Storyteller and playwright Gary Carden will present a program on Appalachian Jack tales and their origins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Jackson County Public Library.
Jack tales are a particular variety of Appalachian folk tale, but their reach extends far beyond our region and stretches far back in time.
“Jack and the Beanstalk” may be the best-known of the Jack tales, but there are variations on many other familiar tales, including Cinderella and Snow White. As far back as any English-language folktale can be traced, there are stories about Jack, often a trickster or sometimes just a simple, shy boy, or even a mute.
So what makes a story a Jack tale? Carden will explore these questions and the many origins of Jack tales, from the Brother Grimm to Shakespeare, and in the process will tell a few of his favorite tales.
Carden, who lives in Sylva, is an award-winning storyteller, author, screenwriter and playwright. He is the founder of The Liar’s Bench, a popular live variety show featuring storytelling, music, and poetry.