I began telling stories as a member of an acting ensemble in 1976, presenting storytelling as a major part of our repertoire. We worked primarily in park and recreation centers and schools. As members moved away or went into other fields, we evolved into – and I co-founded – the Black Storytellers Alliance (BSA) in direct response to the demand for storytelling to deliver the inspirational and cultural lessons embodied in our stories.
Early on I encouraged members of the audience to share the storytelling space by becoming a part of the story and one of the characters in the story. On many occasions, I was unable to use all the audience members who wanted to participate! It was wonderful to have so many trying to Read more »
Press Play to hear Elaine Wynne who is a clinical psychologist speaks on uses healing stories with children on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
Elaine Wynne was a Storyteller first. Stories flowed freely around the kitchen table and from an Anishinabe/Irish man who lived on the farm where she grew up. She told stories to her young children and then in the early 70’s finished a degree in Storytelling and Image Development for Non-Profits. She began to perform as a storyteller and then in 1982 got a degree in the Psychology of Human Development (Storytelling and Healing as a main focus) and became a Licensed Psychologist.
She worked six years at Mpls. Children’s Medical Center and developed a story called “The Rainbow Dream”, used by children and adult cancer groups for many y ears. Later, her work using storytelling to teach self management to 2-5 year olds with asthma (with Daniel Kohen, M.D.) was published in the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis, and in numerous medical and psychological journals in Europe. Research on using stories and games as teaching methods showed significant reduction in emergency clinic and hospital visits over a two year period.
Elaine has performed and taught storytelling (and storytelling as a healing art) in Norway, Sweden, England, Ecuador, Japan, and Singapore, as well as in numerous places around Minnesota and the US. Last year, she presented a performance workshop at the 12th annual Pediatric Emergency Management of Humanitarian Disasters in Cleveland. She won Grand Prize with her husband (Storyteller Larry Johnson) at the Tokyo Video Festival for a storied exchange between children in St. Paul and London. She and Larry conduct and teach about Cousin Camp which they developed with their 13 grandchildren.
Press Play to hear Loren Niemi who was interviewed by Eric Wolf on Honoring Elders and Apprentices on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
Loren Niemi writes… I’ve been a storyteller for 30 plus years and yet in so many ways I feel like a beginner learning how to do now, what I learned how to do then. It is “LOL” a very “Zen and now” approach to storytelling: beginner’s mind.
At this point in time, I understand clearly and fondly what a gift I received when I came to storytelling. The gift of generous mentors – specifically, Ken Feit and Rueven Gold – who took a “Zen and now” approach offering friendship, access, who posed and (sometimes) answered questions, encouraged and gave permission for me to find and develop my own voice rather than adopt theirs. They welcomed me wherever they were telling and often made space for me to tell a story at those gatherings.
They were prolific in suggesting, cajoling, handing me books and lists of books to read that would ground me in the storytelling traditions. It is one of the laments I have about a significant portion of those coming into storytelling now, that they do not Read more »
Fill out the form and press play to hear Jack Zipes the preeminent writer about and translator of fairytales appear on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
Jack Zipes in the Flesh.
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Purchase a HQ Mp3 File of Interview #060 Jack Zipes
Fairy Tales are still relevant to the children of today.
Jack Zipes writes… At their best, the storytelling of fairy tales constitute the most profound articulation of the human struggle to form and maintain a civilizing process. They depict metaphorically the opportunities for human adaptation to our environment and reflect the conflicts that arise when we fail to establish civilizing codes commensurate with the self-interests of large groups within the human population. The more we give into base instincts – base in the sense of basic and depraved – the more criminal and destructive we become. The more we learn to relate to other groups of people and realize that their survival and the fulfillment of their interests is related to ours, the more we might construct social codes that guarantee humane relationships. Fairy tales are uncanny because they tell us what we need and they unsettle us by showing what we lack and how we might compensate for lack.
Fairy tales hint of happiness. This hint, what Ernst Bloch has called the anticipatory illumination, has constituted their utopian appeal that has a strong moral component to it. We do not know happiness, but we instinctually know and feel that it can be created and perhaps even defined. Fairy tales map out possible Read more »
Purchase a HQ Mp3 File of Interview #038 Bobby Norfolk
The Brain is Hardwired for Stories.
Bio… Bobby’s innate ability to read and connect with audiences of all ages makes him one of the country’s premier storytellers. Using dynamic movement and vocal effects, he creates vibrant characters who come to Read more »
Tired of the tin sound?
Purchase a HQ Mp3 File of Interview #024 Larry Johnson
Key of See Storytellers
How storytelling in your school and classroom creates successful leaders.
Larry Johnson has dedicated his storytelling career to improving the lives of the children around him. Larry spent years trying to convince the state board of education that storytelling and a storyteller belonged in every school in his state.
——Larry Writes.. I started telling “goofy” stories around the campfire in the 60s for campers in trouble thru court services, while I went thru the Broadcast program at the University of Minnesota. When I returned from being an army medic, I began to encounter young adults who looked at me and said, “Aren’t you the guy who told those stories at the camp? Do you remember . . .” These young people, who had extreme trouble in school, then told me stories I didn’t remember because Read more »