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February 2009 – March 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: cbnolou@yahoo.com

Visit our web site at www.story-circle.org


The babe in the cradle knows about the dragon.

She needs the stories to know about St. George.


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.  Upcoming Meetings:
February 18 - GPL
March 17 - Colonie.

Story Circle Meeting Wednesday December 17 Holiday Meeting at GPL

Facilitators: Nancy Payne  Same Story – Different Voices

“Cinderella” Stories told:
Nancy Payne
Adam Hoffman
Kate Dudding
Louise Koenig T

Tales 'n Tunes

Fran Berger

Eric Randall

Susan Gulack

Joe Doolittle, Dee Wind and Claire Nolan



Story Circle Meeting Tuesday January 20 in Colonie

Kate Dudding  – Facilitator

Stories told:
Maggie Whelan--"The Horse's Head"--original
Adan Hoffman--"Old Fire Dragaman"-- "Jack Tales" by Richard Chace
Kate Dudding--"Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell--Arthurian legend
Bess Arden--"Meat of the Tongue"-- "Virago Tales" by Angela Carter


Ongoing Events

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.

OPEN MIC in Saratoga on the Second Wednesday of each month. 

February 11 (6:45 sign-up) Stories from 7 – 9 at Woodlawn Commons

 156 Lawrence St. 6:45 sign up. Directions:  From Broadway in Saratoga, turn West on Church St. Turn right on Seward St.  (If you get as far as the hospital, you've gone one block too far). Turn right again on Clement St. (at the 2nd stop sign). Look for Hospice.  Woodlawn is the big yellow building nearby.

March 11 (6:45 sign-up) Stories from 7 – 9: at Café Lena 47 Phila St. Saratoga Springs. 6:45 pm sign ups; 7:00 Storytelling. Phone: 583-0022.



OPEN MIC in Schenectady at Robb Alley  Has been cancelled.


Adirondack Storytelling Guild – Contact Fran Yardley  franstory@gmail.com.


Interfaith Story Circle - GRSJohnson@aol.com


Dates and Location TBD - Albany Open Mic - We are looking for storytellers and listeners and a location for an Open Mic in Albany – call Claire at 209-6477 or e-mail cbnolou@yahoo.com if you are interested.


Family Programs


February 15 at 3:30-4:30 STORIES FOR TIRED FEET Frank-Lee Speaking -  Dee and Frank Wind at the Dance Flurry for Festival information:  http://www.danceflurry.org/festival/index.html or Sue Mead or (518) 384-3275.


February 18 at 2:00 p.m.  Wednesday Tales’n Tunes will perform at Manlius Library, Manlius, NY The “From Snowflakes to Sunshine” show is free and open to the public. For info call 315-682-6400.

March 24 7:00 p.m. Tuesday “Rock ‘n Read” with Tales ‘n Tunes -- a  PARP presentation at D.H.Robbins Elementary School, St. Johnsville, NY.  Snow date: March 25.


February 18 Wednesday at 11:00 – 3:00  Snow Day at Thacher Nature Center Join us for our fourth annual day of winter fun. Take a snowshoe walk to look for signs of wildlife, listen to winter stories with storyteller Claire Nolan and enjoy s’mores by the campfire. Indoor crafts and activities will be ongoing. Call for schedule of activities. Materials fee of $10 per family includes use of snowshoes. Check www.nysparks.com for updates. Please call 872-0800 to register.


Adult Programs


February 1 Sunday at 5:00 pm Celebrating Women: Their Labors, Laughter, Troubles and Triumphs with Kate Dudding and Mary Murphy. Story Sunday at The Glen Sanders Mansion. Dinner and Stories $30.00. Reservations- 384-1700 or sc@katedudding.com.

February 8 Sunday at 5:00 – 6:00 pm  2009 Colonial Festival Vespers; First Refromed Church, Union and No Church St, Schenectady, YN in the historic stockade.  The Vespers Service is a reflective hour of music and stories, part of the 2009 Schenectady Colonial Festival.  Classical music by accomplished guitarist Ed Munger, and his daughter, pianist Nancy Munger.  Joe Doolittle will share stories of unforgettable events in the history of Schenectady and our congregation: the February 8, 1690 Schenectady Massacre as well as the loss of our minister, Clark V. Poling, in the sinking of the W.W.II troop transport Dorchester on February 3, 1943, in the icy north Atlantic. Colonial Vespers is part of Schenectady's Colonial Festival which also begins celebration of the  the NY Quadricentennial and the Schenectady County Bicentennial. (Whew!) For information on other Colonial Festival events contact Maureen Gebert, Schenectady Heritage Area, 382-5147 or mgebert09@yahoo.com.

February 14 Saturday at 10:00-11:00 am TELL ME A WALTZ Frank-Lee Speaking -  Dee and Frank Wind at the Dance Flurry for Festival information:  http://www.danceflurry.org/festival/index.html or Sue Mead or (518) 384-3275.


February 21 Saturday at 7:30 pm  Detours with Betty Cassidy, Margaret French and Nancy Marie Payne  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. $16.

http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/wp%20jan-may%202009%20%201%20coupon.pdf For a Coupon worth $5.00 off your ticket!


March 5 Thursday – Carol Connolly will perform Women: Wise, Wild and Wily” for the Unitarian Women’s Alliance, Unitarian Church, Schenectady, NY.


March 8 Sunday at 5:00 pm When Irish Eyes are Smiling with Marni Gillard and Bairbre McCarthy Story Sunday at The Glen Sanders Mansion. Dinner and Stories $30.00. Reservations- 384-1700 or sc@katedudding.com


March 28 Saturday at 7:30 pm Just Deserts with Becky Holder, Jeannine Laverty and Susan Fantl Spivack.  No story--or life--is without the grace and the weird luck of getting more--or the chagrin of getting less--than we think we deserve. Sometimes we shake our heads in relief, sometimes we smirk with sweet revenge, and sometimes we are just plain satisfied, Sue and Becky and Jeannine will tell stories that trace life's wondrous course. 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. $16.

http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/wp%20jan-may%202009%20%201%20coupon.pdf For a Coupon worth $5.00 off your ticket!



Workshops and Classes for Storytellers


March 20-22  Friday Saturday and Sunday Sharing the Fire, Northeast Storytelling Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Warwick, RI. More information at  http://www.lanes.org/


April 1 through May 13 Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 pm at Hudson Valley Community College  - Telling Traditional and Family StoriesLearn techniques necessary to be at ease and bring a story to life.  The instructors will demonstrate proper breathing techniques, facial expressions, blocking, and hand and body movement skills.
They will also discuss story sources, what makes a story good to tell and how to learn it.  Whether you aspire to perform or simply want to feed your creative juices for your own pleasure, this workshop is for you. No Class on April 8.  $95.00 Call HVCC at 629-7339 to register.

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.) - Sunday (2:30 p.m.)
Thursday there is an optional soup/salad dinner at 6.
Sunday April 19 Doug is performing at the Glen Sanders Story Sunday Dinner Series from 5-8 ($30).

COST: $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)


July 24 – July 26 Friday dinner through Sunday lunch - mark your calendars - Once again Pyramid Lake Storytelling Weekend. Fun workshops on various topics, a story swap, and a campfire concert by teachers Marni Gillard, Kevin Brooks and Laura Packer. Best of all is the beautiful lake, free kayaks and canoes. The food is plentiful and the friendships warm. Welcoming to men, women and young people who want to learn more about storytelling. Young teens have participated the last few years.  $120 for everything! Contact pyramidlife.org to register. Contact marnigillard@earthlink.net with questions.

Tellabration 2008 Summary

Kate Dudding and Joe Doolittle

Over 170 people came to Tellabration, our first at Proctors!  By their sustained applause at the end, all listeners were very pleased. Some comments we received: “What a wonderful afternoon of stories.” “The stories were well told.” “The new venue was perfect!” “Story Circle Productions and Proctors - a match made in heaven.” “Thank you for a wonderful afternoon, we enjoyed the stories immensely.”

Many thanks to the tellers, our emcee Karen Pillsworth, the volunteers and the listeners.

Here are some statistics, compared to last year:














Freewill Refreshment Donations



Tix Sales
























Whisperdome / Proctors Rental






House Manager



Credit Card processing



$2 rebates (for newcomers or people bringing newcomers)


Not tracked

Printing the Tickets





















Tickets sold at door



New entries in mailing list database



New email addresses



Yes, Proctors is a more expensive venue. However, in addition to the tasks listed above, they also handled the ticketing (you can ask Joe D. and Anne Marie and their families how glad they were to NOT be doing that this year) and gave us some advertising space in the brochure, for no addition charges. We believe that the exposure we have there, plus the improved parking, will be worth it.  Feedback, questions or suggestions welcome.


Have You Considered Finding and/or Being a Mentor?
by Chris King http://www.creativekeys.net/index.htm

Storyteller Chris King has a suggestion for storytellers looking to enhance their skills, take risks and stretch themselves to the limit of their abilities.

Chris tells us that at a workshop with storyteller Doug Lipman* http://www.storydynamics.com/  she took away a very important lesson: the importance of finding a mentor and also being willing to become a mentor. He and storyteller Jay O’Callahan http://www.ocallahan.com/ have been meeting regularly in a mentor relationship for years, and both have extolled the benefits. In this article I will share some of the ins and outs of mentorship.

Where do I find a mentor? … “when the student is ready, the teach appears.” If we decide we need a mentor now and then actively seek one, so often we will be disappointed because we are trying too hard. On the other hand, if we remain open and giving of our time and expertise to others, we will be surprised by how many mentor opportunities appear. One of my favorite mentors is storyteller Mary Hamilton. I met Mary years ago at a National Speakers Association Convention. She gave an incredible workshop on storytelling that I will never forget. We talked a bit because, even though I was working on my speaking career at the time, deep down I realized that my true passion was and is storytelling. Since then Mary and I have gotten to know each other and I have attended as many of her workshops and training sessions as possible. She may not even realize how much influence she has had on my career.


Do you have a mentor or are you a mentor? How did you find each other?  Please send your Story Mentor stories to Claire at cbnolou@yahoo.com or to 11 Norwood Street Albany, NY 12203. I will print as many as I can in future issues of the Talespinner.

*Please note: Doug Lipman will be in the Capital District in April – see page 4, above for more information.


Dues are Due!


Story Circle dues are due NOW! 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 February/March issue of the Talespinner.

 See You Next Time!







All 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 Library.

DIRECTIONS: 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. (February 18)

The 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.  (March 17)








(  ) 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.

Membership renewals are due each January and are good for one year.  Please make checks payable to “Story Circle” and send to Carol Connolly, 1100 Niskayuna Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309

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