December 2008 – January 2009
The Newsletter of the Story Circle of the Capital District
Editor and Publisher:
Claire Nolan 11 Norwood
Street Albany, NY 12203
(518) 209-6477 E-mail: email@example.com
Visit our web site at www.story-circle.org
between the right word and the almost right word
is the difference
between lightning and the lightning bug.”
- Mark Twain
Story Circle Business News
Meetings 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the William K. Sanford
Public Library and 6:15
to 9:00 p.m.
at the Guilderland Library (GPL). At GPL, we will have a topic for
panel/roundtable discussion. Facilitators for upcoming meetings:
December 17 -- GPL— Nancy Payne facilitator
is the story chosen for this year’s fun, One Story, Different Voices. Bring your version of
this tale to share.
January 20 – William K. Sanford Library in Colonie.
October 15 in Niskayuna
Kate Dudding and Fran Berger
Nancy Payne-- Australian creation
Joe Doolittle-- "A Mountain for Me"--original
Adam Hoffman-- "Rival Fiddlers"--from <Spooky New York>
Kate Dudding-- "Sir Gawain and Dame
Ragnell" -- British legend
Louise Koenig-- "So What Else is New" –original
Dan Testo-- "Boo!" -- a jump tale
Tales 'n Tunes-- "Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of
-- picture book by Linda Williams\"Scarecrow Song" -- original
Ainslie, Gert Johnson, Karen Pillsworth
November 18 in
Ghost Story" (true)
Milkmaid" (two versions for contrast)
Different World" (taken from an interview from the 1940's)
Doolittle— “Quest rover” he could not
complete his story because he gave up his time to others.
Don Darmer, Carol Connolly, Kent Busman, Karen Pillsworth, Dee Wind and Patsy Patrick
Story by Story is our weekly TV show;
tune in on Sunday nights at 8:30
and Tuesday afternoons at 1:00
on Schenectady Public Access TV, Channel 16.
MIC in Saratoga on
the Second Wednesday of each month.
10 (6:45 sign-up) Stories from 7 –
9 at Woodlawn
14 (6:45 sign-up) Stories from 7 –
9: at Caffè
Lena 47 Phila St. Saratoga Springs. 6:45
pm sign ups; 7:00 Storytelling. Phone: 583-0022.
MIC in Schenectady Robb Alley CANCALLED
Adirondack Storytelling Guild – Contact Fran Yardley
- Wednesday December 10 6:30-8:30 p.m.
House at the University at Albany
Stories from the Baha'i tradition
join us to learn about the Baha'i faith. Tracy will share stories from his tradition and invite
listeners to share favorite stories from their own.
great opportunity to learn about a faith that is new to most of us in our
circle. Please consider joining us to welcome Tracy and the Baha'is
to interfaith storytelling the UAlbany Chapel House, an interfaith venue
also new to our circle. Chapel
House is located on University
across from the SEFCU Arena at the University at Albany Campus. (Enter the
campus from Western
turn left and look for the Chapel House sign on your left. The
building itself is set back from the road among trees and is somewhat hard
to see. If you reach the Dutch Quad parking lot, you've gone too far.) GRSJohnson@aol.com
Sunday January 21 – Time and Place to be announced. Contact Gert
2 at 6
p.m. Alan McClintock "Stories from Near and Far" at the
Stillwater Free Library 74
South Hudson Avenue (Routes 4 & 32) in the village of Stillwater, north of
Mechanicville, south of Schuylerville. For more information please call
December 7 at 3:30 Dee and Frank
Wind at the old Masonic Temple
138 Maple Ave, Altamont,
For more information please call Judith Wines at the Altamont Library 861-7239. Free.
December 14 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Rotterdam Square Mall. PJ Party with Santa.
All kids are welcome for an evening with Santa – Dress in your PJs.
Enjoy listening to Santa read a story, milk and cookies, as well as
games and entertainment by storyteller Claire Nolan and Radio Disney.
The event will be held in the Macy’s Wing. 93 W. Campbell Road, Schenectady. 374-0300. Free.
31 at 8:00 and again at 9:00 p.m. Fran Yardley will
be presenting Adirondack Stories; New and Old at First
Lake. Location: The Artist's Guild, Main Street Saranac Lake. For a full schedule and
more information, go to www.firstnightsaranaclake.org/schedule.html
7 from 5:00 – 8:00 Jubilee: A Potpourri of
Six splendid performers, Barbara
Claire Nolan, Eric Randall, Ben
Dan Testo, share some of their
favorite stories with us. Story Sunday at Glen Sanders; 1 Glen Avenue, Scotia, NY. $30 per person (includes
entertainment, dinner, tax and tip). Bring someone new and you each save $3
(only one discount/person). Entree Choices:
Sliced Sirloin of Beef with roasted garlic demi glace;
Chicken Alexander, a boneless breast of chicken filled with spinach,
mozzarella cheese and roasted red peppers;
Penne Pasta with roasted vegetables. For reservations call 384-1700.
11 from 5:00 – 8:00 Three Spirits: Stories
of Coincidence, Surprise & Shared Joy with Storytellers Kent Busman, Alden (Joe)
Ratmeyer who will entrance us with tales to warm a winter's night. Story
Sunday at Glen Sanders; 1 Glen Avenue, Scotia, NY. $30 per person (includes entertainment, dinner,
tax and tip). Bring someone new and you each save $3 (only one
discount/person). Entree Choices:
Beef Tips with rosemary demi glace;
Chicken Pomodoro, a lightly breaded boneless chicken breast topped with
sliced tomato and fontinella cheese;
24 at 7:30 pm Surprise!
Combs Berger and Claire Nolan appearing together for the first time
- Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theatre - these two will
surprise you from the depths of the ocean, down a bumpy road and in the middle
of an Oklahoma tornado. Word Plays in The Gallery at Proctors. Saturdays at 7:30 pm. Free Parking. 432 State Street, Schenectady. http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/word-plays.shtml.
21 at 7:30 pm Detours. Betty Cassidy, Margaret
and Nancy Marie
Potholes, rough roads, lane changes and dead ends. Or, once in awhile,
unexpected new vistas and a new destination. Join Margaret, Betty, and Nancy as
they share stories about life's detours. Word Plays in The
Gallery at Proctors. Saturdays at 7:30 pm. Free Parking. 432 State Street, Schenectady. http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/word-plays.shtml.
Workshops and Classes for
April 16, 2009
– April 19, 2009 Each year Marni Gillard
brings Storyteller/Coach Doug Lipman to her home in Schenectady for an intensive weekend
workshop. Beginners and experienced tellers work together and learn both how to
improve our work and how to find the kind of supportive helpers that keep us
from feeling isolated in our artistry in the future.
Thursday evening (7 p.m.) -
Thursday there is an optional soup/salad dinner
Sunday April 19 Doug is performing at the Glen
Sanders Story Sunday Dinner Series from 5-8 ($30).
$497... BUT SAVE $100 by paying in full by Feb. 1.
Yes, just $397 for 3 sessions of individual coaching, 7 sessions of watching others
be coached, and several mini-lectures on topics from how artistic work equals
political work to how to find support for your artistic growth year round. $50
deposit holds your spot. The weekend is limited to 8. If you can¹t come, it
will be refunded once the weekend is full. Any returnee to one of Doug¹s long workshops,
here or elsewhere, gets an additional $30 returnee discount ($367).
December 8 Claire
Nolan as Mother Jones at the Voorheesville Middle
Never Give up on Youth Storytellers
by Marni Gillard
At the end of September I finished a life-story residency with 9th graders at Schenectady High School and, frankly, I was
wiped. Although just about everyone told a tale to a partner or four-some, I
felt tremendous resistance from the kids to see themselves as storytellers and
tell to the whole class. Throughout the unit their teachers stayed relaxed and
after some cajoling, a few students each period stepped up. Still, I never
quite got that feeling of “success” at the residency’s end. Afterward, I was
headed out of town for over a week, but the teachers and I listed some names of
the young people we thought might be willing to put on a team show, once
I got back. Well, ten arrived for the first of five rehearsals over a three-week
period and finally on October 30, we pulled off an all-9th-grade (fine arts
house) assembly, Mod 4. It was SOOOO cool. After so many years telling tales
you’d think I’d know the power of storytelling and the potential of new
storytellers. Yet, as I write, I am still in awe after watching what looked
like some barely smoldering sparks burst into a stunning mid-day October
bonfire that warmed and thrilled us all.
Kids who had acted shy or seemingly blah during those after-school rehearsals,
suddenly sparkled once their friends (all the 9th graders) sauntered in as
“audience.” Here are just a few highlights:
Madison opened as a six-year-old
seeing her teen cousins playfully give each other the finger. When she asked
her bigger cousin, “What’s that mean?” the girl hesitated then said, “Um, ‘I
love you.’” Madison’s child narrator
fantasizes who she might say “I love you” to since she just loves everybody at
her new Catholic school. At the conclusion of morning Mass the next day, she
folds her little fingers just right and offers her newly acquired learning to
Allanah, after rehearsing in a kind of speed-mumbling style, finally showed her
true wacky teenaged self and reenacted how she and a cousin replayed a scene
from “Jackass II” (the movie) - the one where you shovel snow INTO your house
and then ski down the stairs....(needless to say, a cautionary tale).
Breanna’s mere entrance brought whoops and hollers. She high-fived the whole
front row, then OWNED the stage. With perfect timing she stared down anyone not
totally listening! She shared what it would be like, as a ten-year-old, to
watch your mom being arrested, and took us straight into the terror. She had
never closed her tale like this before, but tearily and maturely, she warned, “You
know how everyone says ‘I HATE MY MOTHER’- Well stop it. Appreciate what you
got.” And the audience applauded wildly!
Jordon, 9th grade cool football star, closed the concert, unafraid to show how
chicken he was to jump off a local bridge on a hot summer day though all his
older homeboys were doing it. (“Usually I’m ‘Monkey-see, monkey-do’ but not
THIS time!”) We felt him tremble as he held tight to the bridge and looked
down. Finally, arms flailing, he jumped. A childlike face emerged from the water,
“I STILL think you are all CRAZY, but that wasn’t just scary, it was fun!”
Schenectady High’s award-winning fine arts department stresses dance, music,
drama, and art, but these were first-semester shy 9th graders exhibiting for
their peers how to push thru the fear of daring to be dramatic, and did they
shine. Storytelling was suddenly “stand up” - funny, goofy and, yes, very
moving. We used the black box theater and those skinny chin-wire mikes and our
“little performance” suddenly became a professional show.
I tell this partly as a teaching tale for myself and other artist-educators.
Never stop believing in the kids. Push through any discouragement that says
things aren’t going well. Keep appreciating and nurturing every seed of skill
new storytellers (or dancers or musicians or....) show, and respect that their
fear of performing is real but will pass with the opportunity to perform
in an authentic setting. Tim Dugan, Pat Harmon, Rich Agnello, and I hung in
with those teens, and they showed their stuff.
Dues are Due!
are due in January. Dues are $10.00 per person. By paying dues,
you are listed on the Story Circle Membership List, you are eligible to
be included in our Roster of Tellers, receive bi-monthly issues (by snail
mail or email) of our newsletter, the Talespinner, and are
eligible for a discount on SCCD sponsored workshops with national tellers.
So, mail your dues to Carol Connolly Carol Connolly, 1100 Niskayuna Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309. Use the handy form found here
in the December/January issue of the Talespinner.
You Next Time!
meetings are held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday or Wednesday of the month
alternating between Tuesdays in odd numbered months at the William K. Sanford
Library and Wednesdays in even numbered months at the Guilderland Public
The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Avenue, Guilderland, 1/2 mile
west of Rte. 155 on the south side of Western Avenue. (December)
William K. Sanford Library is located at 629 Albany Shaker Road, just off Northway Exit 4, and 1/4 mile east of
the intersection of Wolf
Road and Albany Shaker Road on the left side. (January)
) I want to be a member of Story Circle, enclosed is a check for $10.00 for the newsletter and a
roster of members. Renewal January of each year.
) List my name among performing storytellers for referral.
) Send my newsletters via US mail. ( ) Send my newsletters via E-mail.
renewals are due each January and are good for one year. Please make checks
payable to “Story
send to Carol Connolly, 1100
Niskayuna, NY 12309