During her residency, which is part of a program that was the first of its kind in the world, the storyteller will perform daily matinees and one exclusive nighttime concert.
McBride-Smith’s appearance is sponsored by the International Storytelling Center (ISC), which produces the world-class artistic residency program each year. A regular headliner at the annual National Storytelling Festival, she hasn’t performed for Storytelling Live! in more than a decade because of her demanding summer schedule.
She’s only the second performer in this season’s lineup, with an even two dozen tellers to follow. Low-price matinee shows are open to the public each day at ISC’s downtown location, on Main Street. The venue is an intimate theater setting.
Tickets for these matinee shows are $12 for adults, and $11 for seniors, students, and anyone under 18. Heavily discounted season passes are still available while supplies last.
As a veteran of hundreds of storytelling festivals, McBride-Smith has honed her act in front of many kinds of audiences. She specializes in family tales and stories from the Bible, with other traditional pieces scattered throughout her repertoire.
While most Storytelling Live! performers travel from other parts of the country, McBride-Smith recently moved to Jonesborough from her home state, Texas. She’s heavily involved with storytelling projects across the region.
Storytelling Live! began and April, and will run through the end of October. Throughout the season, daily matinees run five days of the week, Tuesday through Saturday, with exclusive evening concerts, children’s shows, and workshops also scattered throughout. McBride-Smith’s residency will run from May 7-11, and all ticket sales are first come, first served. Reservations are strongly recommended.
On the evening of Thursday, May 9, McBride-Smith will offer a special evening concert, “Greek…or Whut?” The nighttime performance will begin at 7:30 p.m., with tickets priced at just $15. The lighthearted show will delve into the storyteller’s lifelong fascination with Greek mythology, which first captured her imagination as a child. Barbara grew up thinking the myths of Mount Olympus were her own family stories, so that’s how she tells them. Listeners can expect to recognize a few of their own relatives in these ancient tales.
Exclusive discounts are available to ticketholders for the evening concert and matinee shows. Ticket stubs will earn a 10 percent discount on same-day dining at Main Street Café (lunch only), Olde Towne Pancake House, Texas Burritos & More, Krazy Krepes, Jonesborough Barrel House, the Icing on the Cake (lunch only), and the Corner Cup. Additionally, Boone Street Market is offering 10 percent off prepared meals and 5 percent off any other purchase.
The premier sponsor of Storytelling Live! is Ballad Health. Additional program funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Niswonger Foundation, Eastman Credit Union, the Mooneyhan Family Foundation, and Food City. Media sponsors include News 5-WCYB, FOX Tri-Cities, Tri-Cities CW, Johnson City Press, Kingsport Times-News, Herald & Tribune, and Cumulus Media.
The International Storytelling Center is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about Storytelling Live!, including the full 2019 line-up, or to purchase tickets and season passes, visit www.storytellingcenter.net or call (800) 952-8392.