Ensemble-Based Storytelling celebrates 25 years!

It was 25 years ago today (10/25/1990) that we performed our first Storytelling program. The client was Burr Ridge Park District.

Storytelling program
The timeless art of storytelling is old fashioned magic that will enchant young and old alike. What makes our program truly special is our storytelling ensemble. We provide actors and storytellers who work together to energize and tantalize the audience!

Our ensemble will blend tall tales, funny fables, bittersweet legends, and spine-tinglers with delightful songs – and plenty of audience participation.

Our storytelling program is incredibly versatile:

  • No minimum or maximum number of participantsStorytelling
  • Flexible timing up to two hours
  • No age restrictions
  • No specific staging requirements
  • Attractive pricing

Each show is uniquely suited to fit your particular needs. Our stories and songs are chosen to fit the age of the group, season of the year, and time available. For instance, a program for K -2nd graders in June would be very different from a Family Fright Night in October!

Here is a sample of an ensemble based story (adapted from a Grimm Brother’s fairy tale):

THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE

(adapted from a Grimms Brothers’ Fairy Tale)

Characters:   Narrator, Fisherman, Wife, Flounder

NARR:

There once was a fisherman

Who lived with his wife

In a rundown shack by the sea

And every day he’d go fishing

In the shinny deep

And one day he was sitting

‘Bout half asleep

He felt a big fish

Tugging on his line

FLOUNDER: Listen, Fisherman, I’m no common flounder. I’m an enchanted prince. Throw me back into the water, I wouldn’t be good to eat.

MAN:              That’s all right, I throw back all the fish that talk.

NARR:            So saying, the Flounder swam back into the sea. Then the Fisherman got up and went back to his wife in their hovel .

WIFE:             Husband!

HUSBAND:   Wife!

WIFE:             Have you caught anything today?

MAN:              No. All I caught was one flounder, but he said he was an enchanted prince, so I threw him back.

WIFE:             You did not wish for anything?

MAN:              No. What was there to wish for?

WIFE:             Isn’t it bad enough that we have to lice in the wretched, filthy hovel? You might at least have wished for a nice, clean cottage. Go back and tell him! Tell him I want a pretty little cottage. He will surely grant you that.

MAN:              No. Wife. What am I to go back there for?

WIFE:             Well, it was you who caught him and let him go again. He will certainly do that much for you. Be off now – go and ask.

MAN:              All right, I’ll ask him.

NARR:            The man was still not very willing to go, but he did not want to vex his wife and al last he went back to the sea. He found the sea no longer bright and shining, but dull and green.

MAN:

Flounder, Flounder in the sea

Please, hearken unto me

Isabel, my willful wife

Does not want my way of life.

FLOUNDER: Hello, Fisherman.

MAN:              Hello, Flounder. I had to call you back, for my wife said that since I was the one who caught you, I should have wished for something.

FLOUNDER: Of course, Fisherman. What would she have?

MAN:              She wants a nice clean cottage.

FLOUNDER: Go home. She has her wish fully.

NARR:            The man went home and found his wife no longer in the old hut, but a pretty little cottage stood in its place.

WIFE:             Husband, come inside. Come and see. There is a pretty sitting room and a bedroom. . .

MAN:              . . . With a brass bed.

WIFE:             And a kitchen. . .

MAN:              With a full larder.

WIFE:             Outside there are chicken and ducks and geese. . .

MAN:              And a little garden with vegetables and fruit tress.

WIFE:             Is this not nice?

MAN:              Yes, and let it remain so. You and I shall live in this little cottage very happily.

NARR:            and with that they ate something and went to bed. But in the middle of the night, the wife woke up and . . .

WIFE:             Husband, wake up. This cottage is too cramped. Go to the Flounder and tell him I’ve changed my mind. I want to live in a big stone castle. Go to the flounder and tell him to give us a castle.

MAN:              You want a big stone castle? All right, I’ll go ask the Flounder, but it doesn’t seem right.

NARR:            The man’s heart was heavy as he went to see the Flounder. When he reached the sea, he found the sea was no longer green: it was still calm, but dark violet and grey. A strong wind was coming up.

MAN:

Flounder, Flounder in the sea

Please, hearken unto me

Isabel, my willful wife

Does not want my way of life.

FLOUNDER:    Hello, Fisherman.

MAN:              Oh, Flounder. The cottage was lovely.

FLOUNDER: You’re welcome.

MAN:              No, Flounder, wait. My wife has changed her mind. She wants a big stone castle.

FLOUNDER: Go home.   She’s waiting at the gate of it.

NARR:            When he got back, the man found a great stone palace, and his wife was standing at the top of the steps waiting to go in.

WIFE:             Husband, come in with me.

MAN:              The wall s are hung with beautiful tapestries.

WIFE:             Rich carpets cover the floors.

MAN:              The rooms are furnished with golden chairs and tables.

WIFE:             Crystal chandeliers hang from the ceilings.

MAN:              The tables groaned under every kind of delicious food and drink.

WIFE:             Outside the house was a great courtyard, half a mike wide, and beyond that was a forest and a park.

MAN:              With many animals and birds.

WIFE:             And everything that one could wish for. Now, is this not worth having?

MAN:              Yes, and let it so remain. We will live in this beautiful palace and be content.

NARR:            And they went to bed. But in the middle of the night the wife woke up and . . .

WIFE:             Husband, look out of the window. Wouldn’t you like to be king over all this land? Go to the Flounder and tell him you consent to be the king.

MAN:              No. Why would I want to be the king?

NARR:            Then the wife left quickly before her husband could argue with her. So the Fisherman went, but he was quite sad.

MAN:              It’s not right. It’s not right.

NARR:            When he reached the sea, he found it dark, gray and rough. A storm was raging.

MAN:

Flounder, Flounder in the sea

Please, hearken unto me

Isabel, my willful wife

Does not want my way of life.

FLOUNDER: What now, Fisherman?

MAN:              My wife would be king

FLOUNDER: She is king.

NARR:            When the Man got home he found his wife, the King, waiting for him.

MAN:              Wife, are you now the King?

WIFE:             Yes, now I am the King.

MAN:              What a wondrous thing, to be the king.

WIFE:             No, Husband, it’s not. I find that being king makes time weigh heavy on my hands. I cannot bear it any longer. I am the king, but it’s not enough. I must be ruler of the universe.

MAN:              Wife, I think this is truly beyond the flounder. Remain the King. You make a nice King.

WIFE:             Nonsense. If he can make me king, he can make me ruler of the universe.

MAN:              I am not going to ask that fish to make you ruler of the universe.

WIFE:             Are you forgetting to whom you are specking? I am the king, you must obey.

NARR:            He was frightened and quite dazed. He shivered and shook and his knees trembled. A great wind arose over the land, the clouds flew across the sky, and it grew as dark as night. The leaves fell from the trees and the water foamed and dashed upon the shore. Such a storm was raging that he could hardly keep his feet. It thundered and lightening and the sea ran in black waves. He shrieked out, but could hardly make himself heard.

MAN:

Flounder, Flounder in the sea

Please, hearken unto me

Isabel, my willful wife

Does not want my way of life.

FLOUNDER: Now what does she want?

MAN:              My wife wants to be Ruler of the universe!

FLOUNDER: Say that again?

MAN:              My wife wants to be Ruler of the universe.

FLOUNDER: No, Fisherman, this time it cannot be. Now you must go back to your hovel by the sea.

NARR:

There once was a fisherman

Who lived with his wife

In a rundown shack by the sea.

And every day he’d go fishing

In the shining deep

And he’d sit there a fishing

‘Bout half-asleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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