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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Well, Well, Well : Adam Booth

Adam Booth

Adam Booth’s original stories blend traditional mountain folklore, music, and an awareness of contemporary Appalachia. He has been featured at the International Storytelling Center, the National Storytelling Festival, the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, the National Storytelling Conference, the National Academy of Medicine, and has been a Spoken Word Resident at the Banff Centre (Alberta). He is a member of the Recording Academy and recordings have received two Parents’ Choice Silver Honors and four Storytelling World Awards and Honors. He is a four-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest.

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Faithful and True (with Isabelle Hauser) : Jane Dorfman, Cathryne Fairlee

Jane Dorfman

Jane Ogburn Dorfman tells tales of dutiful daughters and wise women, faithful sons and wicked kings, of magic skipping ropes and Irish heroes, of the angel Elijah and the fools of Chelm, of tricky animals and clever kids. She tells personal stories  about her New Orleans childhood and her Maryland neighbors, her favorite being   “Daddy’s on the Roof and He’s Got the Ax.”

She tells stories for children and adults at festivals and in libraries and in the schools. She loves stories that carry the listener away. The world has an amazing heritage of   stories  and she wants to pass them on.

Jane has performed at the Hans Christian Andersen Statue in Central Park.  She has told at Speak! a storytelling series in Shepardstown WVa, The Stone Soup Festival in S.C., and the Rose Valley storytelling series in Media, PA.  She’s shared personal stories at ‘Better Said than Done’ in VA.

She has crafted a program of lesser known Arabian Nights stories as part of a grant, Muslim Journeys, at Montgomery College, and performed them at the NSN Conference Fringe in 2016.

She has told at the Smithsonian Institution and on television Channel 32’s holiday storytelling program and on ‘Stories in Focus” local television. She is a repeat teller at the Washington Folk Festival and Voices-in-the-Glen Festival and to storytelling classes at The University of Maryland and Catholic University. She’s told stories at the Virginia Celtic Festival, Rockville Festival of the Arts, The Elva Van Winkle Memorial Storytelling Festival and others. She has also conducted a workshop on how to get started storytelling for the Maryland Library Association.

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.

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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Chaotic Love: Elisa Pearmain and Simon Brooks

storystorypodcast,

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

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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Ooka The Judge (with host Simon Brooks): Anne Shimojima, Harvey Heilbrun

Anne Shimojima

Anne Shimojima is a third generation Japanese American, born and
raised in Chicago, Illinois. An award-winning elementary school library
media specialist of 35 years, she first discovered the power of story
with her students, using storytelling to enrich and expand the
curriculum and develop a deep emotional connection with her listeners.

Some highlights in her storytelling career include a week as Teller-in-Residence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, TN and performing at such venues as the National Storytelling Festival, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the 1st Asian-American Storytelling Festival, the Illinois Storytelling Festival, the Talk Story Storytelling Festival in Honolulu, Storytelling Arts of Indiana, the Hans Christian Andersen Statue in Central Park, and the Stories Connect Us All Online Storytelling Festival.

 

Harvey Heilbrun

Spurred on by his performance in a production of the musical play, “Hans Christian Andersen” in 1981, Harvey became a professional singer/storyteller as an addition to his teaching career. He has performed in numerous schools, libraries and festivals throughout Long Island. Harvey retired from teaching in 2006 after 33 years to devote more time to his storytelling passion. In addition to performing, he conducts workshops on storytelling in the classroom and digital storytelling for teachers.

Harvey gathers his stories from a number of sources, mainly folktale collections, picture books and tales that he’s heard from other tellers. He gets pleasure in telling Jack tales and folktales that usually have a twist. He enjoys the songs of Tom Chapin, Sally Rogers and Woody Guthrie. As part of his repertoire he writes and performs a number of his own songs and stories.

 

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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Enchanting Encounters : Jenni Cargill Strong, Liz Weir

podcast for families, mermaid, enchanting storytelling

 

Jenni Cargill Strong 

Jenni Cargill-Strong is an enchanting award-winning Australian storyteller and Owner Operator of ‘The Story Tree Company’ and ‘Stories on Foot: Tales of Byron Bay and the Rainbow Region‘.

 

 

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.

 

 

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Songs of Love and Loss (with Host Isabelle Hauser) :Daniel Marcotte, Stuart Stotts

Daniel Marcotte

Once upon a time there was a wandering musician named Dan Marcotte who played the lute, sang songs, and loved stories.  One evening, he stumbled into a meeting of the Chicago Storytelling Guild and met Judith Heineman, its founder and master storyteller.  She was looking for a musician who could play early music for a newly commissioned show by the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago. Their first and very successful performance together, The Magic Carpet: Songs and Stories from Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, began an artistic partnership that has lasted fourteen years and counting.

 

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.

 

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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