Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Books Inspire Stories -- From Page to Stage

This Photostory introduces an audience to the concept briefly.

Burrrrrrrrrrp! A Coyote Trickster Tale

A group of Salishan people who lived in Canada had many stories about Fox and Coyote.  This story from their culture was first recorded in 1916.

Tricky Coyote

This is a Native American Trickster Tale retold by Gretchen Will Mayo and read by Carol Esterreicher, Storyteller.

Storytelling as Literacy

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Metamorphoses: An International Colloquium on Narrative and Folklore

Over thirty scholars, researchers, performing artists, linguists, folklorists, poets, and anthropologists, nationwide and from several countries attended a colloquium at the University of Utah on October 2-4 where they shared their research and perspectives on narratives, fairy tales, and folklore. They explored a variety of expressive arts media as well as "page-to-stage" issues. My proposal was accepted and my presentation appeared in the program in the Performing Arts Panel.
The Proposal:
Metamorphosis: The Evolution of Fairy Tales to Tairy Fales!
Storyteller, Carol Esterreicher, Ed.S.
Member: Utah Storytelling Guild
Member: National Storytelling Network
Renewed interest in storytelling as a performing art in general and fairy tales in particular, prompts us to explore word play strategies that “tickle the tale” in creative ways! The excursion from page to stage engages the storyteller’s creative pursuit of connections with numerous audience types in pursuit of transporting them to magically enchanting times and places. Intentional “metamorphosis” of classic tales using word play releases intuitive creative forces that reside deep within the storyteller still unknown, or just “below the surface” persistently urging expression.
On the page, we apply differing word play strategies to the same tale depending on the potential audiences’ ages and interests and the responses expected. Most people have heard “spoonerisms” and will happily recall those they have enjoyed in the past. Other less familiar inventions such as substitutions and lipograms, (exclusions) render surprising and delightful linguistic delicacies.
On the stage, we prepare and predispose audiences to accept the premise, “because this story is already present in your memory, you will find this adapted and metamorphosed version surprisingly easy to understand and enjoy.” Pace your presentation. Be prepared to “step outside your story” to comment and bring the audience’s understanding and appreciation up to speed. Storytelling with a live audience invites a give-and-take connection that is one of storytelling’s most enticing sources of fulfillment for artist and audience alike.
Children giggle at the surprising sounds of the words. Following a story concert, they have been overheard repeating favorites including “Mairy Fodgother,” and “Beeping Sleauty.” Adults reminisce about word plays heard over generations since the 1940’s when radio personality, Frederick Chase Taylor (1897-1950), as Col. Stoopnagle, had his listeners chuckling over the linguistic improbabilities of “spoonerisms.” Spoonerisms’ namesake is the Reverend W.A. Spooner (1844-1930) whose peculiar speech impediment, included reversing and rearranging sounds and syllables.

Bettelheim, Bruno. (1976). The Uses of Enchantment—The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc
Espy, Willard R. (1986). Words To Rhyme With (including a Primer of Prosody). New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Esterreicher, Carol. (1995). SCAMPER Strategies—FUNdamental Activities for Narrative Development. Thinking Publications. Eau Claire: Wisconsin. Available through Amazon.com
Esterreicher, Carol (2007). “Why Word Play?” on-line article http://www.storyteller.net/tellers/cesterreicher
Farb, Peter. (1973). Word Play –What Happens When People Talk. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
James, Keen (2000). Stoopnagle’s Tale is Twisted.—Spoonerisms Run Amok. Sherman Oaks, CA: Stone and Scott Publishers
LeBoeuf, Michael. (1980). Imagineering. Chicago: Contemporary Books, Inc..
Osborn, Alex. (1953). Applied Imagination. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Literacy and Word Play

Popularized forms of word play are both entertaining and instructive. While the unusual word combinations accomplished by reversing and rearranging sounds and syllables can "tickle the funny bone," an important learning is taking place. Phonological awarness of the sound system of our English language is considered to be an important literacy skill. While children and adults engage in a variety of word play strategies, they are exercising their verbal linguistic skills which
are likely to support their developing "literacy" as it relates to reading, writing, and spelling skills.

"Spoonerisms" popularized by radio announcers, authors, public speakers, and teachers are probably the most well-known of word play strategies. For a more extensive treatment of this topic, read and download my article: Why Word Play? Visit http://www.storyteller.net/tellers/cesterreicher and on my page locate this link: >Articles
Learn more at: http://www.carolstories.com

Literacy and Storytelling

When we speak of "literacy," why is it that our references and our emphases are so text-bound? Before writing and reading evolved, literate societies for centuries conveyed their history and their customs through oral traditions including rituals and storytelling. It may be of interest to note that when searching for images that represent storytelling, you will find numerous views of adults reading to children. Adults reading to children conveys a limited view of storytelling specifically and literacy in general. When seeking images to represent storytelling, choose a category such as oral traditions. Using this category, you will find a rich treasure of images that emphasize the importance of oral traditions, including storytelling, as contributors to a more inclusive concept of "literacy."