Bobby Norfolk

Emmy-Winning African-American Storyteller, Author, Teaching Artist

  • Story Performer
  • Children's Author
  • Teaching Artist
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Introducing Three-Time Emmy Winning Storyteller Bobby Norfolk

NSN Oracle Circle of Excellence Winner


Jan Dolan, Booking Agent
105 E Drake Ave
St. Louis, MO 63119
(314) 968-2606
Fax: (314) 968-4438

New Program

Dreams Deferred


Downloadable Flyer
All aboard! Jump on the "A" train to celebrate the African-American art, music, and poetry exploding out of Harlem in the early 20th century.

During this artistic journey, we will make stops for poetry, prose, vignettes and toe-tapping music! Bobby uses musical classics such as Nat King Cole’s “Straighten Up and Fly Right”, and W. C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” to bring Langston Hughes’s humorous and often outrageous “Simple” tales to life. Hughes was nicknamed “The Poet Laureate of Harlem.” He was among the first to give voice to the African-American experience, cementing his most famous fictional character Jesse B. Simple as one of literature’s greatest treasures.

Other poetry samplings may include:

  • The Party By Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • Booker T. & W. E. B. by Dudley Randall
  • A Negro Love Song by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • The Creation by James Weldon Johnson
  • Birds Word by The Last Poets
  • The Cold Within by James Patrick Kinney
  • Dreams Deferred by Langston Hughes
  • I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes

Experience the Harlem Renaissance through the creative genius and brilliant imaginations of these cultural giants whose literary and musical gifts inspired future generations, and continue to influence the world today.

Bobby has been a professional entertainer since 1971. His natural talent combined with a background in theatre and comedy has made him one of the top storytellers in the country today.

  • Bobby brings great energy, humor and spirit to all of his theatre performances in K-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities.
  • Bobby provides a unique perspective and inspired motivation with his keynotes and story/theatre workshops.
  • He establishes a strong sense of place and time with his fascinating living history story performances where his audiences become totally engaged in the lives of ordinary people going through extraordinary events!
  • He highlights through his unique ability the African/American experience and traditions that show the commonality of all human beings on the planet.

As Bobby says:

We all share the exact same character traits, despite color, race or religion. I tell stories to see the happiness and joy that can be shared through the oral tradition. No fancy electronics, just teller and listener. The human brain is hard-wired for story. Once you know a person’s story, it is easier to understand and relate to them.

Program Themes:

Character Education

Bobby promotes character education traits such as: respect, responsibility, honesty, teamwork, cooperation, compassion, and self esteem. He has developed the technique of sprinkling common core curriculum lessons into his stories in a seamless flow of theatre arts in his program called: The Moral of the Story.

Cultural Diversity and Literacy

Additionally, he has storytelling programs emphasizing cultural diversity, literacy & nature. Favorites include Folktales from around the World, Back to the Books, Monsters, Dragons and Ogres, and the ever popular Anansi Tales.

Living History

Audiences of all ages delight in his first person living history programs that range from; Through The Eyes Of York — The Lewis & Clark Expedition, to Henry Box Brown and Other Tales of The Underground Railroad, Lincoln and The Civil War, to the poetry and prose of the Harlem Renaissance.


Bobby’s musical programs highlight the life and music of great artists such as Scott Joplin; The Ragtime King and Swinging With The Duke; The Duke Ellington Story, while The Voices and Music of Africa! and The Storytelling Express combine story, music, dance, and audience participation. He introduces audiences to the rich traditions which underlie much of America's musical landscape. These special two person programs feature Bobby with a professional musician.

Workshops and Keynotes

Bobby’s keynotes on overcoming adversity and the importance of discipline, persistence focus, and concentration are favorites among educators and corporations. These workshops are also very popular with festivals and conferences where people want to learn how to research, learn, and tell stories.

Bobby Norfolk

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