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Michael Parent to close out 2015’s Storytelling Live!

It’s nearly the last call for storytelling in Jonesborough. Renowned teller Michael Parent will be the final resident performer in the International Storytelling Center’s Storytelling Live! series this year.
After Parent’s weeklong residency, storytelling fans will still have a few more chances to get their fix. ISC will round out the 2015 storytelling season with a number of exclusive performances, including “My Father’s War,” a concert in honor of Veteran’s Day on Nov. 12, and a series of holiday shows through the month of December. The Uncalled for Trio — Bil Lepp, Andy Offutt Irwin, and Kim Weitkamp — will perform their annual holiday show Dec. 3-5, and Tim Lowry will return with his wildly popular rendition of “A Christmas Carol,” the Charles Dickens classic, on Dec. 19.
Parent has been a much-loved figure on the storytelling scene for more than 30 years. One of his specialties is sports stories, especially true tales about baseball and hockey.
“I think the best sports stories are those that are about much more than sports,” he said.
While Parent has long been known for his original fictional stories, he’s been gravitating more toward traditional tales in recent years.
“I’m especially keen on folk tales right now,” he said. “The trend seems to be more toward personal stories, and those can be really good. But folk tales have been around for centuries, so they’re honed in a way that personal stories often are not. They still resonate after hundreds of years of being told.”
During his week in Jonesborough, Parent will offer daily matinees Oct. 27-31, Tuesday through Saturday, in the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.
All shows begin at 2 p.m., and all ticket holders will save 10 percent on same-day dining at The Dining Room, Jonesborough General Store and Eatery, or Main Street Café.
From New Zealand to France, Parent has performed all over the world, but his favorite audiences are the people who come to his shows in Tennessee’s oldest town. “Jonesborough — there’s hardly any better audience in the world,” he said. “There’s a special relationship between the audience and the teller that is really unique and special.
“In storytelling, you relate directly to the audience. There’s something magical about that,” he added. “I still get a thrill when I’m telling a story and I’m looking at the faces of people who are listening and they’re totally enthralled. They’re coming along for the ride. I think by now I’ve learned how to be a pretty good driver and they trust me.”
Tickets for all matinees are just $12 for adults and $11 for seniors, students, and children under 18.
The International Storytelling Center’s Storytelling Live! series brings a new performer to Jonesborough each week through the end of October. The 2016 season will begin in May. More information is available at www.storytellingcenter.net.
The International Storytelling Center is open 10 a.m. to 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 913-1276.