Storyteller to entertain in region

Published 12:28 am Thursday, October 6, 2011

Educator, playwright, actress and storyteller Joyce Grear will be in Beaufort County for a three-day residency in local schools Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The residency, presented by the Beaufort County Arts Council, is made possible with support from Beaufort County Schools, the North Carolina Arts Council, PotashCorp, Turnage Theater and the Wal-Mart Foundation.

Grear’s time in Beaufort County will focus on elementary grades throughout the system. She will present her storytelling talents to approximately 1,500 students.

Grear is an accomplished storyteller who has toured the United States since 1987.

A native of Wilmington, Grear is renowned for her first-person interpretations. She combines storytelling and historical facts to captivate audiences through dramatic interpretations of outstanding individuals in American history.

The stories in Grear’s repertoire may be original, African or international tales, and each has a theme.

Before her presentations, Grear introduces the theme inherent in the story, and then she tells her version. The discussion afterward reinforces theme lessons and stresses the importance of reading.

Grear has toured primarily throughout the Southeast, New England and in South Korea and Japan for the U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools. She has appeared as a featured storyteller in many storytelling festivals, including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesbourgh, Tenn., and the National Black Storytelling Festival in Oakland, Calif.

In addition to her time in the schools, Grear will present a program at the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Washington.

One of the highlights of Grear’s residency will be a public performance at the Turnage Theater of her acclaimed one-woman show “Harriet Tubman.” Showtime is 7 p.m. Tuesday, and admission is free. The show is open to the public.

Joey Toler, BCAC executive director, is pleased that Grear will share her talents with the public while in Beaufort County.

“Bringing artists into the schools is a priority of BCAC, and when we can also share those artists with the public, the additional benefits are obvious,” said Toler. “I’m especially pleased that we are able to present the Turnage program with no admission charge. I hope we fill the house.”

The Turnage program will last approximately an hour. It is suitable for the entire family.

Grear will travel to Hyde County for performances at Mattamuskeet School on Wednesday and Ocracoke School on Oct. 13. She will present “Harriet Tubman” at the Deepwater Theater on Ocracoke on Oct. 13.

As a regional arts council, BCAC is responsible for presenting these programs in Hyde County.

More information about Joyce Grear may be found at For more information about the residency or other programs sponsored by BCAC, call 252-946-2504 or send email to