For Better or Worse : Ed Stivender, Michele Carlo

Ed Stivender

Since 1977, when he left his day job as a high school teacher in Connecticut and turned to storytelling full-time, Ed has fabulated his way around the globe –appearing in schools, churches, coffeehouses and theaters, as well as at major storytelling festivals.  He has been a featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival, the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival in Ireland, Graz Festival, Austria and our own Philadelphia Folk Festival. In reviews of his work, Ed Stivender has been called “the Robin Williams of storytelling” by the Miami Herald  and “a Catholic Garrison Keillor” by Kirkus Review.

Michele Carlo

Michele Carlo a.k.a. @Michele_asShell is an author/storyteller/comedy-adjacent performer who has appeared across the U.S., including NPR with Latino U.S.A., the Clearwater Music & Arts Festival, RISK! live shows and podcast, PBS’ Stories from the Stage, and the MOTH’s GrandSlams and Mainstage in NYC (full artistic resumes upon request). Many of Michele’s early Moth stories appear in her book Fish Out Of Agua: My life on neither side of the (subway) tracks, published by Citadel/Kensington in 2010. Other essays, stories and articles can be found in Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood’s Lost & Found: Stories From New York, SMITH magazine, Huffington Post, Chelsea Community News and Radio Free Brooklyn, among others.

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Star Crossed Lovers (with Host Simon Brooks) : Stuart Stotts, Julie Moss

Stuart Stotts

Stuart Stotts is an award winning singer, author, storyteller. Stuart has worked as a full-time performer since 1986, and he gives over 200 shows a year for kids, families and adults around the Midwest, and sometimes farther. He’s a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops for teachers, parents and librarians, and he is a Kennedy Center teaching artist. He has released several award-winning recordings, and is also the author six books, including The Bookcase Ghost: A collection of Wisconsin ghost stories., Books in a Box: Lutie Stearns and the Traveling Libraries of Wisconsin, We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World, and Curly Lambeau: Building the Green Bay Packers. Stuart lives in Deforest, Wi.

Julie Moss

As a professional storyteller, Julie presents storytelling performances for all ages and group sizes. She offers workshops for educators and their students.

Julie works with groups of students to help them tell stories of their own. She can be hired as an artist-in-residence.

One of her newest workshops is “Storytelling as a Pathway to Writing,” which teaches educators how to use storytelling to enhance their students’ writing, as well as giving teachers a break from grading so many writing projects.  This workshop can be adapted for students, as well as for writers.

Julie is able to help educators in the field of Early Childhood Education utilize storytelling in their classrooms through a workshop on “Storytelling in Early Childhood Education.”

Julie’s story repertoire includes folktales from around the world, family and personal stories, and literary tales. She can adapt a program to fit your needs.

She is traveled to China and gathered stories , which you can hear on this episode.

Host – Simon Brooks

Simon Brooks is an award-winning British storyteller living in America – actually, New London, New Hampshire, New England, New World!  He also uses his voice to record audio books. He is also a poet, writer, photographer, and educator.

Order his new book Under The Oaken Bough!

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Silly! : Tim Lowry, Priscilla Howe

Tim Lowry

Tim Lowry

Tim Lowry’s love for show business began when he was six years old, watching a thrilling performance of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus. Waiting for his big break Tim filled his childhood with performance opportunities.  As a theater major in college, Tim studied Shakespeare and romantic opera, but when he took an elective class in storytelling he found himself. After college, Tim taught English language arts for five years. Drawing on his love of show business his teaching methods were often considered “unorthodox and disruptive.” In 2000, Tim left the classroom to pursue a career as a professional storyteller. (Ironically, he is now hired as an educational consultant to bring creative and innovative programs to schools across the country and is approaching his 10,000th performance!) In 2012 Tim began touring the National Storytelling Festival circuit and has shared stories on stages from Connecticut to California. Occasionally, Tim provides applied storytelling workshops for corporate and non-profit groups. His client list includes the North Carolina County Commissioners (Raleigh, NC), Dollywood Dream More Resort (Pigeon Forge, TN), and Daramic LLC (Charlotte, NC).

Priscilla Howe

“I live in my head. A lot. I make stuff up, I borrow from old tales, I reinterpret new stories. As a storyteller, I’m a tour guide to that space in my brain. I work without a script, without costumes, without props. When I’m doing it right, listeners laugh, smile, sigh and breathe together, connected in the space of stories. I perform at schools, libraries, festivals, special events, and in my own backyard, literally. My mouthy hand puppets come along to shows for young children. I tell more grownup stories to, well, grownups and older kids. We play together. Apart from being the oldest educational method in the world, storytelling is just plain fun.”

Music by Podington Bear!

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Mothers of a Different Kind (with Host Isabelle Hauser) : Laura Packer, Elisa Pearmain

Story Story Podcast

Laura Packer

Laura Packer has been telling stories her whole life – her mother reports she was born talking. The daughter of a children’s librarian and a writer, it seems inevitable that she become a storyteller and writer herself, since her childhood was steeped in narrative. By second grade, Laura was telling stories to her classmates, creating her own magazines and writing letters to the editor of her hometown newspaper; her deep love of fairytales and mythology eventually led her to obtain a degree in Folklore and Mythology from Boston University. Imagine her surprise when she discovered, upon graduating, that there isn’t a crying need for folklorists!

Undaunted by the lack of job openings for folklorists, Laura has built a career helping people and organizations find their own story, performing original and traditional tales around the world, and creating written narrative that draws the reader into new possibilities.

Elisa Pearmain

Elisa began her storytelling career by working for ten years as a Storyteller in Residence in the Boston Public Schools. There she came to appreciate and tell stories from the many diverse cultures that the children represented. Other early storytelling experiences included collecting stories from Vietnam Veterans and sharing them with high school, college and adults in a program called, The Defoliated Heart. She also led groups of women to share and learn from their stories together. These experiences helped to inspire her belief in the power of stories to heal.

Recently her most popular storytelling programs  in the schools are on character education and bullying prevention through story. She received a grant in 2002 to study character education through story from the National Storytelling Network.

She is a currently a board member of The Healing Story Alliance www.healingstory.org and is an active member of The League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling (LANES), and past Board member.  You can learn more about LANES and the storytelling conference at www.lanes.org

Host – Isabelle Hauser

A fairy tale believer since the beginning of her time, Isabelle Hauser discovered the path of storytelling training with professional storyteller Liz Weir in Northern Ireland. When Isabelle is not telling tales or playing the harp on various stages in Switzerland and abroad, you can find her talking to the swans on the shore of her hometown lake, looking for four leaf clover, or chasing rainbows in the surrounding forests.

Music by Podington Bear

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Delicious Fortune: Noa Baum, Cathryne Fairlee

Noa Baum

Noa Baum is an award-winning storyteller, educator and public speaker performing internationally with diverse audiences ranging from the World Bank and prestigious universities and congregations, to festivals, government agencies, schools, and detention centers.

Born and raised in Jerusalem Noa offers a unique combination of performance art and practical workshops that focus on the power of stories to heal across the divides of identity and build bridges for peace.

Her stories, drawn from diverse cultures, her own Jewish heritage and personal experience, highlight our similarities, celebrate our differences, and encourage curiosity, awareness, and acceptance.

Cathryn Fairlee

Cathryn passed away in October 2019 and will be deeply missed as a friend and a storyteller. In her own words about her storytelling from an interview last year with edex live –

I started storytelling 35 years ago. I have travelled around the world gathering epics, myths, legends, histories, and folk and fairy tales from the folk. I work with other storytellers whenever I travel; even in Chennai and Kanchipuram, I’ve worked with a few of them. I have travelled and learnt about different cultures and I’ve gone back to the US to share them with others. I like the fact that one can give people therapy and teach them how to listen and enjoy the entire experience. It’s not lecturing or commanding them to agree with you. It’s about helping them enjoy and learn something.

Music by Podington Bear

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Tales of the Fay for May (with Host Simon Brooks): Milbre Burch, Liz Weir

Milbre Burch

A Grammy-nominated recording artist and internationally-known performer, educator, published poet and produced playwright, Milbre Burch is a storyteller in every sense of the word. She has been featured at events and festivals in 36 states and in fifteen European cities.

Burch is known for the versatility of her repertoire from folktales to fantasy, fiction and fairy tales to one-woman shows and original monologues. She is a recipient of the NSN ORACLE Circle of Excellence award.

Visit Milbre’s website.

Liz Weir

Liz Weir is a storyteller and writer from Northern Ireland. She was the first winner of the International Story Bridge Award from the National Storytelling Network, USA, which cited her “exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling”. Liz Weir has told her stories to people of all ages on five continents. She has performed in pubs and prisons and hospital rooms. She worked on stages in the mighty Vanderbilt Hall of New York’s Grand Central Station and in the Royal Albert Hall.

Find her work at lizweir.com!

Guest Host – Simon Brooks

Simon Brooks is an award-winning British storyteller living in America – actually, New London, New Hampshire, New England, New World!  He also uses his voice to record audio books. He is also a poet, writer, photographer, and educator.

Order his new book Under The Oaken Bough and listen to his new podcast Conversations with Storytellers to hear what it is like to perform storytelling for a living from some living legends!

Music by Podington Bear!

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Furry Friends: Laura Simms, Lyn Ford

Laura Simms

Laura Simms is an award winning performer, writer, and educator advocating storytelling as compassionate action for personal and community transformation. She performs worldwide combining ancient myth and true life story for adult and family audiences.  She is the Artistic Director of the Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center in NY and the founder of The Center for Engaged Storytelling (new).   She has been  a Senior Research Fellow for the International Peace institute at Rutgers University Newark under the auspices of UNESCO.  As a spokesperson for storytelling she presents keynotes and workshops in conferences, villages, schools, universities and community events. She is a member of the Therapeutic Arts Alliance of Manhattan, and a senior teacher of Shambhala Buddhist meditation.  Laura received the Brimstone Award for Engaged Storytelling, CHOICE award for best story collection and Sesame Street’s SUNNY DAYS award for work with children worldwide. In 2011 she recieved a Life Time Achievement Award from the National Storytelling Netwrok.  She is co-faculty with Terry Tempest Williams’ at University of Utah, consults with ETSU’s CANCER STORIES project, and is spoken word consultant for Foundations, NGOS working in post disaster and conflicts. She recently appeared at the Newark Peace Summit and the Conference on World Peace and Values in Monterrey, Mexico. Her Most recent book is OUR SECRET TERRITORY: The Essence of Storytelling (Sentient Publications, June 2011).  She is completing a new work:  THE SANCTUARY OF A STORY (TBA).  Laura is the mother of best selling author Ishmael Beah.

Lyn Ford

A fourth-generation, nationally recognized, Affrilachian storyteller. A teaching artist with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, and workshop facilitator with both OAAE and the Ohio State-Based Collaborative Initiative of the Kennedy Center. A Thurber House mentor. A writer, published in storytelling magazines and newsletters, as well as teachers’ enrichment books and story anthologies, and her own books. A recording artist with award-winning CDs. A Laughter Yoga Teacher and breath mechanic.  Go to my new page, Laughter, Breath, Joy!, for more information! A happy partner-in-life, mama, grandmama, great-grandmama, and good cook!

Connect with her on Facebook!

Music by Podington Bear!

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Myths of Life and Death (with host Isabelle Hauser):Yvonne Healy, True Thomas

Story Story Podcast

Yvonne Healy

Yvone Healy

Professional performer for 40 years, Yvonne Healy was born across the water.  She grew up on an American Main Street with Irish language, stories and culture.  The inherited gene for adventure led Healy to graduate from Swarthmore College, spend half-a-life acting in New York’s soap operas and theaters, summer in yoga ashrams, and always to tell stories. Decades in professional storytelling, writing, acting, and improvisation lend a lively interactive flair to Healy’s teaching. In college courses, conference workshops, and artist residencies, Yvonne encourages children, teens and adults to develop communication, writing and literacy  in her dynamic programs.

True Thomas

True Thomas the Storyteller (aka Robert Seutter) has been storytelling for many years. True is an avid proponent of storytelling. He teaches the art, creates events, and has performed in a wide variety of places from campfires to battlefields. His personal storytelling philosophy is that a good storyteller should be able to tell to anyone, anywhere it’s physically possible. Anyone can and should tell stories, and to become a master of the craft can take a lifetime. He’s also a big believer in the spiritual side of storytelling. He believes in the power of stories and that the right story, in the right time and place can change the world.

Host – Isabelle Hauser

A fairy tale believer since the beginning of her time, Isabelle Hauser discovered the path of storytelling training with professional storyteller Liz Weir in Northern Ireland. When Isabelle is not telling tales or playing the harp on various stages in Switzerland and abroad, you can find her talking to the swans on the shore of her hometown lake, looking for four leaf clover, or chasing rainbows in the surrounding forests.

Music by Podington Bear

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Sky High Stories: Joel Ben Izzy, John Porcino

Story Story Podcast

Joel Ben Izzy

It was back in 1983 that he graduated from Stanford with a self-designed degree in English, Creative Writing and Storytelling, and set off to travel the world, gathering and telling stories. Since then he has told stories and taught storytelling in some 36 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

With every stop on his itinerary, his repertoire of stories has grown. Some are tales from people he meets on the road, and others he finds are traditional tales from the places he’s traveled. Then there are the stories that seem to find him – and stick. These are true stories, more or less, and what he’s come to love over the years is the blend of all these stories together.

John Porcino

Much of John Porcino’s training for his 30 years as a storyteller and singer arose while creating and participating in the zany & touching moments around a campfire – all of life, seen through a flickering fire light, surrounded by the magnificent beauty of the natural world. These days John spins some 200 performances, workshops, and in-service trainings each year for folks of all all ages.
His performances are a mix of stories and songs that are sparked to life with warmth, humor, a playful touch of audience participation, and a twist of music from around the world.

Music by Podington Bear!

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Wise or Lucky? (with Host Simon Brooks)

Norah Dooley

Norah Dooley is a storyteller, educator, critically acclaimed children’s author and creator of StoriesLive®, a high school storytelling curriculum and story slam program. She is the co-founder of massmouth.org and the Greater Boston Story Slam series. As project director of StoriesLive® she created and implements a curriculum used to teach over 7,000 Greater Boston high school students to tell compelling first person narratives. As an adjunct faculty she teaches storytelling to undergraduates at Tufts and runs a Junior Seminar at Lesley University.  In January of 2014, she returned to lecture on storytelling and language acquisition in Tokyo, Japan as part of a multi-year grant funded by the Japanese government. www.norahdooley.com


Richard Martin

The stories Richard Martin tells are the folk tales which have been told for hundreds, indeed thousands, of years. With over 300 stories in his repertoire, they reflect the full range of human experience: the comic, the bawdy, the profound, the divine. Far from being for little children (although he does tell for children, too), these powerful and deep tales offer unforgettable listening for adults. If you like theatre, you’ll definitely love storytelling. It combines the intensity of a play by a solo performer with the intimacy of a one-to-one conversation. Richard tells stories throughout Europe and as far away as India, Singapore, Hong Kong and America – in theatres, universities, schools, for corporate events or private parties. He usually tells in English, although having lived in Germany since 1976, he is sometimes asked to tell in German.

Guest Host – Simon Brooks

Simon Brooks is an award-winning British storyteller living in America – actually, New London, New Hampshire, New England, New World!  He also uses his voice to record audio books. He is also a poet, writer, photographer, and educator.

Order his new book Under The Oaken Bough and listen to his new podcast Conversations with Storytellers to hear what it is like to perform storytelling for a living from some living legends!

Music by Podington Bear!

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