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The Newsletter of the Story Circle of the Capital District

Editor and Publisher: Claire Nolan 11 Norwood Street Albany, NY 12203

(518) 209-6477 Email: cbnolou@yahoo.com

Visit our web site at http://timesunion.com/communities/storycircle

February 2008 – March 2008

It takes a thousand voices to tell a single storyNative American saying

Story Circle Business News

December 2007 – GPL February Meeting – February 20, 2008 6:15 – 9:00
Stories told:
Nancy Payne *Facilitator* --  "Little Red"
Betty Cassidy -- "Little Red"
Margaret French -- "Little Red" -- Chinese folk tale revisited
Micki Groper --  "Little Red"
Adam Hoffman -- "The Wolf and Little Red"
            -- "The Girl, the Mouse and Baba Yaga"-- Russian fairy tale
Kate Dudding -- "The Grandmother's Tale"

Louise Koenig – “Red”

Bess Arden – “Little Red Ridin’ in the Hood”

Eric Randall – “Little Red Riding Hood”
Sandy Schuman, Bert Schou, Joe Doolittle, and Claire Nolan


January 15 2008 – Colonie March Meeting March 19, 2008 7:00 - 9:00

January 15, 2008 Carol Connolly, Facilitator
Stories Told:
Peggy Cimino-- "Clever Gretchen" --from Clever Gretchen and Other
Forgotten Folktales
Kate Dudding-- "Brotherly Love"-- original
Adam Hoffman--"The Grateful Crab"-- from Japanese Tales
Joe Doolittle-- "Come By Here" and "Ben's Piano" --historical/original
Nancy Payne-- "The Laugh" --tall tale adapted
Micki Groper-- "The Blind Girl"  --as heard in a sermon
Tales 'n Tunes-- "Lazy Jack" --Folktale from
British Isles
Dale Blanchet, Louise Koenig, Bess Arden, Bob Racey

Meetings run from 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.


Sunday March 16  2:00 Interfaith Story Circle - Children at the Well

Interfaith Youth Storytelling: Hindu, Christian, Islamic and Jewish Young People

will share stories from their traditions.  Place TBA.  For more information: PBethWeiss@aol.com


OPEN MICS in Saratoga

On the Second Wednesday of each month. 

February 13 – Woodlawn Commons 156 Lawrence St. 7:00 sign ups. 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 12 at Café Lena 47 Phila St. Saratoga Springs. 6:45 pm sign ups; 7:00 Storytelling. Phone: 583-0022.


OPEN MIC in Schenectady

February 6 and March 5 6:45 sign ups, 7:00 pm begins storytelling at Proctors: Open Mic, formerly at the Moon and River Café, is teaming up with Art Night Performances the third Friday night of each month.  We will be telling at the small stage in Robb Alley, adjacent to the Muddy Cup Coffee House, just off the main entrance to Proctors.  It is a visible, fun space and provides great exposure for storytelling.  Consider signing up to tell – or to be a Featured Teller in the future!


Adult Programs


Monthly Saturdays -  Beginning January 26; all shows start at 7:30 pm, $15 per person
Story Circle of the Capital District is pleased to announce the first season of Word Plays, a series of storytelling performances for adults.  Word Plays  appears monthly in The Gallery at Proctors in
Schenectady.  The programs showcase regional and nationally known storytellers.
Gusto January 26 with Kate Dudding and Nancy Marie Payne
Procrastination February 23 with Kent Busman, Jeannine Laverty and Joe Peck
Fear March 15 with Marni Gillard and Mary Murphy
Inappropriate Behavior April 12 with Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi and Karen Pillsworth
Naked Hearts May 10 with Motoko and Eshu Bumpus
Tickets are available online: http://www.proctors.org/events


Friday, February 8, 2008, 7:30 pm First Reformed Church of Schenectady; Northeast corner Union and North Church Streets; Schenectady Stockade Historic District IF THE STOCKADE WALLS COULD TALK - 318 YEARS LATER. Part of the Schenectady Colonial Festival stories, poetry, music and readings about what took place 318 years ago; featured teller Joe Doolittle. Program followed by Refreshments and Exhibits.


March 30, 2008 - Celebrating Tom Weakley at Lena's - After years of talking about it Tom Weakley says he's really going to retire.  Some of us thought it fun to use the excuse to draw him onto the stage one last time. (He may be carrying a "going out of business sign!) The program will be a benefit for FINCA International, the group which has fought poverty in the third world for the past 20 years by granting small loans to women.  That may or may not inform Tom's stories that night, although we're prepared for him to tell anything he likes.  Hold the date!  Details to follow!

Family Programs

Saturday, February 3 from 12;00 – 2:00 Bairbre McCarthy, Storytelling and Book Signing at Celtic Treasures, 456 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Telephone : 518 583 9452.  This event is organized as part of Saratoga Winterfest and Saratoga Reads. Bairbre will tell stories from her latest book, The Keeper of the Crock of Gold, published in Ireland by Mercier Press. It is a hard-covered book, and includes 10 original leprechaun stories, beautifully illustrated by Czech artist, Oldrich Jelen.


Saturday, February 9 at 1pm: Winter Tales at Thatcher Nature Center

Cozy up with hot chocolate and enjoy wintry tales with storyteller Claire Nolan.  Hear seasonal stories about sweethearts, the snow queen and the sun’s return. Program appropriate for all ages, so bring the family! $1 per person or $3 per family. Please call 872-0800 to register and for directions.


Friday, February 15  5:00 – 6:00 A storytelling performance with Bairbre McCarthy featuring original stories from her new book, The Keeper of the Crock of Gold, followed by a book signing at the NY Folklore Society, Gallery of Folk Art, 133 Jay St., Schenectady, NY. Telephone : 346 7008. This event is sponsored by the NY Folklore Society and is part of Downtown Schenectady's Arts Night. (This is a rescheduling of a December event that was cancelled due to bad weather).


February 17, 2008—12:00 – 1:00 Tales ‘n Tunes (Carol Connolly and Don Darmer) will perform  "Story Safari" from  noon to one o’clock at the Dance Flurry, Saratoga Springs, NYwww.danceflurry.org/festival for location.


March 25 at 10 am.  Pre-school story hour with Frank-Lee Speaking (Frank Wind and Dee Lee) Cambridge Library.  For more information contact the library at 677-2443.  


Workshops and Classes for Storytellers

February 1, 2 and 3 -- Jeannine Laverty's Annual Winter Myth Workshop “Have You Missed Myths: The  Art  of  Storytelling” A Workshop for Not-Brand-New Tellers 
Christ the King Spiritual Life Center Greenwich, N.Y.
Tuition: $100 Accommodations: $180 Note: Before the Workshop: Choose a culture and read some of its Mythology.  Choose a particular part of the mythology you'd like to tell. Workshop sessions will begin after dinner on Friday evening and continue through Sunday early afternoon.  The fee for accommodations covers six meals and two nights' lodging. Directions and further guidelines will be sent upon receipt of registration, which may be mailed to:
115 Lawrence Street * Saratoga Springs, N.Y.  12866

(Editor’s note: this workshop is very popular and sells out quickly.)

Please make checks payable to Jeannine Laverty.  Call (518) 587-8932 or e-mail Jeannine at jlaverty@nycap.rr.com for more information.

Thursday, February 7, 4 - 7 PM Teachers as Writing Mentors
Wednesday April 2,
4 - 7 PM Storytalk To Write with Style 

Two teacher workshops at Proctors with Marni Gillard – open to anyone interested in teaching. Call (518)382-3884 ext.139  or email raskew@proctors.org for more information.


Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm presented by Story Circle of the Capital District www.timesunion.com/communities/storycircle. How to Be a Storytelling Midwife: Eliciting and Telling Healing Stories; A Workshop for Storytellers and Practitioners with Fran Yardley Assembly Hall, First Reformed Church of Schenectady, NY 8 North Church Street. This workshop is for anyone who works with those in transition from illness, grief or other life challenges. Storytellers, story listeners, practitioners and caregivers are all welcome.
Description: How do we establish a feeling of safety and comfort which encourages the deep, untold stories? How do we honor individuals exactly as they are? In this workshop, Fran Yardley will share knowledge and understanding gained from her work of many years with the Adirondack Arts & Healing Retreat and the
Saranac Lake Bereavement Group. Participants will experience the power of telling and listening to stories, traditional as well as personal. Together we will explore the techniques, theories and exercises that can be adapted for use with any group in search of healing through story. Cost: $10 for Story Circle and First Reformed Church members; $20 for others. Reservations: (518) 383-4620 or kate@katedudding.com

Wednesday evenings March 5, 12, 19 2008 7-9 p.m. Marni Gillard will present a workshop for the Consultation Center. Classes are held at the Pastoral Center, 40 N. Main Ave. in Albany (parking available off street) Cost $40 ($35 before 2/27) for the series. Call 518-489-4431 to register.  The topic is Stories That Lift the Spirit:  We carry within us memories, folktales, scriptural images, even poems that feed our spirits and give us the courage and calm we need to keep walking the path. Marni will tell some tales and we'll work in partners to find and share the tales within that can serve us and the world. Bring a poem, passage or you especially love or just come open to looking within.


March 8 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Marni returns to Still Point Retreat Center (near Saratoga Lake) for a workshop entitled Celtic Guidance: From Irish Tales to Inner Landscapes. Marni will share tales from ancient Ireland and help participants explore how stories reverberate in us today. Drawing from a variety of tales, we'll journey into the mystical hills of Ireland and our own fertile inner lives. You don't have to be Irish to find yourself in Celtic tales. Bring a journal or notebook, a favorite poem, photo, or object and your willingness to open to the Truth that lies within. Cost $65 includes vegetarian lunch. For more information, contact Still Point Retreat Center at or call 518-587-4967.


March 15  Women’s Symposium at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Marni, one of many presenters offering workshops on women’s health, spirituality, and history, will share insights on the power of telling life stories and give participants a chance to tell to a partner. For more information contact Carol Cownie at cmcownie@msn.com.


Late Spring 2008 TBA Marni will once again host nationally known STORYTELLING TEACHER and LIFE COACH Doug Lipman at a long weekend for 8 tellers, teachers, or artists in any field. Each participant receives three opportunities to be coached on a story, writing, song, project, or issue related to education or artistry. Participants in any field interested in using storytelling more effectively are welcome. The weekend is life-changing. Early registration is $427. The early bird deadline is not set yet since we’re still settling on the exact date. There is an additional food fee of $50 which covers dinners, breakfasts and snacks. Returnees receive an additional discount of $30. Free housing for out-of-towners. Contact Marni (518-381-9474 or marni@marnigillard.com) for more details.




Opportunities for Storytellers

New Storytelling Guild Holding Inaugural Meeting

Tuesday, February 5 at 7:00 pm The Adirondack Storytelling Guild will be holding its first meeting on at the Lake Placid Library.  Anyone interested in developing stories and sharing them is invited to attend.  No experience is necessary.  The goal of the Guild is to build a storytelling community of people who appreciate stories and will help each other become better tellers. For more information, contact Fran Yardley franstory@gmail.com or Karen Glass at kglass28@kvvi.net.

March 1, 2008 Deadline. The Riverway Storytelling Festival is now accepting submissions for the annual Riverway Showcase performance, which will be held on
Saturday, April 26, 2008, at the Albany Public Library in Albany, New York.
Submissions should include a piece of paper with the storyteller's name, address, phone, and email contact info, and a 7-10 minute story on CD with accompanying paper indicating which track is the desired story, or an audio-cassette, re-wound to the beginning of the story. (Submissions will not be returned.) Only one story can be submitted per storyteller.  Storytellers who performed in the 2007 Riverway Showcase are not eligible for submission in 2008.
Submissions can be sent to: Barry Marshall,
PO Box 353, Philmont, NY 12565Submissions must be received no later than March 1, 2008. A committee will judge all submissions, and the top choices of the committee will be invited to perform the story in the Showcase Performance. Chosen Showcase performers will be announced no later
March 21, 2007. Showcase performers will receive free admission to the festival, and are also given consideration for future performance feature in the Riverway Festival. The Riverway Storytelling Festival is held each spring in the Capital District of New York State.  Sponsored by the Upper Hudson Library Association, the festival features performances and workshops by some of the finest storytellers from across the state, region, and the US.  The 2008 festival will be held from April 21-27,
.  Check out www.riverwaystorytellingfestival.org/


Among Ourselves

Dues are Due!


Story Circle dues are due in January. Dues are $10.00 per person. By paying dues, you are listed on the Story Circle Membership List and you are eligible to be included in our Roster of Tellers. You will receive bi-monthly issues (by snail mail or email) of our newsletter, the Talespinner, and you 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 form found on the last page of the Talespinner.


February 29 -Tales ‘n Tunes (Carol Connolly and Don Darmer) will perform at the Mid-Hudson Library System Performer’s Showcase.

March 10 -Tales ‘n Tunes  (Carol Connolly and Don Darmer)  will present two assemblies for K-2 and 3-5 at Brittonkill Elementary School, Brunswick NY as part of their  International Festival. The Assemblies will be followed by four workshops for second graders.


Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration February 7 – February 21, 2008

February 7 2008 -  January 25 2009  the Year of the Rat

The Chinese Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival is the biggest holiday in China. The Chinese lunar calendar history dates back to 2,600 BC!  The start of the lunar year is based on the cycles of the moon so that New Year Day can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. Each lunar year is associated with one of 12 zodiac animals.

The mouse, or Rat, is the first in the cycle of 12 animals representing years. The others are, chronologically, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog and the Pig. Why 12 animals, no more, no less? And why were these specific animals chosen?

There are different explanations about their origin. One popular legend tells us that a certain god ordered all the animals to pay him a visit on New Year's Day: the first day of the first month. This god said that he would give the first 12 animals to arrive the title "King of the Animal World" and let each hold the title for one year. The 12 winners happened to be the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger the Rabbit, etc..

The wily Rat managed, through trickery, to become the first of the 12. As the story goes, when the Ox heard of the god's decree, he said to himself, "It's a long journey to visit that god. I move pretty slowly so I’d better start early." The Ox set out on the eve of the Lunar New Year.

The Rat overheard the Ox and quickly jumped onto the Ox’s back.  Because the Rat was so small, the Ox never felt a thing. The Ox arrived first, sweating from his exertion.  He was so relieved that his long journey was over and he was so glad to be the first to arrive at the god's place. But just as he was about to express his New Year greetings that tricky Rat flew over the Ox's head and became the first to kowtow to the god. So it was Rat and not Ox who was appointed the first King of the Animals and consequently, the Rat is the first of the 12 animals to designate the years.

Now you may be wondering why there is no Year of the Cat, especially since cats have been popular as pets for thousands of years in China as well as in many other countries. Well, in the legend, the Cat failed to be chosen because he was a day late getting to the god’s place. The Rat had played a trick on him. He lied to the Cat, telling him the wrong date for the competition. Needless to say, the Cat was not pleased and has hated the Rat ever since.

* Adapted from the website: http://www.xabusiness.com/china-resources/chinese-lunar-new-year.htm

Characteristcs of those born in the Year of the Rat: The Rat is the first sign in the Chinese zodiac.  Rats are leaders, pioneers and conquerors.  They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking. Rat people are endowed with great leadership skills and are the most highly organized, meticulous, and systematic of the twelve signs. Intelligent and cunning at the same time, rats are highly ambitious and strong-willed people who are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas, which often include money and power. They are energetic and versatile and can usually find their way around obstacles, and adapt to various environments easily. A rat's natural charm and sharp demeanor make it an appealing friend for almost anyone, but rats are usually highly exclusive and selective when choosing friends and so often have only a few very close friends whom they trust. Rats were born in 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924.  If your Birthday is in January or February you may have been born in the preivious “Animal Year” because Lunar New Year is AFTER January.  To learn more about Chinse astology and the Year of the Rat go to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_%28zodiac%29


See You Next Time!

To be a person is to have a story to tell. —Isak Dinesen


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. (Feb.20)


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.  (Mar 19)









(  ) 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 Email.

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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