Sweet Strangers (with Host Simon Brooks): Ed Stivender, Tim Lowry

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.

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).

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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A Promise Broken (with Host Isabelle Hauser): Alton Chung

Alton Chung

Alton performs at storytelling festivals internationally, sharing stories and legends from Hawaii and spreading aloha.  He also tells stories from the Hawaiian Monarchy and the Plantation Days as well as Asian folk tales from all around the Pacific Rim.  Alton is also passionate about sharing stories of the Japanese American Experience of WWII.  In 2005, Alton was awarded the first J.J. Reneaux Emerging Artist Award by the National Storytelling Network.  He has performed at the Congress of Asian Storytellers in Singapore, the International Gimme Story Storytelling Festival in the Cayman Islands, as well as venues in India, China, and Okinawa.  He has also performed at the Talk Story Festival, the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, the Four Corners Storytelling Festival, the Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival, and has been a New Voice Teller at the National Storytelling Festival

Find him at his website, and on Facebook!

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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On the Dark Road : The Devils Violin, Rona Leventhal

The Devils Violin

The Devil’s Violin creates and performs music and storytelling shows that receive standing ovations and evoke passionate responses from its diverse audience and positive reviews from arts professionals.

DV’s unique blend of words and music has proven powerful in reaching a diverse audience aged from 12 upwards. It has charmed, chilled and thrilled audiences in urban, socially deprived and rural areas. It has been popular with both pensioners and teenagers and those who enjoy storytelling, literature and theatre and folk, world or classical music.

DV’s ongoing success and popularity is down to the individual talents and reputation of its artists; Multi award-winning Welsh storyteller Daniel Morden (winner of the Welsh Books Council Tir Na Nog award and two Welsh Assembly Government Author Advance Awards, author for Gomer Press and two outstanding musicians: violinist Oliver Wilson-Dickson  (musician in ALAWand Jamie Smith’s Mabon), and cellist Sarah Moody, composer for theatre companies such as Tobacco Factory, BristolTravelling Light Theatre Co and Invisible Ink (in association with Theatr Iolo) and as musician for companies such as Kneehigh and Wildworks.

Rona Leventhal

Rona Leventhal, who hails for Massachusetts, has been sharing her passion for the power of story for twenty-seven years, touching the minds and imaginations of listeners.  Her performances –  dynamic, evocative, often funny – have taken her from the stages of National Storytelling Network to the National Yiddish Book Center, international venues, festival, conferences, schools and libraries. With roots in education, she calls storytelling “Living Literacy”(c), which develops what she calls “The Imagination Muscle”(c).  Rona is a Teller of Tales, a Workshop Leader, Improv Specialist, Coach, Teaching Artist, Consultant and by all accounts, a mensch! Her first CD is “Into the Dark: Stories From the Shadows” (Creepy Stories for Adults and Fearless Teens). Her family CD, “Raps, Rhythms and Rhymes: Stories to Tap, Rap, Shake and Sing” will be out early 2019!  Coeditor: Spinning tales, Weaving Hope: Stories of Peace, Justice and the Environment.

Music by Podington Bear!

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Weep and Wail

Brenda Wong Aoki

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 Del Negro


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.

Music by Podington Bear!

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Can’t Trick a Trickster (with Simon Brooks): Danielle Bellone, Alton Chung

Danielle Bellone

Danielle is a Storyteller, a francophile, and a native of the bayou country of the Gulf South.  She is a hurricane of lovely words, gripping narrative, and joyful absurdity. Her stories range from traditional folk and fairy tales to poetic explorations and personal misadventures. She includes song and gratuitous hand-percussion whenever she can.

Alton Chung

Alton performs at storytelling festivals internationally, sharing stories and legends from Hawaii and spreading aloha.  He also tells stories from the Hawaiian Monarchy and the Plantation Days as well as Asian folk tales from all around the Pacific Rim.  Alton is also passionate about sharing stories of the Japanese American Experience of WWII.  In 2005, Alton was awarded the first J.J. Reneaux Emerging Artist Award by the National Storytelling Network.  He has performed at the Congress of Asian Storytellers in Singapore, the International Gimme Story Storytelling Festival in the Cayman Islands, as well as venues in India, China, and Okinawa.  He has also performed at the Talk Story Festival, the Bay Area Storytelling Festival, the Four Corners Storytelling Festival, the Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival, and has been a New Voice Teller at the National Storytelling Festival

Find him at his website, and on Facebook!


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.

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!

Continue Reading