Barry Stewart Mann

Augusta 2 CropBarry Stewart Mann has been telling stories since 1991, when he was invited to join a tour of “Trickster Tales” to New York area schools with the Lincoln Center Institute.  In the decades since, he has been profiled in Southern Living Magazine, broadcast on the Public Radio program Recess!, named “National Storyteller of the Year” (1999), and featured at the Festival Internacional de Cuentacuentos in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Barry comes to Storytelling from a theatrical background, holding a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in Theatre from the University of San Diego.  He infuses his storytelling with lively voices, gestures, movement, wordplay, puppetry, props, costume pieces, music, foreign languages, audience participation, and more.  He is on the roster of Young Audiences, Woodruff Arts Center, offering “A World of Stories” and “Un mundo de cuentos”, and has a number of thematic, literature-based programs of stories developed specifically for library Vacation Reading Programs.  Barry has been featured at numerous festivals and Tellabrations, from Savannah to San Juan Capistrano – as well as a dinner party, a bar mitzvah, a Macy’s department store, an elderhostel, and a one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of Costa Rica.

Barry’s repertoire includes a wide array of stories:

  • folktales, fairy tales, and fables from around the world, such as “”The Fingers and the Thumb” from West Africa, “The Family of Fools” from Japan, “Cinco Huevos/Five Eggs” from Ecuador, “Anty and her Aunts” from Ireland, the Zuni tale “Eagle Boy”, and numerous others from the Jewish, Native American, Hispanic, and Australian, and Indian traditions;
  • personal narratives from travels to over forty countries, such as “Shah Tzin Nam,” about language confusion in China, and “Taureau Piscine,” about bullfighting in France;
  • original tales, such as “The Watermelon Baboon,” a whimsical meditation on food choices, and the fantastical romance “The Improbable Love of Ethel and Elmer”;
  • retellings of stories from popular children’s books (especially for emerging readers in library programs), including Harold and the Purple Crayon,Moonbear’s Shadow,  and The Snowy Day; and
  • recitations of classic story poems, such as Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”, Nash’s “The Tale of Custard the Dragon,” and selections from Seuss, Silverstein, and Prelutsky.

As an educator, Barry teaches storytelling in a graduate program through Lesley University, focusing on both the art of Storytelling and strategies for using and integrating stories into school and business settings.   He has offered keynotes and addresses at literacy and storytelling conferences at several universities, including the University of Florida and Dalton State University, and led workshops in Verbal Imagery, Personal Narrative, and Emceeing with SOS and at the National Storytelling Conference.  He is happy to customize a storytelling program, workshop presentation, or keynote address to your specific needs – curriculum, cultural heritage, holiday, theme, teaching strategy, or age group.  Barry also has two CD’s of his stories available at – “The King of Cool and Other Tales for Young Imaginers,” and “The Improbable Love of Ethel and Elmer, and Other Offbeat Tales of Romance.”

Barry says, “ It’s no coincidence that stories are sometimes called ‘yarns’ – really, they are the yarn that is woven into the fabric of our lives – what truly holds us together, individually and in community.”

Barry Stewart Mann would be delighted to spin some yarns, share some tales, and cast the storytelling spell for your school, event or organization. For more information, visit his website at, or contact him at or 404-484-9446.