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Volume 24, Number 6 — June 2017

New season of Storytelling Live! begins

Storyteller Bil Lepp of West Virginia begins the season May 2-6.
Storyteller Bil Lepp of West Virginia begins the season May 2-6.
Additional photos below »

April 26, 2017

Storytelling Live!, the International Storytelling Center's renowned teller-in-residence series, kicks off its new season May 2. The series features 26 of America's best-loved storytellers, one each week May through October.

Each teller appears in matinee performances Tuesday through Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall, Jonesborough, Tennessee. Evening performances, children's concerts, special features and holiday shows are also offered.

Storyteller Bil Lepp of West Virginia begins the season May 2-6, with a special evening concert Thursday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. An internationally known storyteller, author and recording artist, he has been described as a blend of Bob Newhart and Jeff Foxworthy. Lepp has been featured at venues across the nation, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Comedy Central. He is the recipient of the NSN Oracle Circle of Excellence award, and his picture book, "The King of Little Things," won a Parents' Choice Gold award. A five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars' Contest, his outrageous tall tales and witty stories are a signature of his repertoire.

Sam Payne appears during the second week of Storytelling Live, May 9-13. His stage presence, craftsmanship and tenor voice have established him as a favorite with audiences and critics alike. Payne hosts "The Apple Seed: Tellers and Stories," a national radio show on the art of storytelling. He has authored publications for children with a regular readership of more than a million elementary school students and is a frequent workshop presenter for musicians and storytellers. Payne co-directed the "Soundcheck Series," a professional development program for independent songwriters.

Leeny Del Seamonds performs as Storytelling Live's resident storyteller May 16-20. With a face and voice that launched a thousand characters, Seamonds is an internationally acclaimed performer, coach and multi award-winning recording artist. From a prized television show to a village in Gengcun, China to the Comix Club in New York City, to the Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival, Seamonds encourages listeners to rejoice in human and cultural diversity and invites them to share in her Cuban-American sense of humor and joy of performing. She is the recipient of the NSN Oracle Circle of Excellence award. In addition to her matinees, she presents a musical and bilingual concert for children, May 20 at 10:30 a.m.

Carol Birch tells tales May 23-27. A storyteller and award-winning recording artist, Birch is known for a compelling blend of energy, warmth, vulnerability and directness. Her style revitalizes language, her art is an absence of artifice and the stories she tells offer memories worth keeping. Birch has shared her work around the world including in Singapore, Australia, and Europe; her media appearances include NPR, the CBS "Morning Show" and ABC's "Nightline." She is an NSN Oracle Circle of Excellence award recipient.

Rounding out the first month of Storytelling Live! May 30 through June 3 is Liz Weir. Weir is a professional storyteller and writer from Northern Ireland. Formerly a children's librarian for the city of Belfast, she travels the world including appearances on five continents. Weir is the recipient of the NSN Oracle International Storybridge award, which cited her "exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling within Ireland and between other countries." She is the author of over 20 children's books. A genuine senachie (Irish storyteller), Weir spins classic lore as fine as Irish lace, and folklore packed with the little people, songs and stories.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $11 for seniors, students and children under 18 years of age. For tickets or more information, or to request a brochure, call 800-952-8392 or 423-913-1276. All ticket sales are final. Season tickets are also available for purchase. Season Tickets are $175 and include entrance to one matinee performance each week. For more information about Storytelling Live! visit www.storytellingcenter.net. To purchase tickets call 800-952-8392 ext. 222 or 423-913-1276.

Topics: Storytelling



Sam Payne appears during the second week of Storytelling Live, May 9-13.


Leeny Del Seamonds performs as Storytelling Live's resident storyteller May 16-20.


Carol Birch tells tales May 23-27.


Rounding out the first month of Storytelling Live! May 30 through June 3 is Liz Weir.