Performances


Repertoire

Repertoire can be chosen to suit a variety of audiences and venues, as appropriate.  My spoken repertoire is always in verse, while my musical repertoire is often rich in narrative, with threads of humour and contemplation.

While I am often based in folklore, I am very particular about my sources, building upon what is engaging and carries wisdom for audiences of today. I am interested in stories of reciprocal respect and hidden meanings that require a bit of thinking… and laughter.

Puppetry

I am not an expert puppeteer, but rather use the puppets as a visual ballast amidst an oral landscape, and as a means for the audience to physically enter the story. Puppets are predominantly created by upcycling and felting.

Interaction

Repertoire performed for children always has an interactive element, directly engaging the audience in singing, dancing, playing characters, operating puppets and making sound effects.

 

Sample Repertoire by Sarah…

Visit from the Hill People

Why is such mischief befalling the animals in Arne’s barn? Visits from a mysterious man, requesting him to move the barn lead to a journey under the Earth where the Hill People live. Arne learns how his choices affect fellow creatures and is convinced to move the barn in a surprising way that appeals to a child’s sense of humour.

Me, Myself and I

A story song for children about the different ways of saying one important person, with a twist at the end, particularly humourous for parents.

The Squire’s Bride

This gutsy Norwegian farm girl manages to escape union with her wealthy neighbour in a most unusual way…and with a bit of help. for youth and adults, and with an ending that leaves you both questioning and laughing. For youth and adults.

Father’s Whiskers

What can be done with Daddy’s looooooong beard? Building on the first few verses of this American folk song, Sarah and the Story Machine kids have come up with some pretty wild ideas… and so will the audience.

fishing net

 The Boy and the North Wind

The North Wind has taken off with the precious flour that Jens was fetching for his family. In repeated journeys, Jens attempts to retrieve his rightful flour from the Northwind and therin lies his adventurous encounters with magic. Audiences must ask, does having all that we could wish for make us happier.

The Troll Song

The perfect solution for our messy rooms, noisy play, tangled hair and misplaced items…blame it on your pet troll, or other magical friend. Created with the Story Machine kids.

“I have a Troll who’s out of control and a Fairy who’s daring and bold. My Griffin won’t listen, my Dragon is missin’, And they all won’t do what they’re told!”

To Whittle a Magic Fiddle

A farm boy creates a fiddle from scraps around the farm and learns to play it from a hermit on the mountain. The old man had been a student of Fossegrimen, the Norwegian waterfall troll. Disaster hits when the troll’s music is played for a dance. Can the boy fix it? Performed with puppets made of violin and bow parts.

Midwife to the Hulder (The Hidden Folk)

“….A fresh new life appeared, with pointy ears and a strong heartbeat, feet with four long toes, it had chubby paws and a stub where the tail would grow…” After a Norwegian midwife enters the mountain to help a “hill woman” in labour, she learns a difficult lesson about trusting the value of a gift, and a family heirloom is explained.

The Shoemaker and the Elves

This is a highly interactive version with giant sewing needles, a dance in which the audience becomes the thread during the elves’ working song, and role playing. Our cast includes elf puppets made of shoes and tools found in the shoemaker’s shop, much like mermaids and forest sprites are of their environment. This short 7-8 minute story is a great catalyst for various workshops with primary students.

Jewels of Ice

An epic storm in Montreal shuts down the city as we know it, but creates a surprising sense of community. Eloquent poetry and imagery that will make you smile and reconsider how we live. For older children and adults. Listen here:

A Toast to Canada Post

This jam packed so-called rap about the incredible deeds of my former postman is a very popular request from students, often used as a work incentive while supply teaching grades 5 – 8. It requires intense listening and laughter control, with some serious messages about paying it forward. Gord, the postman was an important figure in the lives of several citizens on his route, and he performed some incredible deeds!

“…And that’s never enough. If there’s ever good stuff stacked on the curb, Gord Ball is so perturbed and appalled that he packs it all in his Ford, and hauls it away…He collects what others reject, what others discard. Inspect his backyard. It’s smothered wit elastics, plastic tokens, broken clocks, crocks and locks, musty sails and rusty nails, dusty pails and railroad tracks. Cracked boards and cords of wood, not to mention extension cords, dart boards and hoards of art…”

I’m too embarrassed to post my rapping on-line, sorry!

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