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Act!vated Stories
Family friendly folktales and travel tales
Act!vated Stories is presented by Act!vated Story Theatre a national touring theatre troupe for children and their families. Since 1988, the Act!vated Actors have toured the continental US and beyond, bringing live educational theatre to students at schools and libraries. Podcasting comedic folktales to you from somewhere on the road once a month or so since 2006.

Feb 8, 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.

Happy Listening,

Dennis "Susanowo", Kimberly "Amaterasu" and Zephyr "Tsuki Yomi"

Anne McCrady
almost sixteen years ago

Thanks for this podcast. Once a week this summer I am volunteering as a creative arts leader (being a poet and storyteller) at our Boys & Girls Club. Today I am using mirrors as a theme and telling the story of Amaterasu. Your version was delightful! Also, I had not thought of the rain sound effect which I learned years ago. What a great idea! I am using the story to lead to questions like:
What makes you feel like hiding in a cave?
Where is your cave, your safe place?
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Again, thanks for adding to my box of tricks for today. I know the kids will benefit!

Loretta Haynes
over sixteen years ago

My name is Loretta Haynes and I am a razzlekiddazzle storyteller. I tell stories in a fun and unique way. I want to promote my storytelling with my props songs instruments and fingerplays that are filled with creativity, interaction and fun as well as learning. I will be in Orlando for a literacy conference and I would hope to talk to someone or demonstrate what I can do. I want to promote what I love and that is storytelling. Thank you for this oppourtunity. I also write poems,songs and finger plays.