“New Englanders are famous for their yarn-spinning,” said Collection Coordinator James Myall. “But the art of storytelling is also preserved in the French-Canadian tradition, and in Maine we’re lucky to have many talented conteurs. This event is a great opportunity for people to experience the work of well-known artists in the field, and learn about storytelling in the Franco tradition. All of our performers are entertaining and amusing, so it should be a great evening out, whether you’re a member of the Franco-American community, or just someone who loves a good tale.”

Grégoire Chabot is a performer and playwright, a founding member of the Franco theater troupe “Du monde d’a cote” and the author of numerous works, including “Un Jacques Cartier Errant,” “Qui Perd sa Langue” and “Entre la manie et la phobie/Somewhere Between Mania and Phobia: 26 Reasons Why Being Franco is Never Boring.”

Michael Parent is both a storyteller and a musician. A native of Lewiston, his works include award-winning CDs, “Sundays at Grandma’s” and “Chantons, Let’s Sing,” a bilingual recording of French songs, a one-man show, “One More Thing,” based on stories collected from family and other members of the Franco-American community, and “A Beautiful Game” which includes reminiscences of his time playing hockey in Lewiston. He has co-authored, along with Julien Olivier, “Of Kings and Fools,” a collection of French-Canadian folktales translated and retold.

Selected by “Portland Magazine” as one of the “Ten Most Intriguing People in Maine,” writer/performer Susan Poulin has been creating and touring her original theatrical productions since 1992. Her production “Pardon My French!” chronicles her struggle to reconnect with the language she lost as a child and her family heritage. Most recently, as Ida Leclair, she is the author of the tongue-in-cheek Maine self-help guide, “Finding Your Inner Moose.”

The evening is free, and open to everyone; performances will be in English. Light refreshments will be served. Donations to the Collection are welcome.

The event is part of a series being held by the Franco-American Collection, called “Voix Franco-Américaines” or “Franco-American Voices” which focuses on the role of stories in Franco-American identity. The series will include an exposition of the Collection’s oral histories on Saturday, July 20.

For more information, visit www.usm.maine.edu/franco, call 207-753-6545 or email [email protected]

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