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Professional Teller

Will Hornyak

Will Hornyak 2019.jpg
All ages
Story types:
Myth, fable, legend,  fairytale, folktale, personal narrative, participation stories, song and poetry
Themed programs and workshops

About the Teller

Young Audiences Artist of the Year
A full-time professional storyteller since 1994, Will Hornyak teaches storytelling in professional communication and performs throughout the United States. A featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough Tennessee, Will has assisted numerous non-profit and corporate organizations in developing the stories that reflect their values, vision and brand including Intel, Doc Martens Shoes, Carrefour Europe and The American Cancer Society. Will’s class “Storytelling and the Art of Persuasion” has been offered at Marylhurst University, Lewis and Clark College and Portland State University.

A frequent performer and workshop facilitator at K-12 schools and colleges,Will was awarded the Brimstone Grant by the National Storytelling Assoc. for his environmental educational assembly: Living Streams: Stories for Healthy Watersheds. “Will is a world-class storyteller and a master of audience inclusion.” Joe Lapidus, Elementary Principal Vancouver, WA.

Will has written, produced and toured twenty full-length one-man shows for adult audiences since 2009 featuring Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Norse mythology and Grimm’s Brothers fairytales. He artfully weaves poetry, song and lore into his well-crafted and highly engaging performances. “Profound truths, rollicking humour and heartfelt emotion....a masterful blend of storytelling, song and poetry.” Alan Cohen, Director Ohio Poetry Festival.

Will’s storytelling and teaching is influenced by mythologists Heinrich Zimmer and Joseph Campbell, storytellers Michael Meade, Robert Bly, Martin Prechtel, Martin Shaw, Clarissa Pinkola Estes and psychologists Carl Jung, Maria Von Franz and James Hillman. A strong advocate for storytelling as “change agent” in personal and collective life, Will works with the Portland, OR based non-profit “Open Hearts Open Minds” to integrate theatre, storytelling and dialogue into Oregon penitentiaries.

“For awhile, when Will shares stories, nobody feels like they’re in prison.” Johnny Stallings, Founder and Director of Open Hearts, Open Minds.
Reviews/audience comments

A soulful storyteller, dynamic performer and engaging teacher

“Will Hornyak is a storyteller extraordinaire....” Joseph Chehouri, WDHB Executive Seminars Denver, CO

"Storyteller par excellence….endless imagination, boundless wit and an ability to transport children and adults into an amazing imaginary world.”   The Oregonian

“A storyteller of enormous power and presence.” Rev. Marilyn Sewall, First Unitarian Church Portland, OR

“Warmth, wit, wisdom...Will Hornyak.” Rebecca Hom, Coordinator Forest Storytelling Festival

Sample of Recent Performances and Workshops
Adult Shows

Waking Finn Mac Cool: Myths, Legends, Songs and Lore of Ireland’s Greatest Poet-Warrior
Cerridwenn’s Cauldron: Stories of Healing and Renewal for the Winter Solstice

Stories from the Celtic Otherworld for the Samhain (Halloween) Season

Erin’s Daughters: Tales of Ireland’s Hags, Heroines, Saints and Sorceresses

To Tell the Holy – Stories of Vision and Descent

On the Rocky Road: Tales of Vagabonds, Exiles and Wanderers in Celtic Myth and History

K-12 School Assemblies

World Voices, World Wisdom: A Tapestry of Myths, Fables and Tall Tales from Oral Traditions Around the World

Living Streams Stories for Healthy Watersheds

Coyote Makes this World: Northwest Myths and Legends

Tales from the Mythic Isles: Irish and Scottish Folktales

El Cuento de Medio Pollito: Bi-Lingual English/Spanish Folktales


Archetypes of the Soul – Telling the World’s Oldest Stories

Well Told: A Storyteller’s Toolbox

Telling Stories, Changing Lives: Storytelling in Education and Community Building

Persuasive Storytelling: The Art of Storytelling in the Work of Communication

To Tell the Holy: Storytelling in Spiritual Practice

Pass the Word: Storytelling Residency for K-5 Students

Recent Keynotes

Narrative Therapy: How Stories Heal

Lessons from Scheherazade: Storytelling as a Tool in Profound Organizational Transformation (also a TEDx Marylhurst UniversityTalk)

Imagine That: Storytelling in Leadership and Management

Your Brain on Stories: Storytelling as a Practice in Mental Health

11375 SE 33rd Ave.
Milwaukie, Oregon 97222
Contact Will
performances and workshops
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