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Passionate Fact Workshop | Voice & Language Workshop | Story Architecture AIS Residency | School Workshops



        "In storytelling performance, I want to cross the bridge between science
        and mythology. By creating performances that combine both scientific
        fact and ancient myth, the audience has the chance to experience
        information as divine wisdom; experience science as archetype,
        myth as truth." __ Susan Strauss




        Coyote, the wily hero/fool makes his tracks across America in adventures told by Native Americans for thousands of years. Often boastful, forgetful, selfish and sly, Coyote ignites and delights the fool in each of us at any age. These tales generate a better understanding of Native humor, culture and the "sacred teaching fool." All stories developed from anthropological, ethnographic and linguistic texts and meetings with Native elders.

        Myths, folktales & true life anecdotes are woven together in one performance which conveys how connected are the mythical and biological aspects of animals. Performance may include stories of Bear, Wolf, Eagle, Loon, dove, sparrow, Coyote, Deer, Frog, Bee or Snake.: Possible titles: Deer's Winter Crown (Swedish), Rose Red (German), Frog Creates Day & Night (Nez Perce), Brer Snake (African American), Wolf, the Sun & the Moon (Norse), Five Sparrows (Japan).

        AND FOR KIDS:
        Tales of Great Fools

        Brer Rabbit, Coyote, the Fools of Chelm and the Mulla Nazrudin come together in a program of pure delight __especially for children. These stories of lovable fools from world cultures actively involve audiences in the voice, song and art of storytelling while breaking down cultural barriers.

        Mythic-Scientifc Stories from the Plant Kingdom
        The Zuni Creation Myth unfolds remarkable images of photosynthesis and the evolution of corn. Multi-cultural myths reveal the extraordinary ways plants support life on earth. They awaken an undeniable curiosity about the quiet green world. Stories may include: Plants Bring Medicine (Cherokee), Venus and Adonis (Roman), Persephone and Demeter (Greek), Coyote & the Grass People (Assiniboin), Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life (Norse) and others.

        Mythic Stories of Trees
        Since the origin of culture, trees have been revered as a life source and a translator between heaven and earth. The “dark forest” in European tales is always a magical place of transformation. Myths gathered from Iceland, Japan, Costa Rica, Native America, Africa and Russia.

        Blessing Stories From the Book of Nature
        Secrets of prosperity sing out in the nature wisdom stories of every world culture. The “Book of Nature” is an ancient term, referring to this divine wisdom planted in natural fact and "reading nature" as one of the world’s great sacred texts. May include stories from St. Francis, Hassidic Jewish, Native American, Zufi, Norse and Japanese traditions along with personal anecdotes.

        Similar theme for young audience

        Since the Dark Ages in Europe, stories such as “Little Red Riding Hood” and werewolf tales have perpetuated a fear of the wolf that has no support in actual fact. How did this split between fact and myth develop? Ancient world myths reveals the wolf’s true archetype as: devoted parent, extraordinary hunter, spirit guide and guardian of mystery. Stories include: Skidi Pawnee Creation, “Wolf’s Eyelashes” (Japan), “She Who Lived With Wolves” (Lakota), “The Wolf & The Firebird” (Russia), “Skoll & Hati” (Norse), “Spako, the Wolf Goddess” (Persia), anecdotes from Dr. David Mech and other noted wolf biologists and "Little Red Riding Boots Moves To L.A.".

        celebrates the rich and delicate symbolism of the bird in global mythology. Birds are characterized through movement and voice. Stories include: “The Hundredth Dove” (England), Mark Twain’s “The Bluejay Yarn”, The Loon Mother (Athabaskin), “Finest, the Falcon” (Russia), “Five Sparrows” (Japan) and others.

        Water & Marine Life Myths
        This extraordinary substance __ often taken for granted __ upon which all life on earth depends __ through which salmon find their birth river __ moving in and among all of us: plant, animal, atmosphere __ water is celebrated in this storytelling performance of Salmon Boy (Haida), Creation of Drinking Water (Pawnee), The Merced River Speaks At Conference (original), Monster Woman at Pacific Coast (Wasco), When Woman Became the Sea (Costa Rica), Heyoke Brings Water to Sundance (original), Swimming Is My Religion (original), The Pond's Story and others.

        World Mythology of Weather
        Whether or not we like the weather, ancient myths portray weather as a divine breathing response to activity on earth__ rain gathered from forests or winds gathered from the Great Plains. Stories may include: Dionysus Stolen by Pirates (Greek), Pawnee Creation of North America, Coyote & Whirlwind Woman (Assiniboin), When Woman Became the Sea (Costa Rican) and Norse Creation.

        explores the musical art of storytelling __the use of alliteration, syntax and other poetic devices that sweep a child's imagination into the drama of a tale.

        Tales about the meaning of gifting and snowy landscapes __the events of Light in the Dark Heart of Winter. For warming the hearths and hearts of all ages throughout the cold winter months.

        HEROS & SHEROS
        Some are quiet and patient . . . others, decisive and fierce, still all heros act out of self-confidence & sovereignty . . . sacrifice & surrender to risk. "Sigfried and Brunhilda"and others emerge from the dark forests of world myths to awaken these heroic qualities in ourselves.

        Mythic Images of the Feminine
        Every woman can recognize her own journey toward wholeness in the blossoming imagery of ancient myths and fairytales. Myths and fairy tales from Greek, Norwegian, Russian, English and Native American origins reveal aspects of the feminine nature so different from images presented in the mass media.

        Landscape in the American Mind
        “Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact … Visible distance
        behind and before us, is respectively our image of memory and hope.”
        __ Ralph Waldo Emerson

        Vast open landscapes inspired American’s early identity and birthed a world-wide conservation movement. American landscape painters from the Hudson River School enhanced this identity by setting before America a vision of landscape as divine creation. This performance interweaves historic stories from the opening of the West, the Nez Perce Flight, the lives of Thomas Moran, George Inness, RW Emerson, John Muir and Lady Bird Johnson with modern anecdotes and Native American mythic story in collaboration with Eurythmy Movement and music. This performance reveals the spiritual core shared by American landscape painters and Native American culture__ a core expressing the huge place landscape holds in the soul of American idenity. As the Great Mother in the Zuni Creation Myth states, "How will my children know one place from another?" Driven by these mythic/ historic roots, this performance answers the question: Why do we need landscape?


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