Thu, 22 February 2007
Did you know that "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is not really a folk tale? That's because it was written, at least in its present form, by the English poet Robert Southey (1774-1843) although he may have based it on an actual folk tale of some sort. In our version, which is based on his, Goldilocks is a Valley Girl and Papa Bear is a hippie. And does anybody really eat porridge?
We come to you from Orlando, Florida, where Zephyr has made his umpteenth venture into Disney MGM and Disney's Animal Kingdom. In the latter, he rode the brand new ride Expedition Everest. He also made his presence known for the first time at Universal Orlando, devoting a day each to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. (His offical judgment is that the Spiderman ride is "officially awesome".)
Meanwhile, mom and dad had a brand new experience at SkyVenture, a training facility for skydivers. They didn't jump out of any planes, but they did float on a column of air and felt like Spiderman for a few minutes.
Dennis (Mama Bear), Kimberly (like-Goldie-ya know?) and Zephyr (Papa and Baby Bear) Goza
Mon, 19 February 2007
We had to take last week off to put the final touches on our new Shakespeare production Shakespeare Shazam. After 14 hour days of sword fighting, sewing, rehearsing and breathing Shakespeare the show is up and we'll be back to our regular schedule of a new podcast every Thursday!
Dennis "The Bard", Kimberly "Mom" and Zephyr "Lenny"
The Act!vated Storytellers are currently in Orlando, Florida
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52 PM
Thu, 8 February 2007
This week we present the Japanese folk tale of Amaterasu, a goddess who was in charge of the sun, and went to hide in a cave when her feelings were hurt, taking the sun away with her. How did her siblings coax her into returning and bringing back the sunshine? Find out in this, one of many, many tales of catastrophic floods and storms from many cultures throughout the world.
We chose one of these stories for this week because we just paid our first visit to New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina hit. We found the city itself in pretty good shape, but in St. Bernard Parish, the destruction is still jaw-dropping 16 months after the disaster.
We were in town to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, expecting to wield hammers and saws in the reconstruction of damaged buildings. Instead, we were hooked up with a partner program called Play Helps, created by the Children's Museum of Manhattan to use the arts as therapy for children traumatized by 9-11. We spent a couple of days at Andrew Jackson Elementary School (formerly Andrew Jackson High School) having fun playing with musical instruments and playing with the students who were playing with them. We also participated in a family fun night at the school, and made up a theatre/sports game for the occasion.
We worked with a retired gentleman named Danny, who, like us, is a fulltime RVer. He demonstrated for the kids a Native American flute and a Tibetan singing bowl. It was, we hope, reassuring for the students to meet folks like us who live in an RV by choice, since most of them have been living in FEMA trailers out of necessity.
Dennis "Susanowo", Kimberly "Amaterasu" and Zephyr "Tsuki Yomi"
Thu, 1 February 2007
Who was the tallest, strongest, most "Texas" tall tale hero of them all? Why, it was Pecos Bill.
In the heyday of the cattle drive, when cowboys would gather around the campfire after a hard day's work, they might entertain themselves by outdoing each other in spinning whoppers. Pecos Bill grew (and grew, and grew) out of those informal contests; and many fantastic deeds and adventures were attached to him. In our version of the narrative, we relate how he was lost on a cross-country trip as a baby and raised by coyotes, then rejoined the human race as a cowboy. At this occupation, he earned a name for himself by inventing the lasso and taming a cyclone. And then there was his legendary courtship of Slew-Foot Sue.
During the past week we crossed the Pecos River, and we even passed through Pecos, Texas, where we had a rehearsal next to the West of the Pecos Museum and the National Rodeo Hall of Fame--which was established here because Pecos was the site of the world's very first rodeo, back in 1883. (The word "rodeo" comes from the Spanish word meaning "surround", which is what cowboys did a lot of.)
Families on the Road
We also attended a gathering in Dallas for Families On the Road (FOTR) a nationwide group of RV'ers (and often homeschoolers) who stay in touch online. The gathering was held at the clubhouse of the Dallas KOA. And the following day we drove to Houston and visited the Free Range Family, a homeschooling family who are preparing to go on the road fulltime--and who attended two of our performances last year while they were living in New Jersey.
Dennis (cowpoke), Kimberly (Slew-Foot Sue) and Zephyr ("Bill")