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June - July 2010

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


“Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish.”
- Mark Twain


Story Circle Business News


Meetings 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. are at the William K. Sanford Public Library (Colonie) 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: June 16 6:15 pm at Guilderland: Facilitator Carol Connolly:  Topic: Questions for Evaluating Storytelling Performance. Carol will use a series of questions to open a Round Table discussion.  The questions were presented by Storyteller Bill Harley as part of his keynote address at this year’s Sharing the Fire Conference. Here are Bill’s questions:
Narrative Form

Is the structure of the piece strong? Does it show an understanding of narrative structure? Are there parts that do not belong? Is there an awareness of narrative tension? Is there a dramatic build that reaches some form of climax when a truth is revealed? Is this revelation presented in a way that delights or enlightens or moves the audience? Does the piece show an understanding of character's place in the narrative? Is there resonance in the piece, with elements introduced early bearing fruit later on? Is there an understanding of an underlying subtext in the story? Is it clear that the storyteller knows what the story is about? Has the teller made choices about what material to present to best serve the heart of the story?
Does the storyteller have command of the language? Does the storyteller have an adequate vocabulary? Is the style of language consistent throughout the piece? Is it authentic - especially if it represents some culture other than the performer's own? If it is a caricature of a culture, is there an understanding of what that means? Is there a consciousness of it being an oral language, rather than oral presentation of written language? Is there breath in the words, or do they sound as if they are coming from the page?
Voice and physical instrument
Does the storyteller have command of the vocal instrument? Is the storyteller understandable? Does the vocal instrument serve the story, or does it attract attention to itself? Is the voice flexible in its presentation of different aspects of the piece, varying in timbre, pace, and dynamics?
Does the physical movement of the storyteller serve the story? Is the storyteller conscious of how the use of the body serves the story??
Performance skills

Are all skills integrated into the story (for example, music, movement, juggling)? Are the skills used developed enough so that they are not hindrances? Is the story is served, rather than the demonstration of technique? Does the storyteller use different modes of presentation in the performance? Is there a spectrum, or vocabulary, of content and presentation? If the storyteller has committed to characterization in a piece, are the characterizations consistent throughout?
Relationship with the audience

What is the storyteller's relationship with the audience? Is the performer open to the audience - is there an awareness of the nature of the fourth wall between the audience and the performer? Is there a consistent understanding of where the storyteller is at any moment in the delivery of the narrative? Is there some understanding of the isolation of characters from each other and the narrator? Has the storyteller made conscious choices about those relationships?
Show structure

Does the performer have a sense of how an entire performance builds? Over the course of the performance, is there a flow from one piece to another and some sort of arc? What is the performer's relationship with the audience between set pieces?

Does the storyteller have a sense the aesthetic – the teller’s reason for performing and manner of presenting the material? Is the teller consciously making choices about what is shown and how it is shown? Does the storyteller have a unique voice? Does the teller have something to say?
©2009 by Bill Harley

Upcoming Meeting - Tuesday July 20, 2010 at Colonie 7:00 pm

Meeting Notes: May 18, 2010 Story Circle Meeting: Facilitator Don Darmer

Stories Told:

Tales & Tunes with Carol Connolly and Don Darmer – Puerto Rican version of the Squeaky Door

Did you Know?

Dues are STILL a bargain at $10.00 per year. 

Please use the form on Page 8.


Story Circle Meeting Cancellation Policy: Use the following guidelines to cancel a meeting or to check on a scheduled meeting:  It is up to the facilitator to decide to cancel a meeting. The facilitator may consult with Carol Connolly or Kate Dudding. If the facilitator decides to cancel a meeting: 1) Send out an e-mail message via the Story Circle listserv (or ask Carol Connolly or Kate Dudding to do it) and 2) Notify the library.
Story Circle members who are planning to attend a meeting may call or e-mail either the facilitator or the library to determine if a meeting is being held.


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.

Children at the Well (CATW): Interfaith Youth Storytelling Group. http://www.interfaithstory.org/children-at-the-well.shtml.  Find them on Facebook!
OPEN MIC in Saratoga – Signups to tell stories at 6:45 p.m. Stories begin at 7:00 pm

June 14 Monday at Caffé  Lena47 Phila Street Saratoga Springs 12866 (518) 583-0022. 6:45; telling from 7 until 9 pm. No Open Mic in Saratoga during July and August.  See you in September! Here is a note the Talespinner editor recently received from Eileen Egan Mack, a satisfied Open Mic in Saratoga listener: “I just want to say how much I enjoyed being a part of the storytelling at Woodlawn Commons. The stories were wonderful to witness and I am impressed at how supportive the storytellers are of one another. The setting of Woodlawn Commons also gives the storytellers the chance to interact with the audience in a way I did not anticipate; The audience becomes like old friends as the residents come month after month and there is a very personal touch from the moment the first listener walks or wheels in the door, until the cookies are gone and everyone says good night. What a beautiful thing! I am very happy to be associated with this amazing group of people. Christie Keegan and Jeanine Laverty were perfect hosts and really help set the tone. Great things have taken root. So glad I got to be there to feel it.”

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

Interfaith Story Circle June 15 on Tuesday from 7:00-9:00 pm, promises to be a prayerful, heartfelt circle at the Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary College of St. Rose, 959 Madison Avenue, Albany.  Facilitator: Rev. George Brennan. Theme:  Stories about Forgiveness. Father Brennan ministers in the inner city of Albany. He has recently founded The Reconciliation Project to share stories about people who are working to promote forgiveness and reconciliation. Come share your personal stories and wisdom tales about forgiveness - stories about enemies becoming allies...strangers becoming  friends...stories about resolving conflicts, facing dilemmas...finding compassion...stories about reaching out  to people on the margins...restoring right relationships with people who suffer in silence...and more!  Listeners always welcome.  http://www.interfaithstory.org/events.shtml
Caffé Lena Weekly Open Mic – 7:00 pm. 47 Phila St. Saratoga Springs 12866 (518) 583-0022. 
Held every Thursday and open to all styles of music and spoken word performance, including poetry, comedy, and storytelling. The producers warmly welcome whatever you have to offer.
Performer registration from
7 to 7:25 PM. Performances start at 7:30. No telephone registration permitted. No special preference is given to kids, pros, or to those traveling long distances.
Participants play two songs or speak for 10 minutes. There is no featured performer at Weekly Open Mic. 

Albany Open Mic - Dates and Location TBD - 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


June 5 Saturday 10:00 am- 4:00 pm.  “Town of Niskayuna Arts Fair 'round the Gazebo” located just east of Niskayuna High School on Nott Street across from the Library (please park at Town Hall and NHS parking lot) WITH...Food, Fun, Hand-picked Art; Bel Canto Voices; Mental Trigger; Dave Owens Strings; 2 Lonesome + 1 of Dyer Switch; Jordan McCann young soprano soloist. Also performing: The Schenectady Theater for Children with Claire Nolan as Mother Jones inside the Town Hall and in the Gazebo with musical selections from their recent production of The Mermaid of Edam. Contact Lisa Lambert, Bon Art Designs Organizer and Artist (518) 391-8339 Lisabonart@aol.com. Free

June 5 -- Tales 'n Tunes -- “Stories and Songs from South of the Border” -- SUNY Cortland Migrant Education Program, Cortland, NY.

June 12 -- Tales 'n Tunes --“Sing Us a Story!” -- Saratoga ArtsFest Center Stage, Broadway. 1:00- 2:00 p.m. Admission: free and open to the public; ARTSPASS required for seating. www.saratogaartsfest.org

June 11 & 12 Friday 7:30 pm and Saturday 10:00.  “A Happy Ending” Storytelling Festival.  Celebrate with the Storytelling Center of Oneonta, with storytellers Laura Simms, Steve Gorn, Lorna Czarnota and Marni Gillard. Events are held on the SUNY Oneonta Campus and at the nearby Swart-Wilcox House Museum. Contact Bill Swain (607) 432-0562 swainwa@oneonta.edu.  Free

June 13 Sunday 2:30 pm, Bairbre McCarthy and Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company will participate in the Saratoga Arts Fest in Celtic Footprints at the National Museum of Dance, South Broadway, in Saratoga at, www.saratogaartsfest.org. The dancers and Bairbre collaborate with stories and dances tracing the migration of the Celts from Europe to America. More information at http://www.sinopolidances.org/

July 1--Tales 'n Tunes --“Dive into Reading!”--6:30 p.m.  Horicon Free Library,Brant Lake, NY. --in the Town Hall Community Room.

July 8-- Tales 'n Tunes --“Dive into Reading!”--10:00 a.m.  Cicero Library, Cicero, NY.

July 8-- Tales 'n Tunes --“Dive into Reading!”--2:00 p.m.  Salina Free Public Library, Mattydale, NY.

July 16 Friday -- Tales 'n Tunes -- “Stories from a Small, Small World”--Mercy Cares for Kids, Albany, NY.

July 21-- Tales 'n Tunes --“Dive into Reading!” --2:00 p.m. Mary Wilcox Library, Whitney Point, NY.

July 22-- Tales 'n Tunes -- “Dive into Reading!” --6:00 p.m. Pember Library, Granville, NY.

July 25 Sunday 6:00 pm Not Just for Kids Storytelling with Regi Carpenter. Schoharie Crossing State Historic in front of the Visitor Center. 129 Schoharie Street at Schoharie Crossing.  Call (518) 829-7516 to confirm location. Free

July 26-- Tales 'n Tunes -- “Dive into Reading!”-- 7:00 p.m. - Howard Public Library, Hornell, NY

July 27-- Tales 'n Tunes -- “Dive into Reading!”--11:00 a.m. - Hornell Public Library, Hornell, NY

July 27-- Tales 'n Tunes -- “Dive into Reading!”-- 2:00 p.m. - Canisteo Library, Canisteo, NY

July 27-- Tales 'n Tunes -- “Dive into Reading!”-- 6:00 p.m. - Almond Library, Almond, NY.

July 29-- Tales 'n Tunes -- “Dive into Reading!”-- 1:00 p.m. -SouthEast Steuben County Public Library, Corning, NY.

Adult Programs

June 12 Saturday
1:00 – 4:00 pm -- "Stories from the Porch" Storytelling Festival at the historic John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge, Roxbury, NY. For more info: 607.326.2978.

July 7 Wednesday 7:30 – 9:00 pm Summer Storytelling-Vespers SeriesMohawk Valley Portraits: Stories of The Valley We Call Home” with Joe Doolittle, storyteller and Ed Munger on guitar playing jigs and reels. The Boght Arts CenterWhere art & spirit converge” 583 Boght Road, Cohoes, NY 12047 518-785-ARTS http://www.boghtarts.org/

July 21 Wednesday 7:30 – 9:00 pm Summer Storytelling-Vespers SeriesAdirondack Portraits: Stories from the Adirondacks and High Places” with Betty Cassidy and Margaret French.

The Boght Arts CenterWhere art & spirit converge” 583 Boght Road, Cohoes, NY 12047 518-785-ARTS http://www.boghtarts.org/

 July 28 Wednesday 7:30 – 9:00 pm Summer Storytelling-Vespers SeriesStories of Portraits in a Family Album” with Claire Nolan and Dee Lee. The Boght Arts CenterWhere art & spirit converge” 583 Boght Road, Cohoes, NY 12047 518-785-ARTS http://www.boghtarts.org/

August 4 Wednesday 7:30 – 9:00 pm Summer Storytelling-Vespers Series “Portraits of Women: Stories of people who made a difference” with Nancy Marie Payne and Mary Murphy: The Boght Arts CenterWhere art & spirit converge” 583 Boght Road, Cohoes, NY 12047 518-785-ARTS http://www.boghtarts.org/

Workshops for Storytellers

June 7 (skip 6/14) June 21, June 28, July 5, July 12, July 19 6:30-8:30 p.m.  Six Monday evening classes. “Storytelling: Finding Ourselves through Archetypes and Images”  EASTLINE BOOKS on the LEFT side of Rt 9 just north of corner of Rts. 9 and 146 in Clifton Park. Participants will choose one or more stories to explore and eventually tell to the group. We’ll work with the characters, motifs and images that intrigue us through exercises - exploring them like we might a dream. We’ll try life tales as well. The tale you dive deepest into could be a memory, a fairytale, myth, or narrative poem. YOU search out a tale. I’ll bring books and ideas to class one, but feel free to BRING a tale you’d like to work with. We might do some reading aloud but our focus will be on entering the archetypal worlds, characters, emotions and images dramatically. They’ll teach us about ourselves. It is summer so if you have to miss a class, it’s OK! Come anyway. Cost $120.  To REGISTER contact ROBYN RINGLER. RLDSR12@aol.com or call 518-371-4151.

Jul 23 – 25 Friday – Sunday $130.00 (for everything!) Storytelling Weekend at the Pyramid Life CenterA gathering to give experienced and beginning storytellers the opportunity to explore ancient tales and the stories within. The weekend will include workshops, coaching, a concert and story swaps. Teen tellers are welcome. Presenters: Kevin Brooks, Marni Gillard, Laura Packer and Nancy Payne http://www.pyramidlife.org/programs/.  Pyramid Life Center, Paradox NY, 12858 call 518.585.7545


Opportunities for Tellers

June 26, Saturday 9:30 am – 9:00 pm. The GATHERING of New York State Storytellers. At the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 67 South Randolph Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.  COST: $40 for workshops, lunch and performance. $5 performance alone.  $35 for workshops and lunch.
Please make checks payable to Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi and send to
108 Hibernia Heights Drive, Salt Point, NY 12578.  Please let us know if you plan to attend! For updated info check out our web site: www.nys-storytellers.org. We are continuing our tradition of getting together, sharing stories, and sharing dreams - getting to know one another! Here is our tentative plan for the day:
9:30 - Coffee & Registration
10:00 - Welcome
10:30 - Workshop with Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi & Muriel Horowitz
Midrash- Looking inside the story
Midrash, a classical Jewish form of interpretive literature, becomes the creative process for examining stories and finding new meanings!
Noon – Lunch

1:30 - Workshop - Karen Pillsworth - There's No Place Like Home - Finding story venues in your community
3:00 Round Table Discussion/Story Swap
5:00 Dinner - Out
7:00 - Spoken Word with featured tellers Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi, Muriel Horowitz, Karen Pillsworth and Mary B. Summerlin.

Funding for Career-Advancing Opportunities for Artists.  Strategic Opportunity Stipends (SOS) are designed to help individual artists take advantage of unique opportunities that will significantly benefit their work or career development. Artists working in all disciplines; Literary, media, visual, music and performing artists may request support ranging from $100 to $600 for specific, forthcoming opportunities that are distinct from work in progress. Please note: SOS is only available to New York State artists EXCLUDING residents of the five boroughs of New York City

 (including literature, media arts, visual arts and performing arts) are eligible. Send your grant to The Arts Center of the Capital Region's SOS grant administrator Contact Lainy Slyder at lainy@artscenteronline.org or (518) 273-0552 x 229. http://www.nyfa.org/level2.asp?id=21&fid=1


Tellabration: the Event that Keeps on Giving

Nancy Payne, chair of the Community Storytelling Program Fund, announces the recipients for the 2010 grants.
   Galway Public Library: May 14 , 7:00 pm "Funny Stories From the Farm" with Joe Peck
   Watervliet Public Library: May 22, 1:30 pm "Family StoryTime" with Peggy Cimino
   Indian Lake Library: Aug. 11, 7:00 pm "Family Storytelling: Telling Your Story" with Kent Busman
   Easton Library: Oct. 4 7:30 pm "Laugh With Us" with Dan Testo
   East Greenbush Community Library: Oct. 16 11:00 am "Slightly Scary Halloween Stories" with Kate Dudding

These programs are underwritten by the Story Circle of the Capital District through funds raised by Tellabration. Nancy has taken over the position of chair for the grant committee from Carol Connolly who faithfully chaired this committee from its beginning in 1997.


Among Ourselves


Marni Gillard recently enjoyed the delightfully unique experience of teaching her teachers.  She conducted a workshop for the nuns who were her elementary school teachers at their Dominican Mother House in Sparkill, NY. Twenty nuns attended the workshop and after listening to Marni’s tales of childhood they told stories of their own girlhoods, their teaching days, even of their mothers and fathers, many of whom were immigrants. The highlight of the event for Marni was her visits with three of her elementary school teachers.  She has especially fond memories of her 7th grade teacher who used to jump double Dutch on the playground, rosary and habit flying in the wind.

Want to have some fun? Go find the teachers of your youth and ask them for their stories. 

Marni’s show Granuaile: A Notorious Woman was recorded on May 1 and can be heard at
www.1streformed.com the website of the First Reformed Church of Schenectady. Click on RESOURCES to find it. Marni welcomes more opportunities to perform the piece regionally with Irish musicians.   Suggestions for venues to host the two-hour show can be sent to Marni.  Contact her at marnigillard@earthlink.net. The complete work consists of six individual stories with original music and was inspired by the life of Grace O’Malley, 1530-1603.  Grace O’Malley was a contemporary of Elizabeth I and the two women met near the end of their lives. Marni perform a shorter version of A Notorious Woman with a fiddler at Bull Feeney’s in Portland, ME this summer at the monthly Seanachie Night organized by Maine teller Lynne Cullen.


Looking Ahead


August 4-- Tales 'n Tunes --  “Dive into Reading!”  10:00 a.m.  Sponsored by Dolgeville-Manheim Library,  Town Hall Community Room.

August 6-- Tales 'n Tunes -- “Dive into Reading!” -- 2:00 p.m. - Dewitt Community Library, Dewitt, NY.   

August 11 Wednesday 7:00 pm. Indian Lake Library.  "Family Storytelling: Telling Your Story" with Kent Busman

                                  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. (June 16).

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.  (July 20)








(  ) 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 is in 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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