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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
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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 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


Aladdin and the Lamp

1/22/2017
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Aladdin and the Lamp is one of the many popular tales from the collection commonly called The Arabian Nights, though its more proper name is The Thousand and One Nights. It's an anthology of many folktales from many countries, and going back many centuries. Although generally these stories originated in Arabic lands, Aladdin is of uncertain origin, and actually may have come from China. We come to you from Heber Springs, AR., a sleepy little resort town that hums with tourists during the...

Duration: 00:22:52


The Mouse Princess

12/24/2016
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The Mouse Princess is one of those tales about someone being transformed into an animal and then trying to be transformed back again. It's somewhat similar to The Frog Prince except -- well, it's a princess instead of a prince and a mouse instead of a frog. As in many other such stories (and many folktales in general) there are certain tasks to be completed and challenges to be met before the spell is broken. This story is from Scandinavia, specifically Finland, home of many Christmas-ish...

Duration: 00:15:13


The Frog and the Sky Princess

11/29/2016
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The Frog and the Sky Princess is a story from Angola in Africa, about a frog and a princess that involves the lead character successfully completing tasks to prove his worthiness to obtain a prize – in this case the hand of the princess in marriage. Yes, it's somewhat like the classic European tale The Frog Prince, though in this case there's no metamorphosis between species. But it's also curiously similar to an American legend. It was immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1858...

Duration: 00:19:50


Savitri

10/26/2016
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Savitri is a tale from the Mahabharata, the national epic poem of India, written about 2500 years ago. It's somewhat similar to the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, except things are reversed: it's the wife who goes to rescue her husband from death, and (spoiler alert) in this case she succeeds with her wits. We come to you from Abington, Massachusetts, where we are performing as ghouls and zombies and other spooks in one of New England's finest haunted attractions. And we are counting...

Duration: 00:17:52


The Hen is in the Mountains

9/25/2016
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The Hen Is in the Mountains is a sibling tale, one of those in which (spoiler alert) the youngest of the brood succeeds in overcoming obstacles where his or her older siblings failed. (e.g. Cinderella or The Flying Ship) It also involves a girl marrying a beast (as in Beauty and the Beast), and the bride of a horrendous husband prowling in their home and finding horrible secrets (Bluebeard). We come to you from Providence, RI, where we've been having a great time with Kimberly's sister...

Duration: 00:17:41


The Bottomless Cup

8/24/2016
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The Bottomless Cup is one of those stories about people getting gifts from elves, fairies, or other supernatural critters, and using those gifts foolishly or negligently. In some cases, the gift is a set of wishes rather than dishes – usually three of them, so that the person’s last foolish wish is to get the sausage off the end of his nose or some such. In this case the gift is more material, and the abuse of it comes in the form of neglect rather than rashness. We bring this story from...

Duration: 00:18:34


The Lady Of Stavoren

7/24/2016
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The Lady Of Stavoren is a tale that has been told for centuries, in dozens of variations. Stavoren, on the coast of The Netherlands, is now a village of fewer than 1000 people. But 1000 years ago, it was a major seaport. Then during the Middle Ages, a sand bar formed in the harbor that made it impossible for ships to get in and out. As a result, the city fell into decline. This story, probably entirely fictitious, was created to explain how the sand bar got there. In 1969, a statue of the...

Duration: 00:21:28


The Krakow Pigeons

6/23/2016
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The Krakow Pigeons is a story from Poland that supposedly explains why the people of the city of Krakow have so much respect for pigeons, those nasty, pesky, obnoxious little -- oops, those birds which many people revile. It tells how a medieval prince named Henryk tried to unite Poland, which had been divided into five kingdoms. He failed, and the country remained divided until 1333 when King Casimir III took the throne. We come to you from Jonesboro, AR in the middle of our summer tour....

Duration: 00:22:45


The Three Heirs

5/24/2016
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The Three Heirs is a tale from Germany, in the tradition of worldwide sibling rivalry yarns. As usual in these stories, the youngest brother gets the best of his older siblings; even though they are older, bigger and stronger, and consider him a simpleton, he triumphs with his honesty and wits. Compare the Russian story The Flying Ship and the Fool of the World and the Hispanic tale Juan Bobo. The latter even involves a door and a tree like the present story. We come to you from Reno,...

Duration: 00:24:23


The Crab Prince

4/24/2016
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The Crab Prince is a little-known story from Venice that has many similarities to the better-knownFrog Prince. Like that story, it makes use of two themes common to many folktales: transformation of humans into animals (a tradition dating back at least to theOdyssey,in which Circe transforms men into swine) and the power of love to overcome evil -- i.e., break a curse. This includesSleeping Beauty, among others. We come to you from Sacramento, California, after wrapping up two very busy...

Duration: 00:23:44


The King's Ring

3/25/2016
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The King’s Ring is a story from Italy, which we’re not coming to you from, but would have been a couple of months ago. So before telling you the story, we’re telling you about half of our time in Italy (we’ll do the other half next time). This includes Pisa, with its famous leaning tower, Rome with its Forum and Colosseum and many other ruins, and Cinque Terra, a set of 5 colorful little seaside villages dating back about 1000 years. In the story we meet a King who has lost his ring. A...

Duration: 00:26:10


The Quackling

2/15/2016
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The Quackling, from France, is an odd fable in which not only is the main character a talking animal, but it's taken for granted that inanimate objects can talk as well. It involves quite a suspension of disbelief, even to the point that in the original story there is no explanation given for why the duck doesn't just fly or swim to solve his problems. This story is of the type in which the main character makes clever use of what appear to be useless objects in order to get out of a jam,...

Duration: 00:22:53


The Gifts Of Wali Dad

12/22/2015
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It isn’t really a holiday story, but The Gifts Of Wali Dad from India (or is it Pakistan?) seems appropriate for the occasion, with all of its generous gift-giving. Collected by famed folklorist Andrew Lang, who heard it from a British army officer stationed in the Punjab (which was later split between India and Pakistan) who in turn heard it from a native of the region, it seems to be an absurdist cautionary tale about the consequences of being too extravagant. See if you can spot the...

Duration: 00:18:28

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