One-man theater sensation Jim Stowell to tell stories as this week’s teller-in-residenceJim Stowell, one-man theater sensation and storyteller extraordinaire, will perform as the next teller-in-residence for Storytelling Live.
Stowell is a relatively new voice in the storytelling world, having performed at the National Storytelling Festival for the first time just last year. But as a longtime performer on the theater scene, the sister art of storytelling has always been on his radar.
“They were sort of parallel worlds here in the Twin Cities,” says the Minnesota resident. “I went to see them sometimes, and they came to see me sometimes.”
He started transitioning from theater to storytelling after sharing the stage with Kevin Kling, another prominent Minneapolis storyteller and frequent contributor to NPR.
For Stowell, who often writes about his travels around the world, the shift from one-man shows to stories was a natural one.
“It’s like going from writing novels to writing short stories,” he explains. “I used to do these two-hour long plays. Now I do stories that last from 10 minutes to half an hour. They each have their own unique demands.”
In addition to his travel stories about Ireland, Central America, and South America, Stowell frequently talks about his colorful boyhood in south Texas, where he was raised just 10 miles from the Mexican border, as well as the 15 years he spent backpacking through California in the 60s and 70s.
These days, he leads a relatively settled life, dividing his time between the Twin Cities, where he lives with his wife, and northern Wisconsin, where he spends the summer months working as another kind of teller-in-residence.
There, he works as a park ranger from May to September, living in a historic lighthouse on Lake Superior and sharing stories about its glory days with the park’s many visitors.
In Jonesborough, Stowell will perform daily matinees May 15-19, Tuesday through Saturday, at 2 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.
Tickets for all performances are $12 for adults and $11 for seniors, students and children.
For more information about Storytelling Live or to make a group reservation, call 913-1276.