Bernadette Nason

Tell me another one

Bernadette Nason

Here's a story for you: A native Brit winds up deep in the heart of Texas, where she eventually comes to earn her daily bread by spinning yarns about her own land and other lands to the children of the Lone Star State. After many years of honing her craft among the youth of Texas, she is invited to do what she does best at a national gathering of storytellers – in front of a crowd of 1,500 of them. She has the story she wants to tell, and she's told it before, but still. She wants that yarn polished and gleaming before she unreels it for that congregation of her peers. And do you blame her?

That's the tale behind Chicks at the Church Quiz, a one-night-only evening of storytelling that Bernadette Nason has put together for this weekend. The Austin Critics Table Award- and B. Iden Payne Award-winning actress – did you catch her British sterling turn in Hay Fever this summer? – will be taking the stage at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., this October and will get to perform one 12-minute story for a crowd that knows from quality storytelling. It's an opportunity, Nason says, "from which great things can come." Such as being asked to perform at top festivals all across the United States and even the rest of the world. She has performed the story on the stand-up circuit and elsewhere but not in its current version. So being able to road test it before a hometown crowd would be quite valuable to her in preparing for Jonesborough. She's putting the festival piece at the end of an hourlong program that she insists is not storytelling for the elementary-school set. It's an Englishwoman's take on being a foreigner abroad with the more profound theme of seeking out new cultures in the search for self. Go support this fine actress as she reaches for the brass ring, and you may end up helping her write a new story, one with a very happy ending.

Chicks at the Church Quiz takes place Saturday, Aug. 22, 8pm, at Austin Playhouse's Larry L. King Theatre, 3601 S. Congress. For more information, visit

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Bernadette Nason, storytelling, Chicks at the Church Quiz, Hay Fever, National Storytelling Festival

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