About Barbara

Barbara McBride-Smith

Barbara McBride-Smith grew up in Texas, was educated in Massachusetts, discovered the ways of the world on the Jersey shore, and finally settled down in Oklahoma. She has been a school librarian for 44 years and a seminary professor for more than 20 years. As a performing storyteller, she has entertained audiences across the U.S. and is frequently featured at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. She is a member of the National Storytelling Circle of Excellence and a recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award for Outstanding Contributions to Storytelling.

Barbara’s own press release:
Selma, Alabama, Chamber of Commerce news release:
Storytelling Magazine
The Bar Harbor Times:
August House Publishers:

New Directions for Women – Lynn Wenzel:

PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY (starred review for CD: “The Button Box: Stories About Mama”):
BOOKLIST MAGAZINE (review for CD: “It’s Not Easy Being a Goddess”):

Troy Messenger, June 2010:
“Though her ‘day-job’ is that of teacher/librarian in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Barbara McBride-Smith is a professional storyteller and has traveled the circuit since 1987. She has appeared at most of the major festivals and conferences around the country, including 10 times at the prestigious National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee. She has also been featured on National Public Radio and at the International Storytelling Festival in Washington D.C. In addition to her tale-spinning, McBride-Smith has written several books, including Greek Myths Western Style and Tell It Together, and served as co-author & editor of New Testament Women. Her strong interest in the literature of the Bible is consistent with her position as adjunct professor at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, where she teaches future ministers how to tell Bible stories.”

Described Barbara as “entertainer, comedian, historian, and storyteller all rolled into one. Whether regaling children or charming their elders with her one-of-a-kind toga tales with attitude, Barbara McBride-Smith is truly a storyteller of mythical proportions.”
“Ms. McBride-Smith, who hails from Texas (by way of Oklahoma) is a sweet-looking, small person, and when she first stood in front of the microphone on the College of the Atlantic stage she introduced herself in a voice, aside from the southwestern twang, that could have belonged to my old Sunday school teacher who used to bore me to death with her earnest renditions of Bible stories. Not to worry. In the course of the evening, that amazing voice would remind me of a lot of people I’d heard before as she spun her tales – a fire and brimstone preacher, for instance, a carnival barker, a used car salesman, Butterfly McQueen, Betty Boop, for starts – and held me and the rest of the audience entranced and enchanted throughout her performance. … Whether she was relating Bible stories, Greek myths, or events from her personal history, Ms. McBride-Smith never allowed the underlying message to be obscured by the cleverness of the telling – and that’s a real neat trick.”
“With her incurable Waco drawl, feminist sympathies, and cheerleader’s do-right attitude, Barbara McBride-Smith spins stories as you’ve never heard them before.”
“McBride-Smith, with all her humor, doesn’t forget the poignant sorrows of women’s and men’s lives. Her stories will make you laugh, but they will also break your heart and give you a new take on the struggles of ‘we mortals’ to live our lives on this earth. McBride-Smith’s storytelling is an experience not to be missed.”

The Second Story Review (Baden, Ontario, Canada):
“McBride-Smith is no fly-by-night myth twister. She is an award-winning, nationally known storyteller, a library information specialist, and an instructor at Phillips Theological Seminary in Oklahoma. Beneath the funny, folksy exterior of her retellings lies a genuine knowledge of, and respect for, the ancient tales. I defy anyone who meets the Olympians in her stories to ever forget them.”
“Who needs television? Not award-winning storyteller McBride-Smith, who describes various TV-less entertainments of her Texas childhood, which include listening to the radio with Daddy and hearing her talented seamstress mother tell stories sparked by the buttons she’d saved from various projects. Years later, McBride-Smith takes to heart the most important lesson her Mama learned during the Depression: ‘Never throw anything away.” Mama has passed the valuable treasure of the Button Box along to her storyteller daughter along with the inspiration for tales of all sorts and sizes. The mother-daughter theme rings true with love and warmth. Throughout, speaking with the colorful twang for which her home state is known, McBride-Smith serves up a homespun sound that will conjure up visions of front porches and rocking chairs.”
“Storyteller Barbara McBride-Smith’s Texas version of Greek mythology is definitely an antidote to road rage. Play this fast-paced, witty CD while driving, and you will be so busy laughing, you won’t even mind the irrational moves of other drivers. McBride-Smith’s endearing Texas drawl, exuberant delivery, impeccable comedic timing, and exaggerated character voices breathe life into clever renditions of four Greek myths, including those of Pandora and Medusa. Putting the tales into contemporary settings and peppering the dialogue with a unique spin, the storyteller’s renditions of old favorites will please listeners. Her versions, full of intrigue and humor, stay true to the original messages.”
“Thanks to Barbara McBride-Smith, I’m a storytelling convert. Her performance of the Ricky Nelson story was a walk down memory lane. I laughed and I cried but, most of all, I remembered. I think all of us who grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s got to go back ‘home’ for a little while. It was wonderful to be there!”