Peek into the Past
Peek into the Past of ordinary people who became part of an extraordinary time in American History. Peek into the Past of extraordinary people and animals who were part of a magical time in World Legends.
From Dawn to Knight: Celtic Hero and King Arthur Tales
The Celts (Irish, Scottish, British & Welsh) have celebrated heroes since the beginning of time. Those tales still speak to the hearts and minds of today’s story listeners. Tales of warriors, lovers, hunters, kings and even dogs transport audiences to a time and place filled with magic and heroism. Travel thousands of years in the past to meet the mythical Celtic gods as well as Finn McCool, Prince Llywelyn, King Arthur, Merlin and more “otherwordly” characters.
Curriculum Connections: World History, Communication Arts & Storytelling
“I loved the King Arthur story! Did it really happen that way?”
“This was the best program we have had
this year in our Noon Series.” — University Department Head
Grammy Ellstrom Tells Tall and True Tales
Strong women and fearless men punctuate this fun and fanciful fact-filled performance. Listen to this 500-year old, backwards aging, costumed Grammy Ellstrom recall anecdotes of “Great Americans I have known like Mike Fink, Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyon, Johnnie Appleseed and Davy and Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett, jest ta name a few.”
Curriculum Connections: Communication Arts (Tall Tales), American History & Storytelling
“Wake up Grammy! It’s time to tell us a story!
Your tales are funny!” — Elementary Student
I Want to Vote!” America’s Women Suffrage Story
This one-woman play portrays a fictional character’s journey from rural pioneer woman to urban woman voting for the first time in history. As she travels from 1870 to 1920 she remembers the heroic work of suffragettes Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and St. Louisan Virginia Minor. “I WANT TO VOTE !” was their chant and it echoed across the nation. Performance is followed by audience participation in comparing the rights of yesterday’s women to the freedoms taken for granted today.
Curriculum Connections: American History, Women’s Studies & Theater
“By the end of the performance, the entire audience
was enthusiastically chanting ‘I WANT TO VOTE!’
along with the storytellers.”
“The children will not forget the information
presented in this storytelling way and did not even
realize they were learning so much about history and citizenship.”
Life on the Prairie: Portrait of an 1870’s Pioneer Woman
Detail-rich and historically researched, the post-Civil War life of a typical rural wife and mother is portrayed through true stories of female Midwestern pioneers. Told in character and costume against the backdrop of four handmade quilts, she tells the stories of fire and drought, floods and fighting off wolves. Audiences experience the history of westward expansion through this intimate peek into the contributions and sacrifices made by the everyday people who helped settle the Midwest.
Curriculum Connections: American and Missouri History & Storytelling
“Karen’s presentation and portrayal of the pioneer
woman was superb! It was exactly what we were
looking for in celebrating our Frontier Week.” — Reading Specialist
“So completely did Karen become her character that
her listeners felt instantly transported
to another time and place.” — University Librarian/Professor
Wisdom of the Elders
If wisdom is lost on youth, it is found in elders. Many world cultures venerate their elders and that well deserved respect is found in tales passed down through the ages. Tales of courage, leadership and wisdom can teach today’s younger generation a thing or two. Sharing personal stories and encouraging audience participation allows us to “hear with our hearts.”
Audiences: Community and Retirement Centers, Church and Social groups
“Our residents were engaged and I learned
more about their lives.” — Retirement Center Social Director