Adventures in Storytelling

The adventures of The Patchwork Players, Patti Christensen and James Nelson-Lucas, as they travel the dimensions of time and space, telling their tales

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Whirlwind Week

Whirlwind Week

The Patchwork Players have been jumping like Cats in a roomful of rocking chairs this last week.  

Thursday, February 9th.  We performed for Grapevine Elementary School in Vista California.  We told for their Family Reading night.  This was our second year at that event.  What fun we had there.  They had free books enough for 250 families.  They ran out long before the auditorium was full.  As a mater of fact it was full to the brim, standing room only.  There were at least 300 kids sitting on the floor in front of the stage, and hundreds more parents and siblings filling the chairs and lined up on the walls.  By the end of the evening that room was mighty warm!  Interesting thing, Family Reading Night at Grapevine is also Pajama night.  You know how they say that to keep from getting nervous, to imagine the audience in their underwear?  Well, this was not too far off as a good number of both kids and parents came in their sleepy-time best.  We told some of our favorite tales, old and new; The Boy Who Drew Cats,  The Catapult,  Mortimer, and of course we closed with the crowd favorite The Baby Coyote.  It warmed our hearts when several kids came up after to proudly proclaim that they had seen us there last year too, and were glad that we came back.

The next day, Friday, we were back down at San Diego Children’s Hospital.  As part of the process of getting hired there we were subjected to extensive background checks.  This day, however, was reserved for extensive, pre-employment, physical examinations.  And we mean extensive!  You would think we were being inducted into some super-secret military intelligence unit.  Yikes!  We just want to tell stories to the children!!!!  Even though they are perusing medical and personal records, and we had to make a special second trip the following Monday to have our TB test confirmed as negative… we understand they are doing their best to protect both the kids and their employees.  We can hardly wait until we have jumped through all the bureaucratic hoops and get to start working with the children, their families and caregivers.

Saturday, we were at the Storytelling Institute, sponsored by the South Coast Storytellers Guild.  Patti taught a three-hour workshop entitled ‘Storytelling and Literacy’.  There were about a dozen folks there who learned form Patti’s experience in interfacing storytelling and literacy curriculum to the benefit of both children and teachers.  She had a good deal of information and ideas on how to use storytelling to support state education standards.

James taught a one hour workshop, also with about 12 attendees on ‘True (and Not So True) Tales of California’.  Participants heard James relate his experience in making history both fun and educational, using storytelling.  They were also able to share some of their own experiences and creative approaches to the subject.  

Both James and Patti got some very nice feedback for their workshops from their respective attendees.
Then, at the lunchtime storytelling concert we told ‘The Catapult’.  One of our fun stories where James literally throws himself to the ground!  You really have to see this story being told to know what we mean.

We always love the Storytelling Institute.  It draws a fine crowd of educators, librarians, storytellers and others, for a day of learning and storytelling.  Also, there is Guild sponsored used (or previously loved) book sale at the Institute.  Always a good excuse for us to clear extra books from our collection to donate to the Storytelling cause.

In the midst of all that we confirmed eight new bookings…and then there was Valentines Day, so James & Patti celebrated James wife’s birthday. James and his wife then celebrated their wedding anniversary and mourned the loss of their beloved cat.  

Who knows what adventures the next week will bring…more adventures, of that we are sure!