A storyteller, performer, actor, and juggler, Michael Parent grew up in Lewiston, Maine and was raised on French Canadian folklore, which fills much of his stories. He was one of the co-founders of Live Arts in Charlottesville, Virginia, and acted in many of its shows.
Michael Parent left Virginia and returned to Maine in 1998. He now lives in Portland, Maine, where he is a member of MOOSE, a local storytelling organization.
As a storyteller, most of his "works" exist in the ether. However, he has made a few recordings of his work:
- Chantons -- Let's Sing! - a bilingual CD containing traditional French songs in both French and English.
- Sundays at Grandma's - this won the Parent's Choice Magazine Gold Award. It's an account of growing up as a Franco-American.
- I know he did at least one other recording, because I've heard stories by him on a tape that weren't on either of these recordings.
He's also put a few stories down on paper:
- Of Kings and Fools, with Julien Olivier, recounts stories they heard while growing up in the northeastern United States
- His short stories such as "The Archduke and the Wizards", "The Pinchhitter", "Panther and Rabbit", and "Secret of the Animals" have appeared in various storytelling collections.
He is, in fact, an award-winning storyteller; he was the 1999 recipient of the National Storytelling Network's
Circle of Excellence Award, and has won the Ciné Golden Eagle Award and American Library Association Notable Record Award.
For many years, his partner in thespian crime at Live Arts was Larry Goldstein, an accomplished actor and mime. Their last show together was Heads Up! -- Theater from the Back Side of the Brain in 1996, which he co-wrote. I was lucky enough to see a performance of it. If you ever see a show with Larry Goldstein and Michael Parent together in the billing (doubtful now that Michael Parent no longer lives in Charlottesville), go see it immediately.