MEET EMILY DICKINSON - Living History / 40-75 min / Ages 14 and up
This beautiful story depicts the real person behind the legendary poet, Emily Dickinson.
Discover what life was like for Emily growing up in Amherst, MA, and what inspired her to write her insightful poetry. Meet the important people in her life, and learn of the events that led to her desire to become a recluse.
This program is adaptable to any space and can run from 40 - 75 minutes in length. Paddy portrays the poet dressed in "bridal white" in this remarkable storytelling piece that engages the listener to look into the soul of Emily and gain a better understanding of the person within.
Whether you are a lover of literature or poetry, or you enjoy seeing a historic person's life being told on stage, this program is sure to delight. It plays wonderfully in high schools, colleges, libraries, historic societies, book and literary clubs, and senior centers, to name but a few.
MEET HARRIET BEECHER STOWE - Living History / 45-60 min / Ages 14 and up
Renowned Author of Uncle Tom's Cabin
When I first started to research a storytelling piece on Harriet Beecher Stowe, I wasn't too certain that I would find her story to be interesting and appealing to the general public. I couldn't have been more wrong. Here was a woman who embodied the strength and fortitude of great women of the nineteenth century.
Harriet was born into an established New England family of preachers, her father being a very prominent First Congregational Minister and her brother Henry Ward, equaling that fame as a preacher and great debater of the period. Harriet was well educated and extremely gifted, yet she could not publicly speak or even lead a prayer in church. She grew up at a time when slavery was on the minds of everyone, and she found herself relating to the abolitionists- despite the risks that accompanied it. She grew increasingly angry with the government and lack of intervention from the churches. When her family moved to Cincinnati, OH, which was at the crossroads between the North and the South, tempers were flaring and Harriet did her best to establish some order. Her biggest obstacle was she was a woman and wasn't given much credence. She turned to writing to help educate people and get her message across.
This one-woman storytelling program on Harriet Beecher Stowe relates her life and times, and many personal insights into this amazing woman. Harriet was a wife, a mother, an educator, a writer, and more importantly, a visionary. She felt chosen to write a book unlike any other, not only of that period but even today. Harriet may have been a small five-foot white woman from New England but she had a profound impact on America. Why even President Lincoln upon meeting her said, "So this is the little lady who started this big war."
Harriet's story is an inspiration to all of us struggling to do the right thing, and believing in ourselves. In this program, I try and capture the heart and soul of this gentle powerhouse and share her story with all who will listen.
BEATRIX POTTER - Living History / 50 min / Ages 14 and up
Beatrix Potter, the author of THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT and other stories, remains the number one best-selling children’s author of all time. Beatrix came from a wealthy, upper middle-class family and was reared by a governess for most of her early life. She was not allowed to play with other children, so as for result, her pets, (which she had many of) became her dearest companions. She developed a love for drawing and painting and used her pets as models. Her vivid imagination coupled with her unique artistic talent gave birth to the charming stories that have warmed the hearts of billions.
Beatrix however, was not only a remarkable artist and author. Her love for nature and the English countryside led her to become a farmer and conservationist. In 1943, when she passed away, she bequeathed 15 farms and over 4,000 acres to the National Trust. She is truly, an inspirational woman.
SPOON RIVER - Living History / 60 min / Ages 14 and up
Paddy andJon Lynn present a one-hour performance of Edgar Lee Masters’ classic portrait of life and death in early Illinois. With traditional music by folk singer Patti Ecker, this fresh interpretation reveals the joys, sorrows, and secrets of Spoon River’s unforgettable characters in story and song.
This past year, 2015, marked the 100th anniversary of the publication SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY by Edgar Lee Masters. The anthology is a collaboration of over 200 interconnected free-verse epitaphs spoken by former residents of a fictitious town called Spoon River, who speak from their graves,to tell the truth about their lives. And we all know that oftentimes, the truth can be uncomfortable.
SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY caused a sensation with its frankness on sex, moral decay, and hypocrisy. And although it was banned in Fulton County, the center of Illinois that housed both of the towns of Lewiston and Petersburg where Masters lived, the book captured the imagination of the nation. It quickly went through multiple printings and became one of the most popular books of poetry in the history of American literature.
Even today, SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY remains as relevant as it was in 1915 when it was written. Through stories and songs, this program captures the joys, sorrows, and secrets of the human condition.
LETTERS FROM OREGON TRAIL - Living History / 45-60 min / Ages 8 and up
Through a unique and entertaining combination of theater and storytelling, two actresses recreate one family's amazing journey westward in 1853. The audience is transported back in time in this interactive adventure through demonstrations and audience participation. Share in the family's daily struggles for survival and celebrations of the human spirit.
This program is excellent entertainment for any age studying pioneers. It offers curricular connections to history, humanities, and theater classes, as well as promoting reading and writing.
To help illuminate this program for students, an educational packet is available, and a post-show question and answer period is included.