Ideal for car rides and rainy days. Guaranteed not to put you to sleep!
Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr Goza bring theatrical flair to their storytelling. They don't just tell stories they Act!vate them. On stage as Act!vated Story Theatre they enliven tales with slapstick, physical comedy, American Sign Language and a whole bag of theatrical tricks. In their audio versions, they bring the same energy and creativity using only their voices and sound effects.
The multicultural folktales presented are carefully selected to illustrate and encourage positive character traits such as independent thinking, creativity, self-esteem, motivation, determination and respect for others.
In American folklore, just about every occupation has its legendary, larger than life hero. Lumberjacks have Paul Bunyan. Cowboys have Pecos Bill. Farmers have Febold Feboldson. And sailors have Old Stormalong. . . . What will Old Stormalong do when the pirates attack? How will he defeat the mythical sea creature the kraken? Featuring students from the Quinault tribe from Washington as some of the pirates and crew.
You won't believe the stories that Davy Crockett has to tell about wrestling a bear, marrying Sally-Ann-Thunder-Ann-Whirlwind Crockett and journeying to the North Pole to save the earth. But he was indeed a real person, a congressman who lived from 1736 - 1836.
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, and 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.
Paul Bunyan was soooo big. How big was he? Why when he was just a baby his parents had to put his cradle out to sea. Follow Paul and Babe the Blue Ox on their journey to the logging camps across America. There was the summer that was soooo hot and the winter that was soooo cold. How hot was it? How cold was it? Well you'll have to listen to find out of course.
The Spirit Wife
A legend from the Zuni tribe of New Mexico that parallels the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It tells of a young man whose wife has died, and he goes on a quest to reclaim her from the land of the dead, with the aid of some enchanted animals. He does succeed, in a way, but he also pays a heavy price for his impatience. We present this story in the style of an old-fashioned movie trailer.
A nature tale from the Seneca tribe of New York about the origin of Niagara Falls, as well as a cautionary tale about selfishness and greed. Traditionally, Native Americans have enjoyed telling myths about how various natural phenomena originated. And "naturally", the members of the Seneca Tribe (part of the Iroquois Confederation) were greatly impressed by Niagara Falls, as millions of visitors have been in more recent times. Our wacky version of the tale is certainly more poetic than the scientific version of a huge glacier trucking through 10,000 years ago, and it also features an important theme about the hazards of greed and the importance of revering nature.
The story of the Hawaiian volcano goddess known for her violent temper and her fiery attitude. In this story she fights with her sister Namakaokahai so her brother Kamohoali'i takes her to the Big Island, where she sets up residence at Mauna Loa, the biggest volcano in the world and one of the most active.
Charlie Brown the Whaler
Charlotte Brown was a young woman who married Capt. Nelson Cole Haley, skipper of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan out of Mystic, CT. No doubt about that. But there is a rumor that before she married Capt. Haley, she was ditched at the altar by another man who then heaved ho aboard a whaling ship; and because of that, she disguised herself as a man and signed up as a whaler herself. Because the story is undocumented, that makes it a folktale, and therefore fair game for us to have some fun with. If the yarn is true, then Charlotte joins the ranks of several women who are known to have passed themselves off as sailors -- including some who were pirates. Guest stars Daniel Wilcox as Charlie and Cassia Gordon as Charlies' Mom.
Tappin the Land Turtle
An African-American fable about a turtle whose family was hungry because times were so hard. However he notices that the uppity eagle has plenty of food for his babies. So he asks the eagle about this, and enlists the eagle's help in finding more food. But when he incurs the eagle's displeasure, he ends up on a magical adventure that brings him even more abundance than he'd anticipated. It's a tale that goes back to the days of slavery and incorporates several reminders of that era: the hunger, the separation of "higher" and "lower" classes (the turtle and the eagle) and the dream of a life of plenty, symbolized by the cornucopia-like dipper.
This story involves a group of laborers who come over from China to seek their fortune and instead find very harsh and dangerous working conditions working on the railroads in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and Nevada. Several of them die on the job and one of the deceased workers returns in spirit form to haunt his comrades. They decide that in order to give rest to the souls of their fellow laborers, they must undertake a special construction project on the side.