MISSION & BIO
Hello. Whether calling contra dances, singing folk songs, creating folk art, telling stories, or giving puppet shows my mission is interacting with peoples' hearts through stories.
I have given shows for countless seniors, adults, teens, youngsters, and families. My list of corporate clients programs is ever growing. I co-created the Wisconsin Summer Library Reading Program performing arts movement and the Northlands Storytelling Network. I co-founded the Wisconsin Storytelling Get-Together, the Waisman Center Family Entertainment Series, and the Rotunda Stage Family Entertainment program at Madison [WI] Overture Center. My programs weave art forms into a unique blend of imagination-inspiring enchantment. Generations of audiences return and introduce their families to my shows.
My entertainment roots go deep and I come by them naturally. I didn't know my grandfathers, but my parents, grandmothers, great aunts and uncles, aunts and uncles, and older cousins all sang and told stories. Their repertoires included lullabies, ballads, laments, hymns, ditties, and show songs. They also included tales of mystery, wonder, wit and wisdom. I acted, told stories, and sang in elementary, middle, and high school, and college. I acted and gave puppet shows as a young man. Eventually I became a full-time storyteller, and folk and performing artist. My renditions of classic and traditional folktales and songs; contemporary and original songs and stories; and family and contra dance programs are guaranteed fun. I also created a whimsical folk art form I call wood punk.
I have performed at Wolf Trap National Performing Arts Park, American Players Theater, Madison Overture Center, Milwaukee Summerfest, Corn Island Storytelling Festival, Michigan Storytelling Festival, Illinois Storytelling Festival, and a host of other venues and events across the U.S.A. When not giving a show I may be performing in productions like Sound of Music, Oklahoma, Tale of Hans Christian Anderson, The Berenstain Bears, The Little Prince, and others. I coach performers in acting, singing, speaking, writing, script writing, banjo, ukulele, guitar, jawharp, spoons, storytelling, contra dancing, dance calling, and stage craft.
I perform in Summer Library Reading Programs to encourage kids to keep their reading skills polished on summer break. I create commissioned programs for special groups and projects such as: The Saga of Credit Unions for CUNA Mutual, The Story of Madison [WI] Knitters Guild, Tales of Yesteryear for South Central [WI] Library System, A Lifetime of Aprons, and Songs for Endangered Species and Songs for Preserving Nature with students in Mt Horeb, WI, schools.
I enjoy the special beauty of a community that gathers for folk entertainment. Whatever the program, I appreciate being recommended to folks in libraries, schools, parks and recreation departments, festivals, fairs, markets, senior villages, nursing homes, coffeehouses, conferences, conventions, theaters, opera houses, and performing art centers. I love giving house concerts in peoples' homes, too.
Please share this information and contact me for discussing a performance or other program.
Thanks and best regards,