December 2009 – January 2010
The Newsletter of the Story Circle of the Capital
Editor and Publisher:
Claire Nolan 11 Norwood Street Albany, NY 12203
(518) 209-6477 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our web site at www.story-circle.org
“Storytelling is a
sacred art. And the irony of it is that most people—if you say that—back away.
They want to be amused mostly, or have a way of passing a little time. Not
Blue. Even when I'm trying to be funny, I'm trying to give you my soul. That's
Brother Blue, 1921 – 2009
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
16 at GPL – Holiday
Meeting – Facilitator: Louise Koenig Bring a snack to
share. Join in the Story Circle’s
Traditional Holiday Telling of “Same Story Different Voices”. This year:
19 at Colonie. Facilitator: Carol Connolly
October 2009 Story Circle Meeting: October
21 - GPL
Stories and Swap. Facilitator: Claire Nolan.
Nolan – Crossing Borders - Personal
Dudding – Gifts of Friendship - Personal
Keegan – Hoboes and Hookers Ch. 2 - Personal
Connolly and Don Darmer (Tales n Tunes) – Too Much Noise on Halloween Night -
Hoffman – The Hermit’s House – Spooky New York
Marie Payne – Animal Council – Fables by Jambbal
2009 Story Circle Meeting: November 17 in Colonie. Facilitator: Joe Doolittle
Our meeting was a two part session from 6:00 PM -
7:00 PM Marni Gillard, Mary Murphy, and Paula Weiss, (plus some kids parents
& sibling) joined us with this years first year student tellers from Children
at the Well. They shared stories they were preparing to tell at their
Showcase December 13th at 2:00 PM at the Unitarian Society in Schenectady.
They were awesome and reflected their enthusiasm and the work of their coaches
in their stories. Many also had attended Tellabration and they shared
positive experiences from watching and learning from the tellers.
Following this session we had our regular meeting with a Warm-up : Favorite
elements of Thanksgiving
Kate Dudding - Tapping with Vicki - a personal
Nancy Payne -The Woman & her
son - from Newspaper
Adam Hoffman-The Great Race -
Native American Tale
Aviva Rossman - A spontaneous tale - extemporaneous
Joe Doolittle - Love & Fresh
Vegetables - personal/South Africa
Wind - Listener
for the night: bustling energy from the kids of Children at the Well and appreciations
for Coaching and a great Tellabration.
Dues are Due in January - $10.00 per year. Please use the form on Page 8.
Winter is almost here;
keep in mind our 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.
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: Interfaith Youth
Storytelling Sunday, December 13th 2:00 p.m. First
Unitarian Society of Schenectady 1221 Wendell Avenue. Fifth Annual Interfaith Telling with youth
from the Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Unitarian and B'hai traditions. Stories will be followed by light
refreshments and an interfaith mixer activity; no pot-luck this year, http://www.childrenatthewell.org/
in Saratoga – Signups
to tell stories at 6:45 p.m.
Stories begin at 7:00 pm.
Monday December 14, Caffé Lena 47 Phila St.
Saratoga Springs 12866 (518) 583-0022. $3.00
Monday January 13 at Woodlawn
Commons. Free. Directions to Woodlawn
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 and turn in. Woodlawn is the big yellow building straight
ahead. (156 Lawrence St.)
Adirondack Storytelling Guild – Contact Fran
Interfaith Story Circle – January
Meeting time and date TBD
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 email@example.com if you are interested.
December 6 Sunday at 1:30, 2:30 and
3:30 -- “Holly Jolly Holiday Songs & Stories.” Tales 'n Tunes will perform on at the Empire State Plaza during the
Holiday Tree Lighting Festival.
Meeting Room 6 on the Concourse Level. Free.
6 Sunday at 10:00 am. Family Hanukah program with Judith Black. Cohen Hillel Open House located on Community
Rd. Marblehead, MA. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 13 Sunday 3:00 – 4:00 pm “Gifts of the Season”:
Holiday Stories from Storyteller Robin Bady, accompanied by alterna–pop
violinist Deni Bonet at NYU (New
York City). Admission:
$5 for adults (free for children and New York University folk) Contact: (212)998-5867 or email@example.com.
December 18 Friday 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Regina Ress Stories for the Winter Solstice at The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center inside
Central Park, 110th Street (between Fifth and Lenox Avenues), New York City. For this darkest moment in the cycle of the
year, Regina Ress brings tales from the many beautiful winter holidays that
celebrate light in the darkness. Come to the Dana Discovery Center for this
multi–cultural hour ending with a candle light procession inviting the light
to return and with it a sweet New Year. Admission:
Check out http://www.storytelling-nyc.org/calendar.html for more New York City
December 19 and December 20 Saturday and Sunday
at 8:00 pm at Hubbard Hall Main Stage.
A Child's Christmas in Wales by
Dylan Thomas “A Holiday Readers' Theater” to benefit the Cambridge Food
Pantry. Directed by Dina Janis. Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales has become a familiar part of the
holiday season. This simple tale captures the child's eye-view and an adult's
warm remembrance of the time of presents, good things to eat, and, in the
best of circumstances, newly fallen snow. A holiday event for the entire
family, presented by the Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall. At the Concession
Stand: We will offer a variety of traditional Welsh fayre, available a la
carte, including Leek & Potato soup, hearty bread and butter, Welsh
cakes, apple pie and cheddar cheese, and mulled cider, coffee or tea. Doors
will open at 7:30pm with food available before the show and during
intermission. Tickets: $12.00 non-member, $10.00 member, $5.00 student 25 E. Main St. Cambridge, NY 12816. 518-677-2495 (9 to
5, M - F). http://www.hubbardhall.org
Slams. What is a story slam? According to massmouth
at http://massmouth.ning.com/ “a Story Slam is
“based on a poetry slam format and similar to American Idol, a story slam is a
contest of wit, words and in this case, story by known and undiscovered talent.”
massmouth posts a theme on it's blogspot and story slammers sign up on the
night to tell a 5-minute short story on the evening's theme . Ten lucky tellers
will be picked at random, or participants can opt to listen, or join a judging
team. There will be 3 teams of 3 judges and the 2 sets of 5 stories will begin
with a short-short feature by one of the judges. Listeners will be engaged in
story improv games and other entertainment between the 5 minute features. And
the audience will have full service for the pub menu and bar at
http://www.kennedysmidtown.com/index.htm. Their menu is varied and the food is
December’s theme is "its my job". Or it was your job? Work. Each of
the ten 5 minute stories is judged on how well it is told, how well it is
constructed and how well it honors the time limit and relates to the theme. The
3 highest-scoring tellers are awarded prizes and an opportunity to perform at
the "the big mouthoff" venue and date TBA. Prizes will be awarded at
each slam. $10 which includes a $5.00 cover and one drink.
6 Sunday 5:00 – 8:00 pm Story Sunday at Glen Sanders “Kindred Spirits”. With Barbara Chepaitis and Kate
Dudding. Sometimes our lives are
blessed by caring and sharing people who touch our hearts and change our lives.
Join Barbara and Kate as they share stories of kindred spirits. Barbara Chepaitis is author of 7
published novels, including the critically acclaimed Feeding Christine and These
Dreams, as well as the sci-fi series featuring Jaguar Addams. She is past
director of the storytelling trio The
Snickering Witches, and a Teaching Artist with the Lincoln Center Arts in
Education program. Kate Dudding
brings history to life by giving a voice to people from the past. She has been
commissioned to create performance pieces by several organizations, including:
The New-York Historical Society, Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, and The
Empire State Aerosciences Museum. Menu: Brisket of Beef with Pan Gravy; Herb Crusted
Panko Chicken; Orecchiette Pasta with Broccolini and Plum Tomatoes. 1 Glen
Avenue, Scotia, NY, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. $30 per person (includes
entertainment, dinner, tax and tip) Bring someone new and you each save $3
(only one discount/person). Reservations: (518) 384-1700 firstname.lastname@example.org
December 14 6pm to 9:30pm – Story Slam - "it's my job" in Boston - third in a series of 6
slams in 2009-2010 - "its my job" or it was. look here for details on
theme and more on slams... http://massmouth.ning.com/forum/topics/story-slam-rules-pr-for.
Organized by Doria Hughes, Andrea Lovett, Norah Dooley, Stu Mendleson at
Kennedy’s Midtown 42 Providence St. Boston, MA. http://www.kennedysmidtown Phone: 617-426-3333
10 Sunday 5:00 – 8:00 pm Story Sunday at Glen Sanders
“Stories and Songs
from the Adirondacks and Beyond” with Dan Berggren and Jeannine Laverty. Sharing
an enchantment with the Adirondacks, singer/songwriter Dan Berggren and storyteller Jeannine
Laverty join together for an evening of entertainment from these mountains
and beyond. Menu: Sliced Sirloin of Beef with roasted garlic demi glace,
potatoes and seasonal vegetables; Chicken Francaise with rice and seasonal
vegetables; Pasta Primavera. 1 Glen Avenue, Scotia, NY, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. $30 per
person (includes entertainment, dinner, tax and tip) Bring someone new and
you each save $3 (only one discount/person). Reservations: (518) 384-1700
January 16 Saturday 7:00 pm at
Proctors “Stories from Canada” with Margaret
French. A spoken Word Program in Robb Alley before the Canadian Brass. Proctors Theater 432 State Street.
Schenectady 12305. Free.
January 17 Sunday 2:00 pm. Word
Plays at Proctors. “Oh Shit!” with Claire Nolan and Frank Wind.
are so unusual, so unbelievable that they must
be shared. Things like this have happened to us; they’ve probably happened to
you, too! The only logical response to these personal stories and folktales
will be, "Oh Shit!". In the Fenimore Gallery at Proctors Theater 432 State
St. Schenectady NY 12305. $16.00 http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/wp%20third%20season%201%20coupon.pdf for Money Saving
Coupon! Tickets at the Proctor’s Box
31 Sunday 5:00 – 8:00 pm Story Sunday at Glen Sanders
“Having Everything Right” with Three Spirits: Kent Busman, Alden (Joe) Doolittle, and Harlan Ratmeyer. Stories of the "right
place and time”, of life "in balance." Join three of the region’s
most whimsical and irrepressible storytellers as they spin tales of those key
moments in life when we sigh and connect and realize that life just might be in
"balance," or at least we're close! Reverend Busman directs the Fowler Camp and Conference Center,
Reformed Church in America, Joe Doolittle
leads a not-for profit healthcare quality initiative, and Reverend Ratmeyer is Director of Pastoral Care at Albany Medical
Center and Pastor of the 1st Reformed Church of Bethlehem.
Beef Tenderloin Tips with Egg Noodles and seasonal vegetables; Chicken
Alexander with potatoes and seasonal vegetables; Eggplant Piccatta .
Avenue, Scotia, NY, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. $30 per person (includes
entertainment, dinner, tax and tip) Bring
someone new and you each save $3 (only one discount/person).
Reservations: (518) 384-1700 email@example.com
February 21 Sunday 2:00 pm. Word
Plays at Proctors “Hunger” with Mary
Murphy and Nancy Marie Payne. Anyone
who has ever wanted something, really wanted it, knows that hunger doesn't only
pertain to food. This afternoon, our tellers will explore the humor, longings
and driving desire behind hunger. In the Fenimore Gallery at Proctors Theater
432 State St. Schenectady NY 12305. $16.00 see http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/wp%20third%20season%201%20coupon.pdf for Money Saving
Coupon! Tickets at the Proctor’s Box
Ongoing The Moth StorySlams various locations, NY, NY http://www.themoth.org/storyslams
Check out http://www.storytelling-nyc.org/calendar.html for more New York City Storytelling events!
Storytelling on the Radio –
http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=09-P13-00048&segmentID=6 Jay O’Callahan tells the story of JC
High Eagle an engineer at NASA who worked on the Apollo Missions. And you can hear Jay
O'Callahan's live broadcast performance of "Forged in the Stars" –
his love letter to NASA, on Living on Earth radio program, the last week in
December. In New York’s Capital District,
tune in at WAMC 90.3FM - Saturdays, 6am-7am and Tuesdays, 8pm-9pm.
Classes for Storytellers
January 26 Tuesday 6:30-8:30 “Chicken
Soup for Body & Soul” with Marni Gillard
Homemade chicken soup with warm crusty bread leads to an evening of
storytelling, two ways to nurture your relationship with the divine. Choral
prayer concludes the evening. Dominican Retreat and Conference Center, Rt.
7 Niskayuna, NY. $20.00 per person; for
reservations call (518) 393-4169 Monday through Friday, 8:30-4:30 PM or
February 22 2010 – March 7
Storytelling Tourism experience in India.
Limited to 18
Participants. Orientation in Chennai, India then by Bus: Visiting the East Coast
Sea-Fishing Village of Poompuhar, Visiting the Central City of Madurai,
Visiting Locations in
the Western Ghats
Mountains. Including the
Valparai area, home of the Muthuvan tribal people (who claim that their
ancestors accompanied Kannagi to this area).
Along the way --
1) Tamil Language
Teaching and Learning (for visitors to Tamil Nadu).
2) Storytelling (with
translation when needed), as listeners and tellers,
Especially relating to
(the Epic of the Anklet, Kannagi’s story);
and to Folktales --
Grandmother stories, Raja-Rani stories, stories in which animals
speak, etc. -- of the
five traditional Tamil eco-cultural zones (seashore, agricultural lands,
pasture lands, barren
lands, and mountain forests) in which the story takes place.
Workshops. Participants will keep journals.
4) Interactive Talks
with Scholars and Members of Communities.
This tour will be led
by Eric Miller (based in Chennai), Director of the WSI; and Laura
(based in New York
City), a longtime leader of the International Storytelling Movement. For more
News from LANES
The League for the
Advancement of New England Storytelling
The Passing of Brother Blue
By Laura Packer
ain’t nothin’ but music wrapped in a body made of snow.” Brother Blue
On Tuesday night, storytelling night, November 3, 2009, our beloved mentor,
teacher and self-proclaimed holy fool Brother Blue, left this world to go home
to be with the ancestors. We who remain are left so very blessed by his
presence in this world and in our lives. He taught us how to live stories, not
just tell them. He told us that storytelling is God talking to God and modeled
that every single day. And when Blue listened, he listened powerfully with all
his heart, all his soul and all his strength. Anyone who has ever been near him
knows this. He didn’t just change the world, he changed worlds – every single
person he met. In the street, at festivals, in prisons, at storyteller
gatherings, in the offices of academics and wherever there was music.
If Blue were here to talk about himself now he would say, “Don’t remember Blue.
Remember Ruth. Ruth is truth.” Ruth, Blue’s amazing wife who has kept him from
floating off into the clouds for decades, is doing about as well as can be
Blue passed peacefully – he was ready. He got to tell one last story to his
beloved Ruth and then let go. As far as we can tell he was not in pain.
More information can be found at http://www.laurapacker.com/brotherblue. You
can leave your memories of Blue and messages for Ruth, his wife. Blue once
said, “When you tell a story, you tell it to all creation. It's cosmic. It
never goes away.” He will always be with us. Go and tell your stories. Laura
year in November, in 200 locations around the world, people gather together to
share stories at programs called Tellabration. In Schenectady, NY on November
15, at the GE Theater at Proctors, Tellabration 2009 featured eight
Claire Beetlestone, Betty Cassidy, Regi Carpenter, Kate Dudding, Karen Glass,
Christie Keegan, Jeannine Laverty and Claire Nolan
The emcee was the Storyteller Laureate of Kingston, NY, Karen Pillsworth
from previous Tellabration programs have funded over 75
storytelling events at libraries, museums and other locations in the Capital
Kate Dudding and Joe Doolittle, the producers of Tellabration, tell us that “this
year, Tellabration was buoyant - the stories lifted both audience and tellers
to a humorous, poignant place where memories are kept and savored. We’ve heard
many friends and long-term listeners say this was the ‘best’ Tellabration ever.
Over 170 people heard some of the wonderful storytellers in our area share
their favorite stories while helping us fund even more free storytelling events
in our communities.” Kate and Joe would
also like to extend “a special thank you to all the members of Story Circle who worked hard to make
such a wonderful Tellabration happen this year. You can look at a Tellabration
2009 program and read all about the production
other contributors at http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/Tell%202009%20program%20and%20staff.pdf.
Our honored guests were the students, interns and staff of Children at the Well, another storytelling
group in this area. This is Children at the Well’s fifth year of bringing young
people (and their families) of different faiths together in a subtle way, by
developing and sharing stories from each young person’s own tradition, rather
than by trying to change minds politically. This fall's class of students will
be presenting their own storytelling program on Sunday,
December 13 2:00 pm at the First Unitarian Society of Schenectady 1221 Wendell Avenue.”
CDs: “Smiling Out Loud: Stories of Joy and
Laughter, Tellabration 2008” are available. Eight great Tellers, eight
superb stories and one of the best example of an emcee you'll hear. A keepsake,
and a support of StoryCircle.
$15 each with mailing costs. ($12 if picked up
at December meeting)
Two or more $27 ($24), three plus add 10
each. Performers each receive one CD free.
Please email your interest in picking up copies at
the December meeting to Joe Doolittle; firstname.lastname@example.org
or if requesting CDs be mailed send a check payable to StoryCircle Productions
to Alden Doolittle at112 Maplewood Drive, Scotia, new York 12302.
Stevens of Saratoga Springs has become a member of the Writing Workshop at the
Saratoga Senior Center and some of her work will be published this year.
Her main focus is on writing her memoirs of growing up during the depression
years (1930's and 1940's). Copies will be inexpensive and available for
sale at the Center and a few other places. Anyone interested may contact
her at email@example.com.
A Story Circle Member
finds a way to introduce a new group to Storytelling
Several years ago, at the
Riverway Storytelling Festival, I
laughed through Dan Keding's performance. As he told stories about his
parochial school experience in Illinois, I could easily relate, even though I
had gone to a public school. That night, I jotted down a few memories dealing
with my elementary school days. About a year ago, I finally wrote the
story which has never been critiqued or presented.
This past October I went to Ireland. I
traveled with a group from the NYS Retired Teachers’ Association. Listening to the conversations among my
fellow travelers many of whom were educators, I was reminded of my story. How appropriate! My story was about
education and the principal of my elementary school had been Irish! I hoped to
have the chance to tell my story to the group. What a great way, I thought, to
introduce this group, mostly from the Capital District, to our Story
Sure enough, one evening, about 15 minutes before dinner time, I had the
opportunity of presenting my story, "Surviving Elementary
School". The story led to many discussions during dinner. I hope to
share this story with the Story Circle this coming year.
April 19 – 25 2010 Riverway
Storytelling Festival. Various
venues and times. Watch
http://www.riverwaystorytellingfestival.org/ for more information!
See You Next
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.
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 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
is in January of each year.
( ) List my name among performing storytellers
( ) 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 Circle”
and send to Carol Connolly, 1100 Niskayuna Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309