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Chris McBrien / The Magic Storyteller

Standard Price: 
Lisle, IL 60532
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The family program that kids will beg to see over and over, that parents will put away their cell phones for and watch because it's THAT FUNNY and will have everyone laughing so hard they'll be crying! Chicagoland's busiest (just check out his online schedule) and only full-time comedy ventriloquist, his programs are a unique combination of theater skills: ventriloquism, comedy, magic and storytelling! AND: he offers Cartooning Classes for K-8 and Handwriting Analysis for Teens/Adults!

For over 10 years Chris McBrien has been performing his acclaimed educational programs in schools and libraries in the United States, Germany and Canada! Based in the Chicagoland area (check out his great local rates!) Chris offers a wide variety of programs based on his many talents. He's an acclaimed comedian, ventriloquist (his specialty! wait until you hear his voices and see his ultra unique characters!), storyteller, magician, handwriting analyst and cartooning teacher! Chris attended WIU on a full tuition waiver/talent grant, was an art/theater teacher for 7 years, has worked for the American Academy of Art in Chicago and has performed his programs for an estimated 1 million children in only 10 years! He performs full time in over 350 schools per year as well as approx. 60 to 70 libraries! Trusted by hundreds of schools and libraries, Chris' great pricing, tons of talent and experience make him a trustworthy addition to your library's activities this year! Check out his website for great reviews! His shows are for families of all ages (his humor is universal, he can make the youngest and oldest audience member laugh so hard they'll cry!) and he has programs for families, elementary, junior high, high school and adults!

Chris' children/family programs use Common Core curriculum guidelines for reading and literacy and heavily promote your library as the great resource it is! He customizes his program to the age group present for that "perfect fit" you need. He's been working with children for over 20 years. He's also fully insured, has tons of references from other librarians around you, and brings his own sound system and props of course. He's even got great local rates and has great promotional materials to get your patrons excited for the program!

Plus: ask about his great "group rates" during Summer! Book two shows and save!

1.Read to Succeed: Family shows featuring comedy, ventriloquism, storytelling, magic and tons of audience participation! This is the program that travels the United States (with focus on the Midwest) including Germany and Canada yearly! It's a full-on Vaudeville for families! Many of the stories and tricks are handed down from his family! Magic that will amaze and puzzle even the adults, hysterically funny ventriloquist characters and 6 or more "helpers" on stage per show!

2.Summer Library Shows: See the above description. However, Chris makes a brand new family show every year to match your library's theme, and can customize his show if you are doing something different! Chris takes a lot of pride in creating new shows for libraries that match their theme, and many have him back either every year or every other year because they trust his programs and know he'll match their themes very creatively!

3. Cartooning Class: Not a "paint by numbers" class, but a REAL art class based on his teaching experience of 7 years! Chris uses various drawing techniques and provides students with their own templates with a variety of styles to use so they can hone their own talents during class and of course after at home! They even learn story structure and make a basic comic strip before the end of the session. Sessions can one hour, one and half or two full hours depending on the needs of your library.

4. Handwriting Analysis: Chris studied this skill from his grandmother, then learned even more in college! Not a "hocus pocus" art form, but a real social science...some would say one of the first! It's thousands of years old, created by the Romans and Chris will not only decipher what your patron's handwriting says about them (and he's careful not to go too deep or reveal anything embarrassing. He's always extremely respectful, charming and funny!) he'll even show them the beginning "nuts and bolts" skills so your patrons can try it out themselves!

5. Seasonal Shows: Halloween (funny spooky, not too scary!), Holiday (learn about ALL the holidays!). These shows can be customized, and are big patron hits yearly!

6. The Irish Traveler: This program was created for a St. Patrick's Day library program one year, and has grown into a phenomenon! Chris uses his rich heritage in Irish culture, including his mother's side's Traveler background, and performs in full Northern Irish brogue for this amazing storytelling experience! Using his ventriloquist skills, Chris brings leprechauns, giants and other legendary creatures to life! The stories he uses are a combination of traditional Irish tales as well as the Travelers' tales handed down in his family for generations! He also makes use of the Irish Whistle and Drum to add that extra special musical touch! This program sells out every year during that special time when leprechauns start waking up from Winter, but can be presented all year long!


"We've had Chris numerous times, and he's always a crowd favorite! We'll have him back!"
Worth Public Library, Worth, IL

"Everyone loved your show! Many people told me they has SO MUCH FUN! The magic and ventriloquism were amazing, and audience members really enjoyed getting up there to help you! You relate to the audience very well, and had them laughing so hard! We also enjoyed your very important message about reading!"
Fountaindale Public Library District, Bolingbrook, IL

"Our patrons always love seeing your shows!"
Charles B. Phillips Public Library, Newark, IL

"Our patrons really loved the program! You relate great to the kids and they learned a ton of new things! They already want you back!"
Genoa Public Library, Genoa,IL

"The kids had a great time and had a lot of fun learning with your program! We really enjoyed having your here!"
Sandwich Public Library, Sandwich, IL

Reviews's picture
Belinda B.

Chris performed his Halloween program this past Saturday. He did a awesome job. The kids loved it and of course his puppet friends are really a hit with the kids. He has performed many of his programs at our library and each time we have him the families always make sure to be in the audience. They are always glad to welcome back. He enjoys working with the kids and puts his all into his work. We will have him back again for sure. 5 Star performer!!

Belinda Bylina
Palos Park Public Library
Youth Librarian's picture
Ginny S.

Chris McBrien's "The Irish Traveler" and "Read Lead Succeed" programs entertained people of all ages. In addition to the illusions, his skills as a ventriloquist and comedian humored the kids and impressed the adults.'s picture
Leslie M.

Chris McBrien was simply amazing at our show. We had a record breaking crowd of 200 Patrons, and everyone was very engaged, and entertained by this humorous interactive show. We had almost no early walk outs, and even the youngest children were paying attention. The only young child crying during the whole show was the one we had to whip offstage because he wanted to stand next to Chris but was not invited up on stage. Chris made a light hearted joke about it and got a big laugh. He is professional, smart, and talented and emphasizes how important reading and Libraries are throughout his jam packed show of fun. My favorite part is when he talks about his family history including his Mom the Librarian, and her hat of imagination. We really enjoyed the show and so did our patrons.'s picture
Belinda B.

Fantastic programs! Chris works well with the children and his programs are very interactive. We have welcomed him a number of times and are always glad to have him back. Can't go wrong with Chris, dependable, courtesy, and very in tune with his performance.