“Made From Scratch”: Performance storytelling by Dottie Jean Kirk, Connie Regan-Blake

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, May 4, 2017

TFAC to host evening of storytelling and workshop

Storytellers Dottie Jean Kirk and Connie Regan-Blake will be serving up delicious Southern stories in “Made From Scratch” at Tryon Fine Arts Center on May 20 at 7 pm.

Dottie Jean is excited to bring her unique and passionate storytelling to Tryon where she has lived since 1993. Although she’s been telling stories her whole life, she never considered pursuing performance storytelling until she was teaching project management. She was always surprised that it was her stories the students responded to and remembered.

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She began pursuing storytelling when she retired. In 2011, she attended Connie Regan-Blake’s Storytelling Retreat workshop. Since then, Dottie Jean has written and produced three one-woman shows which she performed in Atlanta, Ga., Asheville, N.C., Columbia, S.C., Palm Springs, Fla. and Salisbury, N.C. Her stories in “Made From Scratch” are the beginning of her fourth show.

Dottie Jean has the magical ability to captivate her audience, taking them back to the 1940s and ‘50s and her early life. Her evocative accounts prove that though time moves on, the themes of our stories and the characters from our lives are timeless.

Spalding Gray said, “One of the ways to reincarnate is to tell your story.” Dottie Jean has found that telling stories reincarnates those she’s lost and brings to life the people she loves today. Dottie Jean will be telling the love stories of some of those people in “Made From Scratch.” One of those stories, “Kissin’ Don’t Last, Cookin’ Do,” goes back to World War I.    

Connie Regan-Blake, one of the world’s most celebrated storytellers, will join Dottie Jean. Connie has entertained audiences in 47 states and 17 countries with her warmth and humor. She told stories at the very first National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn. in 1973, and has been on the stage at every festival since then.

Connie has told stories around the world from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina to Uganda to New Zealand and back home again. With engaging humor, southern charm and a full heart, Connie takes her listeners on a journey as she weaves traditional folktales with true life adventures for a unique and entertaining performance – all “made from scratch!”

To buy tickets to the show, visit tryonarts.org or call 828-859-8322.

For those who want to explore telling their own stories, Connie Regan-Blake is giving her workshop, “Cooking Up Stories,” at the Tryon Fine Arts Center on May 20 from 1-4 p.m. To register for her workshop, visit storywindow.com or call 828-258-1113.

– article submitted by Dorothy Kirk