytelling Festival


Donald Davis


It feels like a homecoming when Donald performs at the Ojai Storytelling Festival.  He was the inspiration that helped create this festival 20 years ago. A master of the personal story, Donald invites you into the stories of his life to discover the stories you own.  With wit and laughter, with characters that shine bright and bold, Donald’s stories glow with wisdom and humanity. He truly is a master of the spoken word and a kind of time machine that takes listeners to another place, another time. And did I mention, he is funny!


Insight ~ Family ~ Humor


Courage ~ Culture ~ Kinship

Carmen Agra Deedy


When Carmen comes on stage, you know you’re about to experience something special, something almost indescribable.  She shares every story from her heart to your heart. She has the gift of not only speaking to all people, but to each person.  She once said, “Great storytelling is the art of letting go.” But even as she lets go, Carmen will hold your heart in the palm of her hand. No one plays an audience like Carmen Deedy, she is a storytelling treasure.

Rev. Robert B. Jones


An inspirational storyteller and musician, the Reverend B. Jones, takes listeners on a musical journey celebrating the humor and power of America’s roots music.  At the heart of his message is the belief that our cultural diversity tells a story that should be celebrated and praised. A pastor, a songwriter, a multi-instrumentalist and an award-winning educator with an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of African American folk music, including blues, spiritual, and slave songs…its players and styles…The Reverend B Jones will be our guide as he takes us on a very special musical journey over the weekend.


Music ~ Tradition ~ History


Funny ~ Bold ~ Entertaining

Bill Harley


A two-time Grammy-winning artist, Bill Harley combines music and story to paint a vivid picture of growing up, through stories that are brimming with adventure, humor and heart.  His work spans the generation gap, reminds us of our common humanity and challenges us to be our very best selves. A prolific author, keynote speaker, and NPR commentator, we are proud to welcome back this one-of-a-kind storyteller but we must warn you...his stories may be humorous to your health…so beware.

Bil Lepp


Drop-dead Funny, Bil Lep will amaze you with his outrageous, humorous tall tales that you wish would never end.  A five-time champion of the West Virginia Liar’s contest, Bil’s stories will entertain listeners of all ages and walks of life.  But beware… Bil’s wit will hit you and you will never see it coming. Get ready for a wild ride on Lep’s limousine of Laughter. A storyteller, stand-up comedian and wordsmith extraordinaire Bill Lep is a favorite of festivals around the world and especially Ojai.  We are so glad he’s back with us, it’s been way too long.


Wit ~ Lies ~ Hilarity

Edgy Moth Winner


Brian Finkelstein


Brian Finkelstein is a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles and is also a regular host and storyteller for The Moth. He has also performed eight solo shows in a variety of venues, from the HBO/US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen to the 2014 Summer Nights Festival in Perth, Australia and New Zealand. We are happy to have this Grandslam Moth winner back at the festival

Mara Menzies


Mara is an award winning Kenyan/Scottish storyteller who draws on her rich cultural heritage to create beautiful, glittering, life-affirming stories.  Her style of storytelling is incredibly engaging and physically surprising. She takes a story and brings it to life with poetic movement and dramatic delivery.  Her acclaimed telling has taken her around the world and garnered rave reviews from far away places like Singapore, Nigeria and Denmark. As a first timer here in Ojai, we are excited to present this dynamic and riveting performer.


Engaging ~ Surprising ~ Poetic

Perla Batalla

Singer, Musician

Perla began her career as a backup singer to Leonard Cohen. In the House of Cohen, Perla Batalla features selected songs and rare personal anecdotes that serve to reveal Cohen’s lighter side through Perla Batalla’s signature cross-cultural style, to convey her sincere respect and deep love for the music, the poetry, and most of all for her dear friend, Leonard Cohen. 

Grammy Nominated Singer



Local Musical Treasures

Alan Thornhill & Martin Young

Singer Songwriter Duo

Gifted musicians Alan Thornhill and Martin Young return to the Ojai Storytelling Festival to perform a concert that includes their original songs and covers from well-known songwriters.





The Venues

Libbey Bowl - 210 S. Signal Street

Ojai Art Center -113 S. Montgomery Street

Ojai House - 304 N Montgomery Street

Matilija Auditorium - 703 El Paseo Road

Ojai Vineyard - 109 S. Montgomery Street

Nestled near the rear of a beautiful grove in Libbey Park, Libbey Bowl has been described by artists and audience members alike as being an almost enchanted venue. The mission of the Ojai Art Center since it opened in 1939, has been to support and advance the interest of the arts within the community. One block North of Main Street is Ojai House, a true Ojai gem featuring an intimate venue and treasures from around the world. Matilija Auditorium, the original home of the Ojai Music Festival, lies less than a mile east of down town Ojai. And finally, the original Ojai Valley Fire Station, now the Ojai Vineyard, will be among our generous hosts.

Our Sponsors


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20th Annual Ojai Storytelling Festival

More than a festival... It's an experience.


The 20th Annual Ojai Storytelling Festival


October 29-November 1


Libbey Bowl, 
Ojai Art Center,

Ojai House,

Ojai Vineyard,

Matilija Auditorium

Contact Us

To learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch

© 2019 Ojai Storytelling Festival