“Storytelling Festivals aren’t supposed to be contests, but Don White was a winner this year at Jonesborough! Wit like my favorite champagne – sparkling and very, very dry…(but never bitter) Mark Twain meets Woody Guthrie…Woody Guthrie meets George Carlin…Leads his audience in a lively well-timed dance of wit and folksy wisdom.” – Ed Stivender
Don White: The Story’s the Thing
“I think of myself primarily as a storyteller,” says Don White, “but the road I took to get there took me through stand-up comedy and folk music.”
Storytelling is the heart of Don White’s career. Whether he is singing and playing his guitar, talking to his audience, or writing his memoir, it all starts with a story. And he has helped others to find their gift for a good story, too. He has taught ordinary people how to use humor to make it easier to speak in public, started the long-running Speak Up! Spoken Word Open Mic in his home town of Lynn, and was a keynote speaker at the “Sharing the Fire” edition of the Lanes Conference. And on any given night, he is somewhere working a crowd from tears to laughter.
Listen here to Don’s story called “She Sings Me To Sleep With Laughter.
A truly great storyteller and songwriter, Don White has his finger on the pulse of the human condition, and he reveals it with the sharpest of wits and a Boston accent. If William Blake saw the universe in a grain of sand, Don White sees it in a squeaking door or Marshmallow Fluff, and he makes us see it, too. After he makes you laugh, he really goes to work, so watch out.” – Bill Harley
White was raised by “storytelling wolves,” as he calls them, in an Irish and Greek household, instilling in him a sensitivity equal parts visceral and emotional. He has been on the lookout for a good story ever since, hitchhiking around the country, playing stand-up clubs in Boston, and listening to folk music raconteurs like Arlo Guthrie. He pours that experience into his live shows and writing. “Everything I’ve created is a story wedged into one format or another,” he says. Sometimes he uses his guitar, sometimes just his voice, sometimes the printed page. What’s more, he has experience helping others to be funny in their storytelling, fearlessly, naturally, and in their own voice, no matter what their level of experience.
Don has performed at these storytelling Festivals:
- National Storytelling Festival – Jonesborough, Tennessee
- LaCrosse Storytelling Festival – LaCrosse, Wisconsin
- Texas Storytelling Festival – Denton, Texas
- Shoals Front Porch Storytelling Festival – Florence, Alabama
- Lone Star Storytelling Festival – Frisco, Texas
- Ann Arbor Storytelling Festival – Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Storytelling Arts of Indiana – Indianapolis, Indiana
- The Cave Run Storytelling Festival – Morehead, Kentucky
- The Kearney Area Storytelling Festival – Kearney, Nebraska
- Timpanogos Storytelling Festival – Lehi, Utah
Listen to Don’s story called I Moved To Maine
“Don White is Lynn, Massachusetts’ gift to the world. His work weaves music, heart, and humor on the loom of story. Like a helicopter, hovering over crazed adolescents and their tormented parents, kids growing up in the projects, or the maelstrom of addiction, he is able to express the deeper truths that life’s realities deliver in a way that has a light but deeply affecting touch. Finally, how a guy with a hairy chin and frizzy white streaked black hair can look so darn cute and appealing when sing about ch arming his honey, is a scientific mystery, but he always manages it.” – Judith Black
Don White Plays for 2,600 Fourth Graders!
It is always exciting to welcome newcomers to our Jonesborough stage and to see them so well received. I’ve heard many comments about your superb stories and songs- from the hilarious to the poignant and all points in between. Congratulations on a weekend of very fine storytelling. It was an honor to showcase your work. Without question, you made a difference in the success of our weekend and we are grateful.” – Susan O’Conner, Dir of Programs, National Storytelling Festival
Father’s Daze – Life from behind the bloodshot eyes of three funny dads
Featuring Don White, Bill Harley and Bil Lepp
Letter of Recommendation
“Don definitely ranks as one of the best storytellers I have enjoyed over the years. He made me laugh, he made me cry and he made me laugh until I cried. Don is truly a master of the art of storytelling.” Read complete recommendation letter from Marlene Hanson of Kearney Area Storytelling Festival