Brenda Wong Aoki is a storyteller, anthologized playwright, producer, artistic director, and performer. Her song/dance/dramas are drawn from her family’s 121-year history in San Francisco and the Bay Area, Kabuki legends, ghost stories, and her personal experience. Known for her agility across disciplines, she creates monodramas rooted in traditional storytelling, dance movement, and music. Her sensei is Living Treasure, Nomura Mansaku, a Kyogen master; she also studied Noh with Nomura Shiro, who is a Cultural Intangible Property. It is extremely rare for a woman (and especially an American woman) to get to study with masters like these; ironically, it is because she is an American that she was able to work with artists of this caliber. Her other teachers/coaches/mentors include stage director, choreographer, performer, and former director of Theatre of Yugen, Yuriko Doi, and longtime director and coach, Jael Weisman of Dell’Arte Players and the San Francisco Mime Troupe.
Janice M. Del Negro, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois.
Del Negro has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival, the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, the Illinois Storytelling Festival, the Fox Valley Folk Festival, and many others. She has conducted workshops on various aspects of storytelling and narrative for librarians, teachers, parents, storytellers, and other educators in a variety of settings, including the National Storytelling Network Annual Conference, the Illinois School Library Media conference, the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of San Diego. Her most recent recording, Fortune’s Daughters: Ghost Tales and Folktales, was released in October, 2010.