Speak to Barry Kibrick for five minutes and it’s obvious he’s a born storyteller. Not because he’s prone to exaggeration or fabrication, but because Kibrick is the type of entertainer who, above all, appreciates a great story, the kind that reveals the truth of who we are and what we hope to become.
It’s not surprising then that Kibrick is the creator and host of the PBS-syndicated program Between the Lines, a unique chat show that brings to light the intimate details, crafts, and lessons learned of some of today’s most prominent artists and scholars.
“My intention is that my viewer, my guest and myself, we become wiser because we have a deeper understanding of our world and our universe and a greater appreciation for our role in it. And that’s the goal of every episode,” Kibrick tells TakePart.
Ridley Scott, Queen Noor of Jordan, Anne Rice, and Dean Koontz have all made themselves at home on the Between the Lines set. But aside from the impressive guest list, this talk show manages to offer something entirely different than the usual slick, soundbite fare that’s the norm among celebrity interviews. For one, Kibrick almost never asks his guests any questions.
Instead, he has an actual conversation with them, one that lends itself to insight and self-reflection in a way that typical talk shows just can’t. That’s why Between the Lines can be such an important outlet for those looking to make a difference through their work—it allows audiences to truly learn from the experts who already have.
“Your program brings people together to engage in dialogue to promote understanding,” said guest Queen Noor. “The need, the desire, the hunger the thirst for greater understanding made this a pleasure to talk to you.”
The recipient of several Los Angeles Emmys, Between the Lines is fully funded and propelled by Kibrick himself. While it started at a small local Chicago station, it’s since grown into national syndication. Kibrick reports it continues to get picked up in new markets weekly, and in the near future he hopes to expand it to as many new mediums as possible.
Meanwhile, the show provides a compelling example of how storytelling can be a source of inspiration, leading us to a greater understanding of ourselves and each other.