It all started with Abraham Lincoln, of course!

Springfield's most famous citizen -- and a storyteller himself -- inspired the name of our guild. 


“Top Hat Tellers” comes from a story about Abraham Lincoln that most likely is legend, but that captures the spirit of our guild. The story goes that Lincoln used to stuff his top hat with papers and his legal documents. As a good-natured practical joke, children would climb a tree across from the Lincoln Herndon Law Office and tie a string from an upper branch to the law office sign. As Lincoln would walk by, his hat would be knocked off and the papers would scatter.


The Top Hat Tellers (THT) guild welcomes storytellers of varied experience levels and abilities.


To get you started -- or add to your story performing library -- we offer Story Harvests. These workshops are designed to help storytellers at all levels mine, draft, edit, and perform original and adapted stories.  

Storytelling is a performance art that has been a part of human interaction for thousands of years. It connects people at the most basic level — to be heard and understood, and to share in the experience of being a human being.


Storytellers often specialize in stories for specific audiences and genres. However, the art is very versatile and can include autobiographical stories, myths/tales, and presentations of work by other authors (both fiction and non-fiction).


Not only is storytelling a form of entertainment, but also it is recognized as a tool to promote community engagement and healing. Storytelling appeals to all audiences and can be used for therapeutic interventions by those trained to do so.


Storytelling most often is presented in a concert format and generally requires no costumes, props, or sets.



  • Facebook Social Icon

Top Hat Tellers