When Barbara McBride-Smith was first introduced to the ancient Greeks, she didn't quite hear right. When her teacher told her they lived in the cradle of western civilization, young Barbara thought she said Western civilization—as in central Texas, around about Waco, where they seemed to fit right in. Ol' Man Zeus, after all, was a gun-totin' Big Daddy, sort of the J.R. Ewing of Mount Olympus. And the Metheus brothers, Pro and Epi? High school all-state football heroes who never got over their glory days. You know that sexpot Aphrodite, the school basketball queen, and Pandora the debutante (who got framed by the good ol' boys, by the way). The best guitar picker around was Orpheus—Tom T., Jerry Lee, Willie, and Chet, all rolled up in one. (Last we heard, he'd hit it big down in Austin.) And wasn't it Medusa who started the fashion trend known as Big Hair? With her incurable Texas drawl, feminist sympathies, and cheerleader's do-right attitude, storyteller Barbara McBride-Smith spins the Greek myths as you've never heard them before.
PLA/ALLS Best New Books for New Adult Readers Storytelling World Award
Children's Services, Upper Perkiomen Valley Library — Kristin Pedemonti
"An innovative compilation of Greek myths written in a southern Texan style will captivate readers... The modernization of the tales works really well and the humor serves to make the tales accessible to all levels of reading ability. An excellent addition to any folktale collection! 4.5 stars."
The Second Story Review
"Hold on pardner. You're about to meet the Olympians as you've never dreamed of them. Fresh from the imagination of good ol' girl Barbara McBride Smith...comes 14 wild and wacky retellings of some of the best known Greek myths. ...Dysfunctional? Nah. Just freelance fruitloops with bizarre passions."
Anchorage School District Book Review
"The usual stories but in a very "today" " hip" conversational style. It would be fun for people who know the Greek myths to hear them in such incongruous settings and language."
Teachers seldom have the luxury of working with kids one-on-one to develop storytelling skills. Most work with their students in groups—large and small. Story Theatre to the rescue! Media specialist and storyteller Barbara McBride-Smith calls this art form a “near perfect vehicle for teaching folks of all ages how to tell stories.” In addition to encouragement and advice, McBride-Smith provides eighteen entertaining, tellable stories scripted for groups of performers to tell together. The scripts call for five to fifteen cast members and are designed for third- to sixth-grade students, though many are appropriate for older students. Kids will love these fun and funny stories, including “Bill Eraphon and his Horse Peggy Sue” (McBride's Texas-style retelling of the myth of Bellerophon and Pegasus); many familiar trickster stories and tall tales, some with refreshingly non-traditional twists; fractured fairy tales; and scripted adaptations of contemporary favorites. McBride-Smith says learning to tell stories should be active, energizing, open-ended, and painless for the learner and teacher. Here's how.
Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award Storytelling World Award
“Hussies, Harlots, Heroines: Shady Ladies of the Bible” (2 CD set)
by Barbara McBride-Smith & Corinne Stavish
Running time: 90 minutes
Hargreen Studios, 2001
For as long as Biblical stories have been told, they have been interpreted and embellished. Both Jewish and Christian traditions have time-honored methods to create stories (midrashim) that tell between the lines of scripture. In this 2-CD collection, two storytellers, Barbara McBride-Smith from the Christian tradition and Corinne Stavish from the Jewish tradition, collaborate to give contemporary voice and new life to Biblical women. We call them shady ladies because, too often, their stories have been left in the shadows. Our retellings were developed with respect for the Biblical text, extensive research, a 21st century female perspective, humor, and humanity.
CD 1: “Lilith,” “Eve,” “Sarah, the first Jewish Mother,” “Mary & the Teenage Jesus”
CD 2: “Leah & Dinah,” “Corinthian Woman Preacher,” “Cain’s Wife,” “Woman in Purple & Scarlet,” “Rachel & Leah”