National Storytelling Network (US) Annual Conference

At the end of 5 weeks on tour, I’m at the National Storytelling Network’s annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri. About 200 story enthusiasts from all over the continent are here for workshops, performances, forums, swaps and slams. It’s already...

Taiwan: Shadow Puppet Residency, Day Three

Sleep or no sleep, my job for 10 days is to lead these high-energy kids in Southern Taiwan in using string figures (think “cat’s cradle”) as shadow puppets. The heat is oppressive and the air is heavy in this industrial city. In the school, the walls...

In Taiwan: String Figures, Shadow Puppets!

It is Day One of a residency in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where my intriguing task is to teach string figures as “shadow puppets.”  This region is the historical centre of shadow puppets in Taiwan, and here I am in a pilot project to involve young people in this...

Who’s Listening?

On the launch of a storytelling tour in Japan, I stood at the edge of the stage preparing to tell my first story to 200 uni-lingual adults. My translator was telling the entire story in Japanese, after which I would tell it all over again, in English. This had been...

A Special Project: Collaboration with Composer and Choir

Tonight I sat at the back of a church hall in Victoria, listening to the weekly rehearsal of a 50-voice women’s choir, Ensemble Laude. I’ve heard them in concert many times over the years. Every single time I am inspired and moved to tears by their impeccable and...

Shopping With the King of Africa

Arad, Romania; Sunday, October 29, 2017 It dawned on all of us at the same time. I might be seen as representing Canada on this tour in Romania, and Jeff Hawaii (or arguably the USA). But John from Kenya was representing an entire continent. Wherever we went, eyes...