Our Story

Simone ~ Michael ~ Silke

StoryGate was born from one wild and wonderful idea: What if . . . I became a storyteller? What if I spent my life travelling the world and telling stories?

StoryGate is the storytelling ensemble of international tellers Simone Schümmelfeder, Silke Schümmelfeder and Michael Phelan. For all of us, the journey to become a storyteller started differently and at different times, but it all began with our love for stories.

Silke, from StoryGate Germany, first came across a storyteller during a nature education workshop and was instantly hooked.

I, Simone, came to Ireland in 2006 to spent three months as the apprentice of storyteller Liz Weir. After three months of travelling across Ireland and telling stories on big stages as well as in remote little schools, I knew that this is what I want to do in my life.

For Michael, it began even before that. He got into storytelling after being stuck on a small island with a bunch of storytellers (you can read all about that tale here).

The idea to form an ensemble and perform together came after we all met during the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival in 2009. It took two more years of planning, research and training and then I moved to Ireland in 2011 and StoryGate was officially born.

We performed in both Ireland and Germany and quickly learned that storytelling is more than just performing. It involves a lot of research, but also collaboration with other wonderful artists and organizations that paved our way.

Since 2013, we work with Europe Direct Information Centers to bring the folklore and traditions of different European Countries to school children all across Ireland. We have worked closely with the Goethe Institut, perfecting our bi-lingual performances of German and Irish stories. Over the years, we have worked with visual artists, actors, scientists, musicians and many more to create ever new shows for both adults and children. We have performed at festivals such as the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival and most recently the (online) Wexford Science Festival. Every new show, every new session is a challenge that we delight in and take on with all our hearts. At StoryGate, we constantly strive to learn more. Read more stories, discover old tales, or add to our shows with new skills. Michael trained as a puppeteer with Little Angel Theatre in London and has since acquired a whole Zoo of puppets (see more here). Silke trained with Goldmund Akadamie of Storytelling in Munich, first as a teller and later as a storytelling mentor and teacher. Most recently, I trained with Sprecher Akademie in Germany to become an audiobook narrator and also started to dabble in video editing and animation software to rise to the challenges that Covid 19 poses for performers like us.

All our skills enhance our performances and enable us to keep the gate to the story world open for you!

Come and join us, we’d love to see you!


View our storytellers’ individual profiles here.


Simone Schuemmelfeder

Storygate Puppets

Michael Phelan

Silke Schümmelfeder Storyteller

Silke Schuemmelfeder

We would love to share the Joy of Storytelling with you !!

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