285 whispering pines dr., spring lake, NC 28390
“Sto’etryteller” (Stories Recited Poetically)
Mitch Capel / “Gran’daddy Junebug”, is a master storyteller, recording artist, published author, and poet. He is mesmerizing as he brings stories to life, while plucking the string with just the touch, the human heart craves. Mitch, who first began writing and performing skits at the age of 12 and has over 35 hours of stories stored to memory, has also been described as a “word magician”, a “national treasure”, “unexpectedly powerful” and a “transformer of lives”. He has been featured at numerous schools, libraries, museums and festivals since 1985 including the DuSable in Chicago; The Kennedy Center in DC; The National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN; The Smithsonian’s 2009 Folklife Festival on the National Mall and The Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. He has been the Artist-In-Residence at the International Storytelling Center and is the national interpreter of poet laureate Paul Laurence Dunbar. He has received awards from local, state and national organizations for his amazing storytelling skills, his contributions to his community and his work with youth all over the United States.
Want A Story? ~ Grades: K-12 ~ Audience Size: No Limit ~ Length: 1 Hour
Continuing his family tradition of preserving culture, “Gran’daddy Junebug” teaches personal responsibility, finding your right path, coping with peer pressure, being true to self, always striving for excellence and respect for self and others through the African oral tradition of “call and response.” This highly energetic program utilizes a tremendous amount of audience participation as he shares his wisdom which has students learning life lessons as they experience the time of their lives. One principal wrote, “I’ve been in education for 35 years and this is the BEST cultural arts program I ever witnessed in my entire career”!
We Wear The Mask ~ Grades: 6-College ~ Audience Size: No Limit ~ Length: 1 Hour
Using narratives from historic research as well as the poetic genius of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), Mitch Capel unveils the true depth of the soul and life of this remarkable poet laureate from Dayton , OH . Audiences realize the struggle for existence, understand the courage, feel the compassion, know why “the cage bird sings” and why “with torn and bleeding hearts, we smile”. Joanne Braxton, author of The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote, “Mitch Capel is the greatest interpreter of Dunbar’s work ever!”
W’en Dey ‘Listed Colored Soldiers ~ Grades: 7-College ~ Audience Size: No Limit ~ Length: 1 Hour
Feel the climate of America and check the pulse of the unsung heroes of the Civil War. Learn about “Whistlin’ Sam”, “Lias”, “Whisperin’ Bill”, “William Carney” and others whose recollections and stories of unflinching courage were never told. From the works of great writers and scholars as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Dr. Rex Ellis, this heart wrenching portrayal depicts how the “colored soldiers” sacrificed their lives in various battles to “save the union” and “to mek’ our people free”.
In Days Gone By ~ Grades: High School-College ~ Audience Size: No Limit ~ Length: 90 Minutes
Take a historical journey and visit the lives of Africans in captivity on America’s plantations. Follow the continuum beginning with an African chief who refuses to be sold into captivity; to those who found themselves in the horrible, degraded conditions called “slavery”; to those who fought in the civil war for “de glory of de right”; to the signing of the “emancipation procrastination” and “re-destruction”; all the way to the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Mitch Capel utilizes his poetry and the poetry of William Cullen Bryant, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Henry Franklin Bryant and Oscar Brown, Jr. as he sheds layers of wardrobe like centuries of burdens to take the audience on an incredible journey from the spirit of one African Chief to the current Commander-In-Chief.
Available also for: workshops ~ emcee ~ stand-up comedy ~ auctioneer ~ theatrical productions and roasts ~
Mitch Capel attended A&T State University and Howard University studying speech and theater. He heard the words of Paul Laurence Dunbar at the tender age of three, which were read to him by his grandmother, Elnora Leak Capel. After finishing college, Mitch received the book from his father, Felton Capel, which was the source of this entertainment. He studied Dunbar’s work for seven years before beginning his journey as a professional storyteller. Since his first performance in 1985, Mitch has memorized over 70% of Paul Dunbar’s work and is considered the “national interpreter” of the poet laureate. While researching Dunbar he discovered other writers such as William Cullen Bryant, Raymond Garfield Dandridge, Helen Wheeler Wilcox, Oscar Brown, Jr. and others and in the interim, Mitch became a poet. He has created award winning CD’s, a children’s DVD as well as a book entitled, “The Jealous Farmer”. He has been featured twice at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN; the Timpanogas Storytelling Festival in Orem, Utah; the 2009 Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC and annually at the travelling National Black Storytelling Festival since 1988. He has performed at hundreds of venues including The United Nations; Aaron Davis Hall in New York; The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH; the DuSable Museum in Chicago; Newark Symphony Hall and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He was Artist-In-Residence at The International Storytelling Center and invited by the Smithsonian to perform for the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama.
Director of Children’s & Family Programs
The Arts Center
300-G East Main Street
Carrboro , NC 27510
P: 919.929.2787 ext. 214
Arts Education Director
Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County
P.O. Box 318, Fayetteville, NC 28302
p: 910.494.0696 e-m: email@example.com web: gjbug.com ad: 285 whispering pines dr., spring lake, NC 28390