Ready for a Story?

One of the exciting things about this year's festival is that we are expanding the scope of the event, and looking at new ways of thinking about words and how we tell stories. To that end, we're delighted to welcome world-renowned storyteller, Carol Birch, to Columbia next April. Storytelling, of course, has its own rich history, and we wanted to examine the nexus of the oral tradition and the written word. We're thrilled to announce that Carol will be coming to Unbound to perform her celebrated interpretation of John Steinbeck's THE GRAPES OF WRATH.

Nationally renowned for storytelling performances by literary giants like John Steinbeck and Ray Bradbury, Carol is “refreshingly eloquent; dramatic but never overtly theatrical”.  In her sure voice, literature’s appeal becomes appropriately conversational and intimate. A university instructor, award-winning author, recording artist, director and storyteller, Birch received the Circle of Excellence Award from peers for being a master artist who sets the standards. She has performed across America at conferences, universities, and festivals - including eight appearances at the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee. She’s traveled on invitational tours to Australia, Canada, Europe, and Singapore. Media appearances include ABC's Nightline, The Morning Show on CBS, and National Public Radio.  “Like a very dry martini” Carol Birch’s telling is “smooth, intoxicating and little dangerous."

Carol's performance of Steinbeck's classic transforms this seminal work into an exhilarating revelation.  Almost eighty years later, the novel resonates with themes ripped from today’s headlines, ricocheting from head to heart to fists thrown in the air. This is one event you absolutely will NOT want to miss!

(THE GRAPES OF WRATH copyright © 1939 by John Steinbeck, copyright renewed 1967)