By SERINA MARSHALL
For over 25 years, McKinney Center outreach program director, Jules Corriere, has taken her love for people and turned their stories into
award-winning plays and films.
Corriere began working on her master’s degree in creative writing at Harvard two years ago, and her thesis is actually her next play, which will be her second play about the Town of Jonesborough.
“I was also taking classes in other forms of writing, including television writing, and I really liked that format a lot. So, over my summer residency this past year, I worked on a short film script and this is the film script that I entered once I had it in good shape,” she said. “My advisor said I should submit it to several festivals for the experience.”
“I applied to many and I was really blown away by my first acceptance, then I was accepted again and again. This film has now been accepted and awarded in five different international film festivals.”
Her award-winning film is called ‘Standing in Line’ and is about an Auschwitz survivor. She also received an honorable mention from the Hollywood Script Awards.
“That’s the one that made me cry, and I don’t cry easily,” Corriere said. “It’s because I realized Hollywood was recognizing what I’ve known
all these years since I started this work when I was in my twenties, and that’s real people’s stories matter, are important and necessary to hear and necessary to see. And that ‘Standing in Line’ is being recognized in Belgrade, in Macedonia, in Hollywood, and I also received an honorable mention in the Art Film Awards and the Wiki Screenplay Contest. It’s really quite overwhelming.
“And then a microfilm that I decided to submit a little bit later, is actually being distributed this weekend, it was accepted for the Berlin Flash
Film Festival, which means its being seen by producers and directors of really high caliber.”
Corriere’s plays have also left an impact across states and stages.
“I’ve written over 40 community plays all over the country,” she said. “I’ve worked for 5 years in Colquitt at the state folk life play of Georgia which is called ‘Swamp Gravy,’ which is their over arching title, but they do a brand-new play every year.”
This year, Corriere said that they have brought back a play she wrote many years ago to remount it.
“It made me feel good cause they said they wanted to bring back one of their favorite shows. And I don’t think its because of me; it’s because
of the story,” she said. “They are the firefighter stories and I collected them from the Miller County Fire Department. They are a really important entity in Colquitt and they’re located directly across the street from where the theatre is.”
Additionally, Corriere had a theatre company for about 20 years called “Community Performance International” and they did community
plays all over the country, including Chicago, Newport News and several places in Florida.
“One year, we were contacted by Jimmy Neil Smith of the Storytelling Center and he wanted us to come and tell Jonesborough’s story,” she said. “Jimmy said that Jonesborough had done a really great job of bringing storytellers from all over the world to the Storytelling Festival, but had not yet told its own story. We did a play called ‘I Am Home’ and it is based on stories of people of Jonesborough.
“I fell in love with this region, especially Jonesborough. We held it in the McKinney Center before the McKinney Center had been renovated. We figured a good way to bring visibility to the McKinney Center and the need to restore it was by placing this show here to show people what this building could become.”
Shortly after it got turned into the McKinney Center, Corriere applied to work there, got the job and that is how she ended up in Jonesborough.
Corriere is currently working on Storytelling for the Deaf, which will be performed by members of the deaf community via sign language and a new play about Jonesborough called “We Did it Together,” featuring the stories of residents of Jonesborough past and present, which Corriere calls a “story of resilience.”
Auditions for “We Did it Together” will be April 10-11 at the McKinney Center.