Storytelling and Musical Programs

Shoshana Performing at the UNO Festival, Victoria BC, May 2008

Exciting programs for all ages drawn from the following stories & songs. Click on highlighted titles to watch Shoshana tell the story…

For Adults and Youth:

The Story of Hillel: Listen to an ancient story & sing a transformative song to help integrate one of the world’s kindest teachings. Based on the Talmud (Shabbat 31a) in “Ein Yaakov” & synagogue visits for World Religion students @ Congregation Emanu-El, Canada’s oldest synagogue building in continuous use.

The Princess and Her Beloved 
Experience the miracle of love’s triumph over adversity. Adapted from Penninah Schramm’s “Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another.”

The Wooden Swords: An engaging story of resilience from Afghanistan, based on a version retold by Howard Swartz in “Elijah’s Violin and Other Jewish Fairy Tales,” featuring an original melody, “Trees Stand Tall,” by Shoshana with lyrics adapted from Jack Linklater Jr.

The Never Ending Song: A powerful Jewish creation myth by Nina Jaffe with an original melody by Shoshana.

The Girl by The Bay: A sweet love story with an unexpected twist, based on a Somalian tale by Felis Kidye in “I Bring You a Story: Folktales That Have Travelled” by Ruth Denziger. Featuring an original song, “Turn to me Love,” by Shoshana.

The Great Debate: The tongue proves itself mightier than the sword in this participatory tale from Persia featuring a nursing lioness. Adapted from Penninah Schramm.

The Innkeepers Wise Daughter
Enjoy a delicious riddle tale told and sung with flare allover Europe, China and the Middle East.

The Children of the King
A little wishful thinking goes a long way in this brilliant tale collected by folklorists from Libya to Iran. Based on a version collected from Tunisia by Penninah Schram with melodies by Shoshana.

Soap, Soap, Soap
An Appalachian Folktale about memory, Tennessee mud, and a mighty river told with an irresistible rhythm. Based on a version by Mike Lockett, the Normal Storyteller.

The Star Globe Map 
Travel through time and discover what really matters from the West Coast of North America to the heart of Italy. A personal narrative by Shoshana.

Meat and Milk
This interactive story features delicious food, musical parodies and a paradigm shift. Based on a parable by Martin Buber and similar to a tale by Shlomo Carlebach, z”l (zichronot l’brachot, may their memories be for a blessing).

Autobiography in 5 Parts 
A revolutionary tale you can count on from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

The Fox and the Lion
Quick thinking rescues captives in this parable adapted from the Ben Ish Chai, the 19th Century Rabbi of Baghdad.

Chelm Stories
Tales of holy fools invite listeners to share their own stories.

Choose Heaven
A scrumptious Chinese, First Nations, Jewish story about cooperation that launched Shoshana on the Maggidic path in Chicago in 2006.

Jerusalem (Adults and mature children)
Walk in this ancient city holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews and discover possibilities for peace. A personal narrative with original songs, “Rei-ach Nicho-ach,” “Shiviti Hashem.” and “From Here Let Peace Begin,” by Shoshana.

The Place (HaMakom)
Make a walking beat with your feet, sing a wordless tune, sigh as if the world depended on it, listen deep and dream. A participatory song by Shoshana.

For Children

Stories interspersed with familiar tunes and action songs everyone can join in

The Magic Tree: A Musical Story
Elephant, cheetah and monkey can’t outwit slow moving tortoise, the only one who remembers a wise woman’s song you’ll never forget. Based on a tale told by the Xhosa and other Peoples of Southern Africa with original rhymes and melody by Shoshana and felt board figures by Lorraine Collett.

Three Billy Goats Gruff & The Wide Mouthed Frog: Never underestimate the power of a classic fairy tale told with enthusiasm to engage children’s imaginations.

Margaret Read MacDonald Stories: This prolific childrens’ author & accomplished storyteller provides fun, often musical tales like “Little Crab’s Magic Eyes, “Little Bear’s Walk,” “The Squeaky Door” and “Monkeys in the Rain.”

Robert Munsch Stories: Classic Munsch tales, including Roar, Mud Puddle, Mortimer and the Paper Bag Princess, continue to enthrall young listeners.

Eric Litwin’s Musical Stories: This creative powerhouse enlivens spunky characters like “Pete the Cat” and “Groovy Joe” who playfully encourage literacy through song.

Abyoyo: A monstrous, musical tale from South Africa popularized by Pete Seeger that everyone can join in.

The Dragon’s Pearl: A classic Chinese fairy tale brought to life by a dragon puppet and an easy-to-sing tune by Shoshana. North American renditions include a picture book retold by Julie Lawson, “The Dragon Who Cried” in “Tales of Ancient China” collected and retold by Gary Chalk, and curator, Miriam Wells, on YouTube.

Gung Hey Fat Choy: An intriguing, interactive legend that explains why Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year) captivates the world with gusto.

Wings
When you hear the bell, look over your shoulder. You, too, may have sprouted wings. An original tale by Shoshana.

The Banza
A brave little goat and her fierce best friend will get you singing a wild song that will do your heart good. Based on a Haitian tale retold by Diane Wolkstein (zichrona l’bracha – may her memory be for blessing), Shoshana’s first storytelling teacher and the former chief storyteller of New York City.

Play the World Awake
Sing and dance for joy while you fly like a bird, leap like a frog, swim in a lake and toss the best skipping stones ever. Melody, choreography and lyrics by Shoshana. Story inspired by the Baal Shem Tov’s (1700-1760) “Parable of the Fiddler” in “Jewish Tales of Mystic Joy” by Yitzhak Buxbaum.

Can You Spy the Signs? 
Poems, songs and treasure hunts celebrate walking to school year round. Artwork and lyrics by Miesje Taylor, lyrics and melodies by Shoshana, and graphic design by Sandra Jones.

The Spirit of the Colquitz
A spunky nature spirit learns how to heal her river in this ecological tale based on a story by Diane Edgecomb. Adapted by Shoshana in consultation with Songhees and Esquimalt Band Offices for the Strawberry Vale Watershed Festival.

The Noisy House
Everyone has a role to play in the greatest gift of all: contentment. Adapted from stories by Syd Lieberman and Margot Zemach highlighting Eastern European village life.

The Monk and the Fly 
Gratitude rules in this brilliant Asian tale adapted from Margaret Read MacDonald.

Stop the Train
This upbeat action song provides a breathtaking segway for discussing active transportation (walking, bicycling, transit and train riding, carpooling, scootering, swimming, flying…)

When Wren Ruled the Birds
Brain trumps brawn in this spirited Irish myth collected by Gary Ferguson.

And More!

Shoshana’s repertoire is ever expanding. Ask for her latest story adventure or make a special request of your own.

Discussion Topics, Workshops and Storycatching Opportunities

Stories from the Tree of Life
Practice the art of spiritual storytelling with Shoshana, indoors and out, during full day or evening workshops.

Explore how everyone can be a storyteller and a storycatcher
Find out how to awaken the teller, and catcher, of tales within.

Ask questions to your heart’s content
Shoshana will do her best to answer your most curious queries or check with her best sources and get back to you, im yirtzeh Hashem (God willing).

Additional Materials Available on Request

Story recording links, flyers, original texts, “From Here Let Peace Begin” musical score, “Can You Spy the Signs” Treasure Hunt PDFs, and curriculum materials for Hanukah or “The Spirit of the Colquitz” are available upon request.