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Professional actors bring your family a different folktale from a new location in every episode. Laugh and learn with "act!vated" actors as they tell silly, thought-provoking stories while touring with their national touring children's show. Comments and story requests: (800)429-6576

Professional actors bring your family a different folktale from a new location in every episode. Laugh and learn with "act!vated" actors as they tell silly, thought-provoking stories while touring with their national touring children's show. Comments and story requests: (800)429-6576
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

Professional actors bring your family a different folktale from a new location in every episode. Laugh and learn with "act!vated" actors as they tell silly, thought-provoking stories while touring with their national touring children's show. Comments and story requests: (800)429-6576

Twitter:

@shpmntbrook

Language:

English


Episodes

The Chinese Mirror

9/15/2018
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Yes, The Chinese Mirror is indeed a Korean story, a tale about fools and about how the introduction of something new often leads to comical results. We come to you from Scarsdale, NY, just north of New York City, which we just took a walking tour of. Since our last podcast, we've been to Maine, including Acadia National Park; we've been sailing and taking a high-speed "Eco Adventure Cruise" off the Maine coast; we've been challenging ourselves at Monkey C Monkey D obstacle course; we've...

Duration:00:19:19

The Monkey Husband

8/16/2018
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The Monkey Husband from Japan is one of those many stories about a girl from a poor family marrying a beast of some sort or other -- including, of course, one of the best known, Beauty and the Beast. This one also seems to be related to a legend that Shakespeare borrowed for King Lear: a father with three daughters, of whom the oldest two are selfish and ungrateful, and the youngest is loving and loyal. Our monkey husband's name, Misue, was supplied by Elizabeth McFarland, who is one of our...

Duration:00:16:25

The Magic Pear Tree

7/15/2018
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The Magic Pear Tree is a strange little tale about greed, generosity, paying it forward, and poetic justice. It comes from ancient China, showing that these concepts are not just modern. It's somewhat similar to the stories about someone getting three wishes, and becoming so overwhelmed with greed that they end up with nothing. We come to you from Raleigh, NC. Since we last approached your ears, we went to Memphis, where we stopped by the pop music landmarks of Graceland and Sun Studios. We...

Duration:00:13:26

Common Sense

6/23/2018
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Common Sense is a story from Jamaica with roots in Africa that involves the legendary trickster man-spider, Anansi. Many tales are told about Anansi not only in Africa, but in America and nearby islands. He seems to have come to the New World along with the slaves, which is hardly surprising. This particular story is rather similar to Anansi and the Story Box, a tale from Ghana that we have performed on stage. We come to you from Jonesboro, Arkansas, where we are in the middle of our summer...

Duration:00:13:58

Kaguya Hime

5/22/2018
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Kaguya Hime is a Japanese tale in the tradition of the stories about a childless couple who find a child of supernatural origin, and adopt her/ him as their own. (See, for example, The Snow Maiden from Russia.) It doubles as a nature myth, as some versions of it are intended to explain a full moon, and some versions explain the smoke arising from Mount Fuji (Fujiyama). This story was requested by podcast listeners in Tokyo, Japan, Sakura and George. We come to you from Reno, NV, which is...

Duration:00:14:05

The Fly

4/25/2018
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The Fly is a trickster tale about a boy who is wise beyond his years and gets the better of his elders. He is part of a long tradition of clever "fools" who are really not so foolish, but save the day in the end. We previously performed, for example, The Boy Who Listened to Birds from Russia. We come to you from Dublin, the shamrock city in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we are wrapping up our Northern California tour and finishing our run of our production Hammer, Nail, Tell a Tale. And...

Duration:00:11:24

The White Snake

3/23/2018
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The White Snake is one of the lesser known folktales collected by the Brothers Grim; it's one of those stories in which the hero is able to talk to animals, a story motif that was around long before Dr. Dolittle. It may seem strange to name a story after a reptile that makes only the briefest appearance in it, but the snake is still the one driving the action -- working undercover, as it were. We come to you from Turlock, California, where we're beginning a series of performances for the...

Duration:00:15:49

Hop in My Sack

2/22/2018
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Hop in My Sack is an Italian story collected by the Italian writer Italo Calvino. The version he published was considerably longer, featuring a few more (mis)adventures for the young hero; we streamlined it for our podcast, which was already running long enough. Because we have come all the way from Alabama to California in the last month, and although we didn't bring a banjo on our knee, we did do a lot of other fun things. There was Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham (a gigantic abandoned...

Duration:00:17:06

Li Chi and the Serpent

1/19/2018
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Li Chi and the Serpent is, like the better known Mu Lan, an old story of girl power from China. In this case, the hero(ine) is not battling an army, but a person-eating creature. But as in the story of Mu Lan, (spoiler alert) she succeeds where the men folk fail. We present this story especially for Chinese New Year, which comes up on February 16 to start the Year Of The Dog. We come to you from Prattville, Alabama, a suburb of Montgomery, as we dodge the cold as much as possible while...

Duration:00:17:59

The Man Who Had No Story

12/21/2017
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The Man Who Had No Story is one of those stories about stories. Many times, they depict not only the origin of a particular story, but of all stories everywhere. (As it happens, we're currently performing one of these, Anansi and the Story Box, live on stage.) Others, like this one, show how you find amazing stories in places where you might least expect them. And this being Christmas time, it's altogether appropriate that this story features elves. And hey, do you notice certainly...

Duration:00:11:49

Lazy Hans and Gretchen

11/16/2017
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Lazy Hans and Gretchen, from Germany, is about two very lazy people, and of course it's a moralistic tale about how being lazy leads to ruin. But it's also one of the "don't count your chickens before they hatch" stories that go all the way back to ancient times -- the story about the milkmaid spilling her pail of milk while daydreaming about the money she's going to make from it supposedly dates back to Aesop. Other popular variations include The Brahman Who Built Air Castles from India,...

Duration:00:12:07

The Goblin's Bridge

10/21/2017
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The Goblin's Bridge is one of those stories about someone making a bad deal with a supernatural being. They (the stories, not necessarily the beings) are especially common in Germany and Scandinavia and sometimes involve a person making a deal for his soul with the devil. (The type has come to America in the form of The Devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benet and The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving. ) Sometimes, as in the present tale, the deal is broken by resorting to...

Duration:00:14:08

The Three Advices

9/24/2017
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The Three Advices is a story of the prescient type; quite often, in such stories the main character has a number of odd items which happen to be exactly what he or she needs to solve problems that come up. In this case, the items are not physical objects, but pieces of advice that help the hero avoid danger for himself and others. And in the process he learns that patience and humility pay off in the end. We come to you from Attleboro, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston -- which has a very...

Duration:00:14:33

The Monkey and the Boar

8/22/2017
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The Monkey and the Boar is a tale from Japan about two animal chums who outwit the humans who pose a problem for them. It uses the motif of the staged rescue, which has been used a number of times in movies and TV shows. This story appealed to us in part because when we visited Japan in 2006, we saw a young man with a monkey doing tricks in a busy plaza in Tokyo. We come to you from Wompatuck State Park in Massachusetts, where we are camping and preparing for the end of our 2017 summer...

Duration:00:16:13

The Blind Beggar Of Baghdad

7/28/2017
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The Blind Beggar Of Baghdad is a story within a story, like many tales in the famous collection in which it can be found, and indeed like the entire collection itself, a group of stories spun by Scheherazade to forestall her doom. This story involves a beggar, a caliph (the head official of Islam) and a dervish (a sort of monk famous for their whirling dance of devotion). It's a cautionary tale about greed, and being blind to one's blessings. We're in Charleston, WV to perform for 6...

Duration:00:16:49

Why Frogs Croak

6/27/2017
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Why Frogs Croak is an origin myth that explains why a certain animal makes a certain noise, though it also delves into the sleeping habits of bears, the length of days and nights, the importance of democracy, and other such profound matters. We come to you from Heber Springs, Arkansas in the middle of a very busy summer tour. We discuss our recent visits to the escape room called Lockdown in Jonesboro and to the Ozark Folklife Center in Mountain View. Here's hoping that the summer keeps...

Duration:00:15:42

The Shadow Builders

5/15/2017
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The Shadow Builders is one version of the legend of Karagöz and Hacivat (pronounced KAR-a-gerz and HA-jee-vaht), the beloved characters of Turkish shadow puppet plays, supposedly based on real individuals. According to this version of the story, they were masons who loved storytelling and merriment, and paid a price for being a bit too cheerful on the job. The tradition of these puppet characters being based on actual historical figures seems to have originated around the Turkish city of...

Duration:00:15:11

The Further Adventures of the Third Little Pig and the Big Bad Wolf

4/23/2017
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No, it's not a sequel. It's not a fractured fairy tale. It's not something that we just made up. It's part of the original Three Little Pigs that normally gets omitted -- you might say that people are accustomed to hearing the Reader's Digest version. This "lost" segment features another example of the rule of three, with three additional desperate efforts by the wolf to lure the third little pig onto his plate. We come to you from Modesto, California, in the middle of an extremely busy...

Duration:00:20:52

Old Joe and the Carpenter

3/19/2017
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Old Joe and the Carpenter is a moralistic little yarn about two neighbors who are initially friends, but get into a small quarrel that escalates into full-scale estrangement until a wise stranger intervenes. The story is set in the Appalachian region of the U.S., which encompasses parts of more than a dozen states ranging from Alabama and Mississippi to New York. This story stems from the (inaccurate) stereotype of the region's inhabitants as backward, isolated, moonshining feuders. This...

Duration:00:13:25

The Robin

2/27/2017
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The Robin is a nature origin story from the Inuit people (commonly called Eskimo) of the far north. We thought it would be appropriate for the end of summer and the first hints of spring. We come to you from Mesa, AZ. Having spent the past month in Arkansas, we started our annual pilgrimage west. At Holbrook, AZ we headed south through the mountains on a scenic drive toward Phoenix. Next, we're on to California check our tour schedule for a show near you. Join us in the #beActivated...

Duration:00:15:13