Dancing Bear Productions Presents:

“My Roots Are Showing”

…a Southern boy’s bumpy road to manhood.


Michael Reno Harrell has written and performs a one man play which basically spans his sixty plus year journey from being raised in a small East Tennessee hill town to his travels as a musician and storyteller carrying the Southern experience across the South and beyond. The performance is filled with original stories and songs and runs the gamut of happenstance from family holiday gatherings to finally getting a first bicycle to fledgling folk performances and it all takes place in Michael’s memorabilia filled attic.

Along the way Michael introduces the audience to characters like his grandfather, “Motorcycle” Eddie Cole, first man to own a motorcycle in his part of the North Carolina mountains. Then there’s Stover Mason, raiser of fox hounds and mountain trader extraordinaire. Included is an East Boston Italian-American brother-in-law, whose visit requires the services of a translator. Luckily, there is a bilingual sister-in-law on hand who speaks Appalachian as well as Bostonian. The audience will visit places like Speck’s Billiard Emporium, feel the heat of a good old time tent revival, and fly through the air on a stripped down bicycle. As always, folks can expect a good dose of Michael’s signature humor along the way and the original songs that spring from the tales Michael creates.


My Roots Are Showing - Episode 27 from Michael Reno Harrell on Vimeo.

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“My Roots Are Showing” is set in an attic filled with memorabilia common to all Americans, Southern or not. The props can include a variety of items such as a Flexible Flyer sled, a dialess telephone, a plethora of hats, an Alka-Seltzer bottle, skis, skates, stuffed animals, Scout uniforms and an old kitchen table.

Michael has traveled extensively over the last five decades, performing his self penned songs and stories. He is a featured artist at storytelling and music festivals both in the US and abroad. A few include the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, the Asheville Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, Asheville, North Carolina, “Song of the Mountains”, a national PBS television program and the World Music and Story Festival in Wexford, Ireland where he represented the United States.

Running time for the production is just over two hours plus an intermission. A 45 minute kid’s version is offered at a reduced rate, which can be performed as a matinee especially for school classes, grades 4 through 12.



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