Oral Memoir Performances
We all have stories to tell about happenings in our lives.
These are some of mine.

(Photo by A. Sue Weisler - Rochester Institute of Technology)

The following presentations are stories from life experiences. Loosely scripted, each is a unique performance influenced by the surroundings, audience and feeling of the moment. Programs can be tailored for particular audiences and settings and can vary in length from 30 to 90 minutes.

I've performed Oral Memoirs in coffeehouses, libraries, colleges, art centers and even in someone's living room.

If you are interested in more information about these programs or would like to schedule one, drop me an e-mail and I'll get back to you asap.
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The Oral Memoirs

"STORIES FROM A LIFE"

This is a mostly spontaneous creative non-fiction storytelling program that draws on experiences from all stages of my life - as long ago as Catholic grade school in Buffalo,NY and as recent as . . . .  Along the way I hitchhiked 30,000 miles, backpacked in the mountains, made several cross-country journeys, raised a family, quit other work to make my living as a poet, homesteaded, etc. Some possible places and characters that may appear in the stories: snowy owl; Uncle Ed; assorted wild birds; Acadia National Park; Ma Stickney: Mr. Kerr, an influential high school English teacher; Adirondack Mts.; Yellowstone NP. Humor, sadness, foolishness, enlightenment, intrigue - just like stories from anyone's life.

My hope is that after hearing "Stories From A Life" people will be drawn to telling or writing down some of the stories from their own unique and fascinating life.

"Stories From A Life" can stand alone or be used as an introductory performance leading to a series of Palm of the Hand memoir writing workshops.
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"SEE, IT WAS LIKE THIS . . ."

This program traces the memory path of one person who lived through (I grew up in Buffalo, NY, a member of a working class Polish family) and was influenced by, the happenings of the 1960s.

The performance covers the time period from John Kennedy's assassination in 1963, when I was in eighth grade, through 1975, when I became part of a rural community in the hills of New York State. Along the way I suffered through battles of conscience, incurred the wrath of the family, participated in college demonstrations, hitchhiked 30,000 miles, backpacked in the mountains and experienced the usual late-teen, young adult joys and sorrows of life. All of this is set against the cultural and historical happenings of the era as it affected me.

This is not the memoir of one who was a major, or even a minor, figure of the time. No San Francisco, Woodstock, group sex or heavy drug experiences. Just the story of an ordinary person who happened to come of age during this unique time period in our recent history.

Those who lived through the 60s will find much to connect with. Others who know of it as "history" will get an understanding of one person's experience during those vital and vibrant years.

Appropriate for teenagers and adults.
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"SNOWY OWL AND OTHER TEACHERS"

We are all teachers -- we are all students. Teachers are everywhere -- people, animals, incidents. "Snowy Owl and Other Teachers" is a
collection of stories about one person's learning experiences as a student, poet, teacher and an ordinary human being. The stories include a second-grade Catholic school scarring, a life-influencing high school teacher, an almost disastrous walk in a heath bog, throwing a rock at an apple, books that were life-changing, and of
course, a snowy owl.

            Appropriate for all ages.
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 "NATURE SPIRITS, NATURE VOICES"

If a person spends a lot of time in the natural world, there come experiences along the way that can be perceived as beyond the ordinary. This memoir is a series of stories about such happenings. A few of the supporting characters are American chestnut trees; a raven at Yellowstone National Park; a whale at Grand Manan, New Brunswick; a talking fire on Wheeler Hill; granite rock in Acadia National Park; assorted bird species and the beckoning dark woods.

            Appropriate for all ages.

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