Storyteller Geraldine Buckley, an English expatriate who makes her home in the United States, will be Jonesborough’s next storyteller in residence.
The latest world-class performer in the International Storytelling Center’s live performance series, Buckley will tell an array of personal tales. “I specialize in telling true personal stories that make people laugh and think,” she says. “But occasionally I will toss in a folk tale that’s pertinent. My goal is to make people laugh long and hard, and then realize that they’ve been moved. It’s a balance.”
“I’ve always managed to stumble into adventures, so that’s what I talk about,” she says. Her last job before becoming a storyteller full time was as a chaplain in a prison—the largest men’s facility in the state of Maryland.
“Some people need to be in prison, and it’s the best place for them,” she observes. “But the majority have just done something stupid, and they want to do their time and get out. The problem is people have a strange view of prison. It’s as though a snapshot has been taken at the worst time in someone’s life, and that’s what they become known by.”
In Jonesborough, Buckley’s matinee performances will run daily June 6 – 10, Tuesday through Saturday, at the International Storytelling Center’s Main Street facility. The storyteller will also host a workshop, “Rock the Flock,” on Thursday, June 8, at 9:30 a.m.
Buckley, who is an ordained minister, has designed the workshop for “preachers, Sunday school teachers, chaplains, counselors, and volunteers”—almost anyone, pretty much—who wants to “learn how to use stories as an outreach tool.” From formal tales like sermons to the impromptu stories elicited in counseling sessions, Buckley plans to offer a technique for every occasion.
Meanwhile, she’s thrilled about her imminent return to Jonesborough.
“It’s a wonderful setting,” she says. “It’s really a dream for a storyteller to be able to come and do five shows and connect with an audience who loves stories. It’s blissful.”
Tickets for all matinees are just $12 for adults and $11 for seniors, students, and children under 18. Advance purchase is highly recommended.
Ticketholders for any performance can present their ticket stubs for a 10 percent discount on same-day dining at JJ’s Eatery and Ice Cream or Main Street Café, two popular eateries in Jonesborough.
Information about all performers, as well as a detailed schedule for 2017, is available at www.storytellingcenter.net. The International Storytelling Center is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about Storytelling Live! or to make a group reservation, call 800-952-8392 ext. 222 or 423-913-1276.