Custom Storytelling for Audiences of All Ages

She Speaks In Stories - Skywalker Payne

For over 20 years Skywalker lived a gypsy life as a community performance artist. Audiences  in Chicago, New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA, Austin, TX and Greenville, SC enjoyed her original choreography and theatric poetry. In Denver, Colorado she earned a degree in storytelling. Her storytelling was a repeated feature at Denver’s Black Arts Festival. She produced three Tellabration programs in Denver, told at schools and art festivals, and produced storytelling programs for public access TV.

In Des Moines, Iowa, she and her husband, Brian Payne, creator of Zinc Comics,  opened Darshan Comic Studio and Storytelling Theater. In addition to performances there, she participated in the Iowa Touring Arts Team and was on the Iowa artists registry. She told stories about Iowa’s participation in the Underground Railroad as an Humanities Iowa Speaker  throughout the state.

After working as a registered nurse, Skywalker returned to live storytelling in  Homer, Alaska, where she now lives.

Book Skywalker Storyteller Today!


Sue Christiansen, Homer, Alaska

Skywalker! Your Shorebird Festival presentation Friday night for “On the Wing” was fabulous! Thank you. Every person listening was spellbound. From the moment your exquisite crane graced the stage in dance we were captured. Your every word invoking tender awe and respect for our feather friends. What fun it was listening! What a lovely tale you spun. You are a wonderful storyteller.

Maria Seda-Reeder, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, OH

We were pleased and proud to host your performance, “The Wish of a Woman,” at the Freedom Center. Your performances embraced the Center’s mission of linking stories from the past with contemporary freedom struggles and your passion for storytelling kept the audience enraptured. I look forward to working with you again in the future. 

Storytelling Experience


B.A. Summa Cum Laude, Storytelling, Metropolitan State University of Denver, CO, 1998
ASN, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines, IA     2007

Media Storytelling

Race A Concept Explored in Story Interactive, Infinite Online Space, Oct. 2020
Race A Concept Explored in Story Circle, Zoom events, August, 2020
Three Minute Stories – Youtube Channel – February – December 2017 (
Podcast Channel - programs for all ages

In-Person Storytelling

Stories of Courage, Coompassion & Comedy – Tellabration, November 2018
Winter Tales to Warm Your Heart, Homer Library, Homer, AK Dec. 16, 2017
“The Grateful Crane,” On the Wing, Homer Council of the Arts, May 5, 2017
“Raven Brings Light to the Animals,” - Animalia, A Fantastical Wearable Arts Performance, Mariner Theatre, Homer, AK October 24, 2015
“A Gypsy’s Home,” SHORE – at Tuggeght – SHORE/Story, June 9, 2015 Bunnell Arts Center, Homer, AK
“Holiday Storytelling Circle,” Homer Council on the Arts, December 19, 2014
“Bridges Yet to Cross – Stories That Led to the US Voting Rights Act” – Celebrate Voting – 40th Anniversary of 1965 Voting Rights Act, Aug. 6, 2005, State Historical Museum, Des Moines, IA
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA, Nov. 7, 2005
“The Wish of a Woman,” National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 2005
Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, IA August 2003
DuSable Museum, National Storytelling Network, Chicago, IL, March 2003
14th Annual Iowa Storytelling Festival, Clear Lake Iowa, July 26, 2002
Colorado Performing Arts Festival, Denver, CO, Oct. 3, 1999


Darshan Studios Storytelling Theater and Comic Museum 2000–2005 - Co-owned with husband, Brian Payne, creator of Zinc Comics
Major Production - Lysistrata Project, March 3, 2003

Humanities Iowa Speakers Bureau 2003-2005

Presented stories of the Underground Railroad in Iowa to historical societies, community colleges, and public libraries in Iowa

Events - Tellabration (Annual International Celebration of Storytelling)

Sponsored by the Friends of the Homer Public Library, Homer, AK, Nov. 17, 2018
Sponsored by the Friends of the Homer Public Library, Homer, AK, Nov. 18, 2017
Sponsored by the Friends of the Homer Public Library, Homer, AK, Nov. 19, 2016
Edmunds Academy of the Arts, Des Moines, IA Nov. 23, 2003
Two Rivers Story Spinners, Des Moines, IA 2002
Darshan Studios, Des Moines, IA Nov. 2001
“All Stories Are True,” Metropolitan State College of Denver, Nov. 21, 1998
“Carriers of the Dream Wheel,” Metropolitan State College of Denver, Nov. 23, 1997

Residencies and Artist in Schools

Storyteller, Statewide Teaching Artist Roster, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Jan 2018 - Present
Artist in Residence, Edmunds Arts Academy, First Semester, Des Moines, IA 2003
Touring Arts Team, Iowa Arts Council 2002
Iowa Artist in Schools 2002 - 2005

Workshops, Presentations

The Healing Power of Storytelling, SVT Health & Wellness, Spring 2016
Storytelling Workshop as part of Magic Markers Exhibit, Des Moines Art Center, February 20, 2003
Third Annual Youth Diversity Conference, Des Moines, IA, 2001


Strengthening & Valuing Latino Communities in Iowa October 2003, 2004, and 2005. Des Moines, Iowa
I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa January 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
“Changing the Language Paradigm,” Iowa Statewide Diversity Conference, November 15, 2004

Community Activities

Co-founder, Homer Storytellers, March 2016 - September 2019
Practicing Compassion in Challenging Times, an Inter-faith Event, Co-Organizer and Storyteller, March 17, 2016 – Homer United Methodist Church


All That Is, Dance of Mindfulness & Gratitude, A Quest for Wholeness
Breathing Through the Eye of a Needles, Stories of Living in the Moment from Birth to Death


2009 screenplay, Munrize, semifinalist recognition in the Moon Dance Film Festival screenplays for children category.
May 2005 – Editor’s Choice Award,, The International Library of Poetry
October 2006 – Best Poem Entry Tri-State Area, Black Hawk Junction

Book Skywalker Storyteller Today!