“Milbre Burch is one of the most important voices in the festival-based American storytelling revival.”
Founder of the Martha’s Vineyard Storytelling Festival
Starting with her first Theatre of the Spoken Word production in 1991, Milbre has worked tirelessly to move storytelling beyond the festival tent or church basement and onto the proscenium stage. Conceived as fully realized mainstage performances with sets, props and staging, her Theatre of the Spoken Word performances transform folk art into fine art.
Besides her fully staged shows, Milbre presents a myriad of spoken word “chamber concerts” for adult and family audiences, professional, school and community groups. With just Milbre, a microphone and an audience, you’re ready to go. Blending gesture and language in stories from literature, legend and lore, she demonstrates that “once upon a time” is “now.”
Milbre Burch holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Missouri (MU). She has served as Performance Review Editor for the peer-reviewed Story, Self, Society: an interdisciplinary journal of storytelling studies (2009-2012) and been a co-convener of the Storyteller Section of the American Folklore Society (2012-2016) and a co-convener of the Playwriting Symposium of the MidAmerica Theatre Conference (2016-2018).
She has published articles and reviews in the online, peer-reviewed International Journal on Conflict and Resolution and in Storytelling, Self, Society. Her chapter on fairy tale performance (co-written with Patricia Sawin) can be found in the Routledge Companion to Fairy Tale Cultures and Media, edited by Pauline Greenhill, Jill Terry Rudy and Naomi Hamer (Abington-on-Thames, UK: Routledge, 2018). “The Storytelling Project,” her archival interview collection (created with Berkley Hudson), is housed in the Cotsen Children’s Library, a special collection at Princeton University.
For more, visit the Scholarship page.