© Fresh Air Photo

International Storytelling Center, Krispy Kreme Storytelling Theater

Jonesborough, Tennessee

The International Storytelling Center was born from the National Storytelling Association’s (NSA), long-running, annual festival that attracts thousands of visitors to the NSA’s resource center and tent facilities every fall. Founded in 1973, the festival has grown from a small regional event to a 3-day celebration featuring tellers of national repute including Charlotte Allston, Don Davis and Bill Harley. Year-round events are now possible with tellers-in-residence in the Center’s intimate indoor venue – the Krispy Kreme Storytelling Theater. Bringing the outdoor tent-based approach to storytelling indoors meant resolving the issue of the formality of space verses a casual pull-up-a-chair approach. For such a small space, considerable effort was made to create an environment friendly to NSA’s professional storytellers.

Auerbach Pollock provided full-scope theatre and audio-video consulting for the festival grounds tent sites, as well as planning for a 250-seat outdoor tent pavilion with FTL/Happold, designer of fabric and tensile structures. Consulting for the Center’s new permanent home, including the 95-seat Krispy Kreme theatre was provided in collaboration with Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

Completed in multiple phases, the Center also houses a gift shop, lounge, library, and restaurant.

Architect: Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Acoustics: Acoustic Dimensions
Size:  14,000 SF
Completion:  2002