Who: Storyteller Megan Wells begins her residence as this week’s teller-in-residence
What: Her signature peice, Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Where: The International Storytelling Center in downtown Jonesborough
When: Performances are Tues.-Sat. at 2 p.m. and a night performance Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
|Thursday General admission
|Matinee General admission
|Seniors, students, anyone under 18
Wells was once what she refers to as “one of those reading kids” in high school, so the literary-leaning storyteller was mildly alarmed when her daughter took up the Twilight series of young adult novels. She began reading the original Dracula to her daughter as a sort of antidote to the Team Edward frenzy. “These aren’t sexy vampires that drive a Porsche and go to therapy because they feel guilty,” she says of Stoker’s version. “When all our movies and books and TV shows are about cool and sexy vampires who can’t lose, it stirs a low-grade fear. This story is about how people can actually win.”
Deciding to perform Dracula was easy, but adapting it for the stage proved to be tricky. “Getting a 600-page novel down to 90 minutes was a challenge,” she says. “It took two years to get it just right.”
Wells will come to Jonesborough with a wealth of new material, including new sets of personal stories and folk tales. Her classic women’s history pieces are among her personal favorites. “These women have amazing stories,” she says. “I’ve become quite passionate about letting the women themselves come forward. These aren’t memorized monologues so much as a chance for them to tell their stories.” The subjects of these unique pieces include Maria Anna Mozart (the famous composer’s sister), Florence Nightingale, and Mary Shelley.
Wells’s return to Jonesborough is an event that she’s been looking forward to for a long time. “I love performing in Jonesborough,” she says. “Going into that sweet little theater is magical. It’s exactly the right size with the exact perfect acoustics. The stage is just right—not too big, and not too small. And the audience is among the best in the world. They just come with ready hearts
About Storytelling Live!
The storyteller’s appearance is made possible by ISC’s popular Storytelling Live! series, which will host a new storyteller each week through the end of October. Daily concerts will be Tuesday to Saturday, September 4 - 8, starting at 2 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended, with tickets available on a first-come first-served basis.
All Storytelling Live! ticketholders can present their ticket stubs for a 10 percent discount on same-day dining at Main Street Café (lunch only); Medley Vegan Vegetarian; Olde Towne Pancake House; and The Corner Cup. Boone Street Market is offering 10 percent off prepared meals and 5 percent off any other purchase.
The 2018 Storytelling Live! series will a few weeks after the National Storytelling Festival, with a smattering of encores extending through the end of the year, through the holiday season.
Information about all performers, as well as a detailed schedule (including after-dark concerts and one-time workshops) for the 2018 season, is available at www.storytellingcenter.net.
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, 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! or to make a group reservation, call (800) 952-8392 ext. 222 or (423) 913-1276.