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ConnTell Directory M-Q

A-F | G-L | M-Q | R-Z

Linda Marchisio Motoko
Carolyn Martino Mystic Paper Beasts
Kevin McMahon Meris Palmer
Lauren McClelland Mendoza Arnie Pritchard
Shawn Middleton Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti

Linda MarchisioLinda Marchisio

41 Tudor Hill Road
South Windsor, CT 06074
(and part-time in Stamford, CT)
Phone: (860) 289-8711
Email: LjcLsj@cox.net
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/marchisiostoryteller/home

Stories can be guides through life crisis, stepping stones to learning, and fanciful fun.

Linda is an animated performer who frequently uses song, dance, and audience participation. Her stories travel to far-off countries, into your playful imagination, and touch the spirit.

Performances are available for both adults and children and include a selection of stories that remind us that liars usually get fooled, music and dance can make your heart sing, and that true life can make you laugh and cry. She has performed her fanciful folktales, original stories, and family memories in a variety of venues from schools, to parks, to libraries, to festivals.

Linda has extensive experience teaching high school students read aloud techniques, reader’s theater, and to how to tell stories. How to tell a story workshops are available for adults and children as young as fourth grade. She also offers PeanutButter Poetry Jam workshops which are comprised of creative poetry writing activities leading into a poetry jam performance by the participants. Her Snippet Story workshop encourages participants to tell personal and family stories based on a photograph or family artifact. Custom designed workshops available.

Linda is an experienced storyteller, author, and teacher-librarian. Her published jive story about the creation of the U.S. Constitution, “The Constitution Jive”, and her delightful rainbow story, “The Garden Rainbow” are included in Holiday Stories All Year Round. She won the Connecticut Humanities Council 2003 Wilbur Cross Award for her role as a champion of reading as book discussion leader. Linda completed her Master’s research on Movement Assisted Storytelling as a Vehicle to Motivate Reading.

“Linda's storytelling brings my imagination to life and takes me back to days of my childhood when stories were magical. I love listening to her!" – Johnson, High School Teacher

"Everyone truly enjoyed your remarkable performance." – Chamber of Commerce.

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Carolyn MartinoCarolyn Martino

245 Manton Street, #216
Pawtucket, RI 02861
Phone: 401-721-9980
Email: cmartino13@verizon.net
Website: www.carolynmartino.com (a work in progess)

Called "one of Rhode Island's most influential artists" by the Providence Phoenix, Carolyn’s warmth, humor and artistry bring stories alive for listeners of all ages. Her extensive repertoire of world folktales, literary and original stories, tales of wit and wisdom, songs and jokes can be adapted to any season or reason.

A storyteller, comedian, teacher and inspirational speaker for over 25 years, Carolyn is a favorite at schools, libraries, churches, senior communities, women’s gatherings, festivals and special events, and tours with her special holiday family show, The Nutcracker: The Real Story, and with Bella Notte, Italian tales for adults.

"Carolyn is a true Rhode Island treasure. Anyone fortunate enough to hear one of her stories will fall in love with storytelling." – Youth Services Coordinator, Weaver (RI) Library

"If you want an original and thoroughly entertaining program, Carolyn Martino is your gal!" – Regional Program Manager, Horizon Bay Senior Communities

MASKS: Born with a birthmark that covers the right side of her face, Carolyn learned to deal with the cruelty, shame and isolation that come with being different. Out of her experiences comes MASKS, an autobiographical tale of healing and self-acceptance that storyteller Donald Davis calls “a beautiful work of courage, humor and honesty.”

"MASKS has great power and is beautifully accessible to anybody who has ever known the fear of true self - that is, everybody!" – Director of Theatre, University of Oregon

"You have a strength that lets us know it is safe to travel with you, and yet a vulnerability that lets us walk in your shoes, as much as we possibly can. No one who heard you can ever forget it." – Audience member

"Your message was so appropriate for young adults, most of whom are struggling to find out who they are, accept themselves, and overcome insecurities." – Teacher, Quinebaug Magnet School, CT

Fee. Varies based on your project.

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Kevin McmahonKevin McMahon

Tel: 860-912-2138
Email: mannymcmoose@yahoo.com

Kevin McMahon, Author of "Manny McMoose and His Chubby Caboose", is a Connecticut based actor, children's author, story teller, school psychologist, educational consultant, Justice of the Peace and Professional musician (saxophone and flute).

Kevin published "Manny McMoose" several years ago and has told his tale to thousands of children, teachers, administrators and parents.

"Manny McMoose" is a reality based, somewhat autobiographical tale about bullying, conflict resolution and getting healthy, physically, socially and emotionally. " Manny McMoose" is a classic tale about a child who is bullied relentlessly and is rescued by a special education teacher who convinces Manny to serve as a mentor with her disabled youngsters. Manny's depression is lifted by his own altruism and the love shown by his new friends. Manny, who was victimized daily, soon becomes a hero to the bullies and the entire student body, by standing-up to the bullies and by implementing a volunteer mentor program for all disabled youngsters.

"Manny McMoose and His Chubby Caboose" is written entirely in couplet rhyming verse. Kevin recites and acts-out his entire, emotionally gripping poem based on his book.

For the last thirty years, during December, Kevin is known as "Saxophone Santa" the jazzy, saxophone-playing Santa Claus who has delighted thousands of children and adults throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island. Kevin is also popular on YouTube, playing saxophone for the music-loving Beluga whales at the Mystic Aquarium.

Also in December, Kevin recites and acts-out "Twas the Night Before Christmas" for children and adults of all ages.

Kevin can be reached at 860-912-2138   Email: mannymcmoose@yahoo.com

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Lauren McClelland MendozaLauren McClelland Mendoza

7 Bauer Road
New Fairfield, CT 06812
Tel: (203)219-7697
Email: lmccmendoza@yahoo.com

A blend of family stories, fairy and folk tales with a splash of music for extra fun!

Lauren has been telling in schools, libraries and Tellabrations! in Fairfield and Westchester counties for twenty years! Prior to that she worked her magic as a pre-school and Sunday school teacher. Lauren is currently a Children's Programmer at the Greenwich Library.

While specializing in children's programs, Lauren enjoys telling to anyone who will listen!

Her motto: Stories grow like wild flowers in the imaginations of eager listeners!

Fees: negotiable

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Shawn MiddletonShawn Middleton

PO Box 22
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: 603-868-1884
Email: shawn@storytellingwithshawn.com
Website: www.storytellingwithshawn.com

“A Child’s Imagination Should Be Society’s Inspiration” – Quote by Shawn Middleton

Touring New England, Storyteller, and Author, Shawn Middleton mesmerizes his audiences! With his unique style of storytelling he brings stories to life with finger puppets, sound effects, voice dramatization, pauses, rhythm, sign language, mime and hip hop dance. Children, parents, teachers, librarians, and community members will be educated, entertained and engaged. Audiences don’t just listen. They sing, clap, dance, chant and roar with laughter.

With experience in early childhood education, hip-hop dance, sign language and mime, he combines a dramatic flair with great passion to create a unique style of storytelling. As a professional storyteller for 13 years, he has brought his genius for spinning yarns to communities from New England to California, with the goal of fostering a deep appreciation for storytelling, reading and writing.

Storytelling with children is a unique and positive experience where children can exercise their unlimited capacity of imagination and creativity. It is a time when children can feel safe to explore their creative abilities. It fosters a child’s imagination and sense of humor while teaching morals and values. Storytelling with Shawn allows children to captivate their sense of imagination and start to develop a deep appreciation for reading and writing.

Professional Experiences:
• Has delivered over 2,500 stories at schools, libraries, early learning centers and festivals.
• Has been on the Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire Summer Reading Tour.
• Has served as artist in residence at numerous elementary schools throughout the Northeast.
• Has led storytelling workshops across the region including Atlanta, GA at the 2012 National Association for the Education of Young Children, Orlando, FL at the National Association for the Education of Young Children 2011 Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA at the National Association for the Education of Young Children 2010 Annual Conference, and Washington D.C. at the National Association for the Education of Young Children 2009 Annual Conference.
• NH Credentialing Early Childhood Master Professional
• Afterschool Master Professional

• Allied Professional
• Member of the League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling and a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
• Recipient of the 2014 Parent's Choice Award for his latest CD, Storytelling with Shawn: Tales for the Wee Little Ones
• Winner of a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award (Spring 2014)

Author:
• Of the children’s book, “Mia and the Adventure of the Mysterious Library” Published in 2012
• Of the children’s book, “Sam and the Peanut Butter Crackers” Published in 2009.

CD’s:
Released three CD’s, The Live CD released in 2002, Tell Me A Story released in 2006, and A Story For Me & A Story For You released in 2010.

Testimonials: “My first impressions of Shawn were energetic, enthusiastic, and an early childhood person! Shawn did a wonderful job engaging all the students. His stories were appropriate and interactive. The smiles on the faces of our students said it all. They loved it! We will use Shawn again. It is difficult to find presenters who not only know their craft but the age group of their audience. Shawn knows both!” –  Jennifer Pendergast teacher at Pelham Elementary School, NH.

“The kids loved you, as did the staff. We loved how you reinforced in the kids to follow their dreams and they can do anything they set their mind to. Nice to leave us with such a positive note. You are a top-notch storyteller. We really enjoyed your time with us. We were intrigued and truly entertained. You adapted so well to the different levels of your audience.” –  Wanda Lumsden, First Grade Teacher, Epping Elementary School, NH

“You wowed the crowd with your dynamic, animated storytelling and your choice of stories not only leant themselves well to this year’s theme, but were age- appropriate as well. Your strong commitment to helping kids find their “inner” storyteller and your stories that capitalize on teachable moments from your own personal experiences provided for an enchanted evening of stories and fun. Your sense of humor to tell your stories was right on target and proved to be a big hit with the audience. The children and their parents loved your performance; you provided a big “boost” to the first week of our summer reading program.” –  Lisa Morin, Director of Lee Public Library, Lee, New Hampshire

He was in tune to the age that he was serving. The facial expressions and voices were lots of fun as you could see by the children’s reactions. He arrived and was ready to entertain on time and provided developmentally appropriate stories to the group. He involved the children and his enthusiasm was awesome. He knew when the children needed a little story break and did so by doing a quick stretching activity.” – Wendy Rousseau, Preschool Teacher, Growing Places, Durham, New Hampshire

“Shawn has touched the hearts and imaginations of the children in my care. We listen to the Live Album in my car every day. When we eat peanut butter sandwiches, all three boys pretend to be Sam from Sam & the Peanut Butter Crackers. Thank you for awakening their imaginations!” – Kate Stanley, Nanny/Early Childhood Educator, Chocorua, NH

For more information about Shawn’s work visit:
www.storytellingwithshawn.com
To watch Shawn telling stories visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7FxnjObx1U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLXhWJOJPR0

Fees: Vary, according to work booked, negotiable for block-bookings.

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MotokoMotoko

24 North East Street #4
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone: (413) 253-1664
Email: motoko@folktales.net
Website: www.folktales.net

Parents’ Choice Award-winning storyteller Motoko has enchanted audiences of every age since 1993. She specializes in Asian folktales, Zen tales, comical tales and ghost stories from old Japan, as well as personal stories from her childhood in Japan and her life as an immigrant in the U.S.

Motoko is nationally known for her appearances on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and many other festivals across the nation. She and her partner Eshu Bumpus headlined the 2012 Connecticut Storytelling Festival.

Motoko is the author of "A Year in Japan: Folktales, Songs, and Art for the Classroom". She offers K-8 classrooms workshops and residencies on Japanese culture, Chinese folklore, creative writing, and origami math.

Audience: Kindergarten through adult
Fee: Upon request

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Mystic Paper BeastsMystic Paper Beasts

Producer: Daniel Potter
Artistic Director: Marya Ursin
8 Hancox Street
Stonington, CT 06378
Phone: (860) 535-3346
Email: mybeasts@aol.com
Website: www.dragonseggstudio.org

Daniel Potter and Marya Ursin work together as the Mystic Paper Beasts, creating masks and dances as they journey through new and old myths with a wit and whimsy that delight all ages.

Marya tells stories in mask and offers workshops in mask/movement/storytelling on her own, as a solo Beast, as well.

Fee: Upon request

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Meris PalmerMeris Palmer "Teller of Tales"

Phone: (203) 695-1304
Email: merispal@gmail.com

Meris presents stories of the past and present to fire the imagination of audiences of all ages!

Meris offers folk tales, traditional tales, ethnic tales, and stories from literary tradition to children, adults, families and seniors. Her lively and passionate telling offers a wonderful and unique variation to fire the imagination of audiences of all ages.

A certified teacher, Meris has held successful literacy workshops in schools, before individual classrooms, and in childcare centers, as well as a wide variety of other venues.

Meris is available for in school residencies. In addition she offers intergenerational programs.

Drawing upon her experience as a certified therapeutic recreation director, Meris has worked extensively with the elderly. For those with Alzheimers, Storytelling happens in the here and now, there is nothing to remember or forget. In addition Meris is a trained facilitator for Book Voyagers (Connecticut Humanities Council).

"Meris Palmer...instead started using gestures and voices to tell the group a Native American folk tale...she finished to applause." – Julie Beglin, New York Times Sunday edition

"Your dramatization and active involvement of the youngsters were a delight to behold" – Warren J. Halliburton, director Hale House Center, New York, NY

"You put a picture in my mind. I loved your voices and your costume." – Kaitlin, 5th grade student

Fees: upon request

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Arnie PritchardArnie Pritchard

19 Colony Road
New Haven CT 06511
Phone: 203-624-2520 (home)
Email: Apritchard01@snet.net

A few years ago Arnie inherited his late father’s Army foot locker from World War II. It contained hundreds of letters and other papers from his father’s three and half years as a soldier, and his two years with the United Nations refugee program in post-war Europe.

From a selection of this material Arnie has created a story, “This Business of Fighting” focused on his father’s letters home from the European Theater in 1944-45. It puts a human face on one of the huge events of modern history, portraying a young man dealing with everything from raw fear to his role as a leader to his exposure to a world both wider and more brutal than he had known.

Suitable for teens and up.

"A powerful story, an empathic point of view … did not deny or dramatize the human fear, neither did it preach a specific point of view. Its honest perspective helps me have a broader understanding of what a person who does military service goes through ... your story brings out that need in a loving and human way." – A listener from Fairfield

“We were stunned and moved. Those long-lost accounts were poignant, evocative, beautifully expressed…” – Randall Beach, New Haven Register

"Thanks a lot for sending me these fascinating selections from your father's letters. What a remarkable man he clearly was, in his down-to-earth way – sociable, and yet very introspective and curious, too... a gripping page-turner. In the browsing I'd done in soldiers' letters, I'd been struck by the conflict between a desire to send reassurance and the need to share often chaotic and frightening or disturbing experiences... your father's letters dramatize that conflict deeply" – Prof. Jill Campbell, Yale University

"Your story is so well developed and delivered...and was really riveting. We talked about it all the way home. Very impressive. Thanks." – Ellie Toy, Schools Program Coordinator, Connecticut Storytelling Center.

Arnie would also be interested in working with teachers to create classroom units in the use of original sources based on this material.

For more information see Arnie's blog/website:
http://thisbusinessoffighting.blogspot.com/p/first-timers-start-here.html

Link to a short excerpt from “This Business of Fighting” : www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq2gUTZBkc0

Arnie also tells literary, personal and folk tales with an emphasis on Americana.

Fees upon request.
Working with the first few teachers on the creation of classroom units would be free.


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Gwendolyn Quezaire-PresuttiGwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti

PO Box 380496
East Hartford, CT 06138-0496
Phone: 860-212-6129
Email: gwendolyn@woventales.com
Website: http://www.quezaire-presutti.com

Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti’s portrayal of historical women introduces untapped history, drawing on a wide array of primary historical resources. For the past 20 years Gwendolyn has engaged audiences with performances giving voice to real life accounts, struggles, self-determination and triumphs of women she portrays. Each performance is infused with her unique finger print giving an integral portrait of a historical event or person.

An award winning artist, in recognition of the quality and range of her work, Gwendolyn has been honored in a variety of ways including receiving:
• Theatre in Museums/Theater and Interpretation Techniques Certification, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
• Alliance Award for valuable service and suppor,t Institute of Texan Cultures of San Antonio
• Director’s Award for Excellence, Institute of Texan Cultures
• Recipient of ESA Connecticut Chapter Portraying Sarah Harris at State Museum/Prudence Crandall
• Certificate of Merit from the Office of Secretary of State Connecticut
• Individual Artist Fellowship, Greater Hartford Arts Council & Boston Fund
• 1st place International Toastmaster Award, Connecticut Arts for Learning Signature Core Services Certificate
• Crowned Ms. Senior Connecticut 2010.

"In my museum career, I have seen numerous historical character presentations and I rank her among the best. Not only is her performance compelling, it reflects a tremendous amount of the primary source research necessary to be historically accurate." - Lisa Marcinkowski, Director of Education, Mystic Seaport

PROGRAMS:
If I Am Not for Myself Who Will Be for Me
During the fall of 1796, George Washington’s final months in office, Oney Judge Staines, a slave, escaped the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia. There is always an underside - hidden from sight the more unpleasant or reprehensible side that needs to surface to give an integral portrait of a historical event or person. Her voice provides the informative accounts needed to appreciate her struggles, self-determination and triumphs of her life.

Habit of Survival
What was it like to be an enslaved person? Ruth provides an unflinching portrait of her kidnaping, horrors of the Middle Passage and escapes. Ruth’s story is a composite gleaned from slave narratives, Captains log books, doctors’ aboard slave ships and slave owners. This thirty to forty-five minute (parts are participatory) program is the story of an African becoming African American under unimaginably oppressive and inhumane conditions, told in their words. Targeted audience 5th too adult. Note: Ruth is a composite character modeled on historical and biographical figures.

I Can’t Die but Once
Harriet Tubman was a woman of unique qualities and abilities. Even though she was illiterate, she maintained an unblemished record of vigilance,and a legacy of sacrifice and struggle. Harriet weaves a tale of truth, pain, courage and determination that take the audience into her life enslaved, eventual escape and the U.S. Government soliciting her unique talent - evading capture behind enemy lines. She was enlisted as a scout and spy for the Union cause and battled courageously behind enemy lines during the Civil War. The elementary school version may be more palatable, but the real Tubman is far more inspiring.

"As a member of the Friends of the Case Memorial Library, I wanted to congratulate you on your wonderful program, "I Can’t Die but Once." It was a refreshing look into a part of Harriet Tubman’s life. Like many people, including myself, we are all too familiar with the legends of this great lady. History books have long associated her with the Underground Railroad. Yet, seldom of her role in the Civil War and her role as a humanitarian has ever been discussed. And, so many thanks to you for incorporating this into your performance. I do hope we can have you back again for another show. You have a great talent as a storyteller and it was more than a pleasure for to have shared this with us.” - Charles E. Pigaty, Orange, CT

Looking Things Over
Zora Neale Hurston was considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature, an American novelist, short story writer, folklorist, and anthropologist. After going to Florida in 1927 to collect folklore, and after years of organizing her notes published Mules and Men in 1935. Zora, not only did she love writing the folklores she enjoyed telling them. Zora celebrated the African American culture of the rural South, because she believed that black people had wonderful stories that the world needed to hear and she told them proudly.

"We were fortunate to have Gwendolyn come to Hamden Hall Country Day School. To put her performance in context, the middle schoolers had just had an exciting Friday that included the annual Halloween costume contest. Gwendolyn’s program was scheduled for the last period of the day before the Halloween weekend. Usually, twelve and thirteen-year old are pretty restless in those circumstances. However, the kids were enraptured by Gwendolyn’s tour de force performance. It would not be an exaggeration to say that you could hear a pin drop. I think the kids were just completely swept away by the incredible pathos in her voice. She painted an extremely vivid picture, and she clearly knew how to command and audience."
- Brian Christman, Middle School Dean, Hamden Hall Country Day School, C

ROSTERS
Creative Ground  http://www.creativeground.org/profile/gwendolyn-quezaire-presutti
New Hampshire to GO! http://www.nhhumanities.org/
Arts for Learning http://aflct.org/
LEARN Regional Educational Service Center http://www.learn.k12.ct.us/
National Women’s History Project http://www.nwhp.org/
Connecticut Library Consortium http://www.ctlibrarians.org/
SoloTogether http://www.solotogether.com/

"I’m so glad you had a good time! Your presence, and incredibly personal portrayal added so much to the day. Thank you for bringing this important part of history to our visitors. Thank you also for being willing to work in one of our historic houses. I know it is not your usual mode, but I find it helps our visitors to feel a sense of personal connection, they are more likely to ask questions, or admit ignorance if the setting seems more intimate. We will definitely have to do it again next year!"
- Alena Shellenbean, Manager, Volunteers and Special Events, Strawbery Banke Museum

"An inspirational performance. The students were captivated by your portrayal of Ruth with her pain and struggles. Your tears made some actually believe you were Ruth. Your presentation aligned perfectly with our social studies curriculum."
- Mary Kay Rendock, teacher, Carmen Arace Intermediate School, Bloomfield, CT

Call for pricing.

For videos and additional reviews, please visit http://www.quezaire-presutti.com

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CT Commission on Culture and Tourism Connecticut College League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling The National Storytelling Network The Graduate Institute The New Jersey Storytelling Network