Story Shepherds Retreat @ Montreat - Black Mountain, NC
Sep 29 – Oct 1 all-day

Laura Hope Gill has been creating and teaching in the Narrative Healthcare Program at Lenoir-Rhyne University here at the Asheville campus for ten years. When Laura first attended a workshop last year in Derry, Northern Ireland, on the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday, she would never have thought these Story Shepherds were once mortal enemies with orders to kill one another. She would also never have thought they had all once been suicidally depressed, addicted, and completely alienated from community and family. Now they travel the world telling their stories, stories of rage, stories of losing their souls, stories of returning to themselves and to community. Five Peace Builders of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland will be presenting at the Story Shepherds Retreat September 29 – October 1 at the William Black Lodge in beautiful Montreat, NC for an unforgettable event! Day passes and tickets to evening programs are available on Eventbrite.

Several of the group are interviewed in the current PBS series Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland. Three are featured in the Theatre of Witness book We Are the Ripple Effect. At the very heart of their visit lies their love and friendship, their kindness and generosity in sharing and understanding.

In Person – Story Shepherds Performance with Connie Regan-Blake and David Lamotte @ Montreat - Black Mountain, NC
Sep 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

As part of the Story Shepherds retreat at William Black Lodge in Montreat, David LaMotte & Connie Regan-Blake will be weaving stories this evening. Story Shepherds include include former sworn enemies in the Northern Irish Civil Rights conflict. Anne Walker (IRA), James Greer (Loyalist) Lee Lavis (British Army), Robin Young (Ulster Police), and Harriet Vickers (Innocent bystander impacted by violence). They are now close friends. They became friends after listening to one another’s stories. This is a project dear to Connie because of her own Irish Heritage and the power of Storytelling. Purchase tickets on Eventbrite.

National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN @ International Storytelling Center
Oct 5 – Oct 8 all-day

Plan now to attend the National Storytelling Festival! Connie Regan-Blake is emceeing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and has the distinct pleasure of being on stage for all the Festivals so far. Choose from one, two, and three day ticket options.

On a warm October weekend in 1973 the first National Storytelling Festival was held in historic Jonesborough, TN. Hay bales and wagons were the stages, and audience and tellers together didn’t number more than 60. It was intimate, but something happened that weekend that forever changed our culture, this traditional art form, and the little Tennessee town.

Come early for the pre-festival events featuring singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier who weaves stories throughout her songs on Thursday night. Pre-festival events are ticketed separately here.

See International Storytelling Center for tickets and more info.

In-Person Workshop Intensive: Taking Your Story to the Stage, 3-day storytelling intensive @ Asheville, NC
Oct 20 – Oct 22 all-day

The focus of this “Taking Your Story to the Stage” 3-day workshop is on storytelling performance. Each participant is asked to come with a story that is almost “stage-ready.” Participants gather at Connie’s home, tucked in the beautiful mountains surrounding Asheville, NC.  This workshop intensive provides a supportive, affirming atmosphere to nurture each storyteller’s performance skills and confidence. “Taking Your Story to the Stage” is open only to those who have previously studied with Connie. If you have not had this opportunity and/or Connie has not heard you tell a story, a private coaching session may be required. Registration is limited so if you’d like to add your name to the list of participants now, contact Connie. For more details, click here.

And if you can’t make the workshop, mark your calendars now join us as listeners for an enchanting evening of storytelling in “A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories” on October 21, 2023 at Black Mountain Center for the Arts.

In-Person Group Performance: A Slice of Life – A Telling of Stories in Black Mountain, NC @ Black Mountain Center for the Arts
Oct 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Join nationally celebrated storyteller Connie Regan-Blake as she welcomes her storytelling workshop participants to the stage for “A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories.” This show’s tellers are Juanita Brown, Pepper Ellis-Hagebak, Cheri Miller, Andy Russell, Liza Newell, Naomi Faw, and Steve Tate!

Connie is emceeing this evening of unique voices. The last several “Slice of Life” shows have been sell-outs – so get your tickets early!

Tickets are $18 if purchased in advance, or $22 at the door, if available. Doors open at 6:30pm and seating is first come first served. Online ticket sales end an hour before the performance time, but there may still be tickets available for purchase at the door. Call Black Mountain Center of the Arts for availability at 828.669.0930.

What participants have said:

  • Intense and Rewarding. Opportunity to take risks and grow with others who care about stories and those who tell them.
  • This workshop offers a retreat environment in which realignment occurs allowing freedom for the story to take the stage as I, the entertainer, offer it as a gift to the audience.

“The Round Robin of storytellers at Connie Regan-Blake’s “Slice of Life” show gave me a rare listening treat. Each story was as unique as the voice that told it. What great fun to hear a mountain art form so well-spun!”   –Donna Marie Todd, storyteller, singer and story workshop leader