Bold-Faced Liars Compete in Laurinburg
The Storytelling Arts Center of the Southeast (SACS) will host the third annual Bold-Faced Liars' Showdown Saturday, Jan. 23.
The program includes an afternoon contest for the 2010 "champion liar" followed by an evening performance by celebrated North Carolina musician and storyteller Michael Reno Harrell. Both events will be held at the Storytelling Arts Center, 131 S. Main St. Laurinburg.
The Liars' Showdown begins at 2 p.m. with a competition between individuals who will each have three to seven minutes to entertain an audience as well as convince a panel of judges that their bold-faced performance deserves the top prize.
At 7 p.m., the champion liar will briefly make a stage appearance as a prelude and introduction to the evening's featured guest, Michael Reno Harrell. Harrell is an award-winning songwriter, storyteller, and performing artist from the southern Appalachian region of North Carolina.
Four-time Grammy winner David Holt describes him as "one of those natural-born Southern musicians and storytellers who is filled with wit, charm, and surprises."
Harrell's performances have also been characterized as "granddaddy's pocket knife: well worn and familiar feeling, but razor sharp and with a point."
Having toured throughout the British Isles and much of Europe, as well as most of the U.S., the "Appalachian grit and wit" in Harrell's songs and stories reflect an insight into human experiences "that catch the ear like an old friend's voice."
Harrell's gift for storytelling has earned him praise from not only the music community but from the literary and storytelling worlds as well. He has been a featured performer at the renowned National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tenn., and a teller-in-residence at the International Storytelling Center.
In addition, Harrell has appeared at MerleFest, the Walnut Valley Festival, on PBS's "Song of the Mountains" and at other major musical and storytelling events and venues.
Harrell will also be a headliner at the 2011 Storytelling Festival of Carolina.
The Storytelling Arts Center of the Southeast boasts two past winners of the Bold-Faced Liars' Showdown, who have impressive reputations in state and national storytelling circles.
Tyris D. Jones, of Laurinburg, won the 2008 event and has since made his national debut at the 37th National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tenn. Winner of the 2009 competition, Ray Mendenhall, of Burgaw, is now the president of the North Carolina Storytelling Guild and has performed on behalf of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
SACS is also home to the Storytelling Festival of Carolina, a three-day festival attracting professional and amateur storytellers from across the country as well as enthusiastic audiences of all ages.
The 2010 Storytelling Festival of Carolina will be held April 23-25 on the grounds of the John Blue House in Laurinburg.
Headliners include Kim Weitkamp, Mitch Capel, Carmen Deedy and others. More complete information and details about SACS can be found at www.storyartscenter.org.
Tickets for the 3rd Annual Bold-Faced Liars' Showdown are $6 (afternoon admission only), $12 (Michael Reno Harrell concert only), and $15 (both afternoon and evening).
Walk-in competitors will be allowed as time permits. Advance tickets are recommended and may be purchased at the SACS box office, online at www.storyartscenter.org, or by calling (910) 291-0929. Contest registration information, rules, and rubrics may be viewed at the SACS Web site.
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