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Festival Workshop presented by Connie Regan- Blake - Thursday, October 5th

A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Connie Regan-Blake

Thursday, October 5 - 9:30 A.M. to 5 P.M. • Lunch break on your own Fee $125
Class size is limited. Register early.
Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

Finding the Storyteller in You
Tap into your innate capacity as a storyteller in this powerful (and fun!) workshop. You’ll learn how to develop your storytelling skills, work with old memories, connect with listeners, and speak with real confidence. Useful in corporate settings, amongst family and friends, or on the stage, the skills you’ll learn in this workshop are geared towards writers, teachers, professionals, parents, tellers, ministers, or anyone who’s curious about storytelling.

One of America’s most celebrated storytellers and workshop leaders, Connie has been recognized with the NSN ORACLE Circle of Excellence, Distinguished Service, and Lifetime Achievement storytelling awards.

For reservations or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

Visit Connie’s website.

*Photo by Jay Huron

Festival Workshop presented by Antonio Rocha - Thursday, October 5th

A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Antonio Rocha

Thursday, October 5 - 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. •  Fee $75
Class size is limited. Register early.
Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

Hidden Gems: Mastering Transitions in Storytelling
Transitions—the moments in a story where we shift between one thought and the next—are hidden gems tucked away in a story well told. Whether you’re your family’s unofficial historian or a professional teller, learning to master these moments will give your stories extra polish and finesse. This workshop will teach you how to identify and develop the transitions within your stories by practicing techniques with voice and body language.

Antonio is a award-winning storyteller who holds a Summa Cum Laude BA in Theatre and who has studied with masters of mime Tony Montanaro and Marcel Marceau. He has performed his unique blend of storytelling and mime in 16 countries on six continents

For reservations or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

Visit Antonio’s website.

Festival Workshop presented by Minton Sparks - Thursday, October 5th

Minton Sparks

A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Minton Sparks

Thursday, October 5 - 2 P.M. to 5 P.M. •  Fee $75
Class size is limited. Register early.
Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

Who We Are: A Story-Writing Workshop
Back by popular demand! Each one of us has a story about who we are. Some stories are wildly inspiring; other times, they are the very things that hold us back. This writing workshop offers a unique opportunity to explore your family tree, listen deeply to your own story, and locate yourself within a particular time and place – all while learning new storytelling techniques. No writing experience necessary.

A poet, storyteller, educator and writer, Minton has performed everywhere from New York City’s Lincoln Center to the Grand Ole Opry. She is also the founder of the Nashville Writer and Performance Institute.

For reservations or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

Visit Minton’s website.

Pre-Festival Concert featuring Donald Davis - Wednesday, October 4th

A Pre-Festival Event featuring Donald Davis

Wednesday, October 4 - 7:30 P.M.
Library Tent on the Festival Grounds

Separate ticket required, $20 all ages.  For tickets or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

For other ticket options to Donald’s Tellers-in-Residence week.

Visit Donald’s website.

*photo by Jay Huron

Pre-Festival Concert featuring Jeanne Robertson - Thursday, October 5th

Jeanne Robertson

A Pre-Festival Concert Featuring Jeanne Robertson

Thursday, October 5 - 7:30 P.M.
Library Tent on the Festival Grounds
Separate ticket required, $20 all ages.  Buy Now!

A nationally-known, award winning humorist and author, Jeanne has been featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes, performed at the White House, and can be heard daily on Sirius XM Radio, where millions nationwide hear her speak two languages fluently: English — and Southern!

For tickets or more information call 800-952-8392 or click here to buy online

Visit Jeanne’s website.

Storytelling Studios

During the National Storytelling Festival, come inside the Storytelling Studio for up-close and revealing interviews with some of storytelling’s most exciting voices.  A one-time only opportunity, these fascinating and intimate conversations offer listeners a look at some of their favorite tellers in the theater of the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall. 

Tickets are $15 and on sale now.  Call (800) 952-8392, ext. 222 or Buy Online.  Seating is limited (and usually sells out quickly!), so be sure to reserve your seat soon.

2017 Storytelling Studios

On to Glory
Sheila Kay Adams
Saturday, October 7 · 2:30 pm
When Sheila Kay Adams’ grandparents came to the new country from England and Scotland, they brought their most prized possessions: their ballads and stories. What they didn’t know was there was no guarantee those traditions would survive. Lucky for them, along came Sheila. Hear the story of how she breathed new life into the old ways, and ultimately won the nation’s highest honor for contributions to our traditional arts heritage.

Inside the Storyteller’s Toolbox
Donald Davis
Sunday, October 8 · 11:30 am
As a storyteller, Donald Davis relies on his memory as one of his most powerful tools. But it’s also more than that—memory forms the building blocks of his personal identity, his family life, and even the ways in which he finds meaning in the world. With host Kevin Kling, Donald will provide a rare glimpse into his process as a craftsman.

Story Slam!

Old School, New Rules

Congratulations to the 2017 Story Slam participants!

Vara Cooper – NC

Randy Evensen – Utah

Ariel Gratch – GA

Adrienne Lieberman – IL

Tony Marr – TN

Kenneth Wettig – VA

Mariana Williams - CA

See you at the National Storytelling Festival Story Slam on Saturday, October 7!

Midnight Cabaret

Stay up late and enjoy a night of rollicking, grown-up fun at the ever-popular Midnight Cabaret.

  • Tickets are sold separately. $20 for adults.
  • Buy Now!
  • Not recommended for children.
  • Stories begin Friday night, October 6 at 10:30 p.m.

2017 National Storytelling Festival Midnight Cabaret Teller

Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

Sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts

Crones and gnomes and creepy things fill two nights of fanciful adventures in open-air concerts beneath the stars.

Brave the Ghost Story Concerts with two different collections of frightening tales served up beneath the nighttime sky during open-air performances which are always a Festival favorite.   

Tickets are sold separately.  $10 for all ages. Buy Now!

Stories begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday night in any kind of weather.  Tickets are available at the gate.  Only ground seating is available, so bring your blankets.

2017 National Storytelling Festival Ghost Story Tellers

Exchange Place

Explore the diversity of American storytelling at Exchange Place, featuring tellers new to the National Storytelling Festival stage. A revered Festival tradition, the program includes specially invited storytellers from across the country who share their finest tales during the National Storytelling Festival. 

The Exchange Place event is included with your weekend admission, but has limited seating.

Yarnspinners’ Party

Celebrate, meet the National Storytelling Festival’s featured tellers, and enjoy great food and fellowship at the Yarnspinners’ Party on Saturday, October 7 from 5-7 p.m. at the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.

Entertainment provided by the Jonesborough Novelty Band, who will be joined by some of your favorite musically-talented tellers ― including Donald Davis on the accordian.

The Yarnspinners’ Party is hosted by the ISC Board of Governors and sponsored by Holston Distributing, Main Street Catering, and One Stop Wines & Spirits.

Proceeds from this private event go to support the work of the International Storytelling Center.  Tickets are $100.  This is a tax deductible contribution.  For reservations or more information, call (800) 952-8392, ext. 283 or Buy Now!

Wine and Beer Garden

Sponsored by Holston Distributing

Relax in the afternoon at the Festival’s Wine and Beer Garden, featuring a selection of regional beer and wine available for purchase.  A popular festival feature.  The Wine and Beer Garden is sponsored by Holston Distributing.

On the front plaza of the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.

4–7 p.m. Thursday
4–8 p.m. Friday & Saturday

Swappin’ Ground

Under the Swappin' Ground

At the first National Storytelling Festival in 1973, a handful of storytellers gathered around the courthouse in Jonesborough’s town square and traded tales.  An old wagon served as the stage, and listeners took their seats on bales of hay. 

Today the Swappin’ Ground tradition continues in the center of Storytelling Park.  Here, anyone can tell a tale—and many do.  Stop by and listen as tellers recapture the humble beginnings of the National Storytelling Festival.

To share a story of your own, just sign up at the Festival Headquarters.

Swappin’ Ground is hosted by the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild.

Free Event (does not require separate ticket).

 

Marketplace

Marketplace Tent

During the Festival, be sure to visit the National Storytelling Festival’s official store for storyteller merchandise and Festival souvenirs including the latest storytelling books, teller CDs and DVDs, shirts, tote bags, and more! The Marketplace Tent is located on the corner of First Ave. and College St. next to the Food Court.

Meet the Tellers!

Throughout the Festival weekend you can also come to the Marketplace to meet your favorite storytellers face-to-face and get autographs!  Further information will be included in your Program of Events, which you’ll receive when you arrive at Festival Registration.

Special Feature - The Gee’s Bend Quilters

The Gee’s Bend Quilters
Sponsored by Tennessee Quilts

Friday, October 6, 2017 - 4 p.m.
Saturday, October 7, 2017 – 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Deep in Alabama, just south of Selma, lies a tiny African-American community that has remained almost completely insulated from the outside world since their enslaved ancestors became free men and women. Today, Gee’s Bend has one road, 700 souls, and a remarkable tradition of quilting that, around the year 2000, earned its women national acclaim.

The Festival is excited to welcome the quilters from Gee’s Bend for these special intimate and informal hour-long conversations.  You’ll hear about their community, their quilting tradition and their personal experiences – a rare opportunity to hear the unique story of Gee’s Bend, authentically told.   

Tickets are $20 and on sale now.  Call (800) 952-8392, ext. 222 or Buy Online.  Seating is limited (and usually sells out quickly!), so be sure to reserve your seat soon.

Family Tent

Sponsored by Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa

Some of your favorite storytellers will tell tales and spin yarns for the young and young-at-heart. The daytime program, featuring the festival’s mainstage tellers, is scheduled from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday at the Library Tent.

The Family Tent is sponsored by Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa and is included with your weekend admission. A separate Friday only ticket can be purchased. For tickets or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

Schoolhouse Stories

Oak Hill School, Jonesborough, TN

Join us, Saturday, October 7th at Oak Hill School for schoolhouse stories meant just for K-3rd graders! Free of charge to Festival swatch holders and available ­first come, ­first serve, at the door to the school. Located at Oak Hill School on Sabin Drive, next to Library Tent.
                       
11:30 a.m.
Adam Booth

1:00 p.m.
Megan Hicks

2:30 p.m.
Sheila Arnold Jones

Be sure to also try your hand at schoolhouse games - Cup-n-Ball, the game of Graces, or give the Buzz Saw a whirl. These games are fun for kids of all ages and would have been played by the students who went to Oak Hill School more than 100 years ago.

12:15–1:00 p.m.; 1:45–2:30 p.m.; 3:15–4:00 p.m.

Special Events

In addition to main stage performances, other special events will be presented during the Festival weekend and before - don’t miss them!

Come to Jonesborough early and join Donald Davis for a remarkable evening of storytelling, Wednesday night, October 4th and nationally-known humorist Jeanne Robertson, Thursday night, October 5th on the Festival grounds.

Stay up late and enjoy a night of rollicking, grown-up fun at the ever-popular Midnight Cabaret.

Brave the Ghost Story Concerts with two different collections of frightening tales served up beneath the nighttime sky during open-air performances which are always a Festival favorite.   

Hear a specially-invited showcase of storytellers new to the National Storytelling Festival stage at a revered festival custom, Exchange Place.

Join the fun of the National Storytelling Festival Story Slam! where the teller is you!

Take part in a Festival tradition at the Swappin’ Ground. Here, anyone can tell a tale and many do.  You can even share a story of your own, just be sure to register ahead of time at Festival headquarters.