“Andrea’s story was luminous and profound.”
“I remember you! You tell stories.”
This year, Andrea is available for the fall Jewish holidays and back-to-school programs for kids and staff. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can watch Andrea on WGBH TV here. (content note for the Pittsburgh shootings) https://worldchannel.org/episode/sfts-holidays-good-bad/
If there is any truth about holidays, it’s that for every perfect moment, there’s a disaster… or two. Melanée Addison tests her adulthood through the ultimate challenge: the Thanksgiving turkey; John Smith-Horn shows that when it comes to being Santa, it’s all about the grownups; and Andrea Kamens proves that lighting a menorah may be trickier than you think. Three storytellers, three interpretations of Holidays: The Good, The Bad, hosted by Wes Hazard.
Andrea Kamens has an original story on NPR Hanukah Lights. Listen here.
Andrea Kamens and The Story Space took to the road and gave a night of open telling and featured performances by the Gang of Six on the second story of Julie and Jeff Kinney’s downtown Plainville, MA, indie bookstore and café An Unlikely Story. As a GOSling (Gang of Six member), Andrea told a tale of cheating death with a good story. You can view it at 34.10 here.
* Longwood Outside! Placemaking Program at Longwood Medical
- Tuesdays, August 13 and September 17
- Countway Library of Medicine, Courtyard Reading Room Space, 10 Shattuck Street #3, Boston MA 02115
- noon – 2 pm (in three 30-minute sets)
Journey to the tree of all-fruit to see if you can recall its name and gain its bounty, learn to count with clevers and fools, build and cross bridges, and enjoy your city with Andrea’s tales to bring people and the things we know, or think we know, or will soon know, together. Bring your lunch for outdoor storytelling with the Placemaking Program, building community by making public places vibrant, safe, engaging, and dynamic for employees, patients, students, visitors, and researchers in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area. Programing runs June-September on Tuesdays and Thursdays over lunch times. Check the schedule here.
Both of Andrea’s programs are interactive and family-friendly.
* Newagen Seaside Inn in Maine: Traveling Tales
- Wednesday, August 21
- 60 Newagen Colony Rd., Southport, ME 04576
- 7:00 pm
A fire pit, the seashore, the open sky, friendly strangers who might soon be friends… (and stories. Don’t forget the stories.) (and s’mores). It hasn’t been long but Andrea will be back for a bonus evening at her favorite summer venue. You can come for free to hear her tell at this elegant seaside inn. Stay tuned for a possible library program in Boothbay that Thursday.
* Ongoing: The Story Space
The Story Space, in its 27th year, is the longest-running weekly venue for storytelling around. Every Tuesday night, you can listen to storytellers and regular people just telling their 8-minute stories, followed by a featured performer who will “take you where they will”. The open mike is OPEN, and there is no better place to try it out. Personal stories, fiction, traditional tales, music, poetry and readings are all welcome. Requested $5 donation keeps us running.
RECENT PERFORMANCES AND TEACHING
Listening to Women at Newagen
Andrea told fireside at Newagen Seaside Inn in Maine this June (check out upcoming tellings for her August trip). She brought her mom for her 80th birthday, a story bag full of animals, and old tales that celebrate the wit, wisdom, and strength of women.
We listened to the Japanese grandmother who chases down the Oni for her rice cake and lives alone because “she likes it that way”, to the Moon who understands that Water and all Her People will not fit as guests in their compound (from the Efik-Ibibio creation tale), to the many clever women who dine from Abuela’s huge soup pot, and to Little Daughter who sings a wolf to sleep over and over again, and learned about Juneteenth, recounting the wisdom of listening, and the dangers of not. And, over s’mores, with children and adults, we listened to each other, as we all must.
Explo Week at Gann Academy
As a teaching artist Andrea ran half-day storytelling workshops for Gann’s Explo Week, a weeklong experiential learning program for 9th and 11th graders, run by staff at the school.
Students who chose narrative arts with the English and theater departments discovered with Andrea the art and ethics of oral storytelling, learned basics of the craft as listeners, tellers, gatherers and inventors of stories, and made their place in the Boston local storytelling scene with an open mic at a real storytelling show; see below.
If you’d like to hire Andrea as a teaching artist or collaborator at your school, contact her at email@example.com.
Transitions: A Collision of Folk and Fact!
Andrea created, co-hosted and performed in this show.
Now Listen Here in collaboration with The Story Space presented an open mic and showcase evening of the diversity of the Boston storytelling and story listening scene at the fabulous home.stead bakery & cafe in historic Fields Corner Dorchester (on the Red Line). Attendees, including special high school guests, could put their name in the tin for a chance to tell a five-minute first person story or a seven-minute traditional tale on the theme “Transitions” while enjoying feature Theresa Okokon of WGBH Stories from the Stage, tellers Julie Baker and “Big Joe” Pagliuca, and hosts Bart Thompson and Andrea Kamens. Three students told for their first time on a stage along with three adults from the audience.
From Passover to Shavuot with Stars of David
Stars of David is a social group for adults ages 35-64 with mild-to-moderate special needs that meets monthly at Temple Emanuel in Newton.
Andrea presented “What is this Freedom Thing?” A sensory experience with lunch, scarves, instruments, and call and response, exploring the Jewish idea of freedom including the freedom to contribute meaningfully to your community, to learn, and to choose your friends.
She told an original Crossing the Sea weaving parts of the story of Passover, of Harriet Tubman leading black American slaves to freedom across rivers, and of the American Civil Rights Movement: one story echoed through history. Plus the traditional West African tale of how Anansi brought story to the world and two traditional Jewish folk tales: The Wooden Sword from Afghanistan, a humorous look at the freedom to work; and, in preparation for Shavuot, The Golden Mountain from Morocco, a magical tale of a princess who loves to learn and gets trapped inside a mountain.
If your inclusive or special needs group would like a customized program like this, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shavuot Programs in Brighton and Brookline, MA
Andrea welcomed children of all ages into Shabbat and the Jewish spring holiday of Shavuot with make-your-own nachos, paper arts, mountains of storytelling, and a look inside the Torah scrolls at Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe.
She then taught a workshop and performed in the Sermon Slam at the 11th annual Community Tikkun Leil Shavuot all-night study celebration at Kehillath Israel Brookline.
Chanukah Party at Kesher After School
Interactive story fun for the entire family included Andrea’s original and traditional Chanukah tales of latkes, lights, and mounds and mounds of applesauce. Kids and grown-up kids had a chance to be moose and porcupine and rabbit, play the tambourine, and guess at tricky solutions for creating joyous and just communities!
If you’d like to have Andrea at your holiday parties, contact email@example.com.
Andrea was back as the curator and emcee of the Story Concert at the Limmud Festival, the biggest, broadest celebration of Jewish learning in Boston, packed with powerhouses and incredible lay people running workshops on everything Jewish.
White Mountain Storytelling Festival, Plymouth State University, NH
Andrea took to the stage twice at an annual weekend-long New England storytelling festival as dazzling as the local foliage, once for family storytelling and once for Sacred Tales with faith tellers from different religious and spiritual traditions.
Expresso Yourself Coffeehouse in Medfield, MA
With her chosen theme Love and Longing, Andrea set the tone for open mic then beguiled listeners at First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Medfield, MA as the monthly coffeehouse featured performer this May. Her original tales, traditional tales and classics with a twist included a lonely river, a mathematically clever lover, and some goats who just want to eat and eat and eat.
Limmud Festival – UK
Andrea was a workshop teacher and storyteller in the Family and Young and Teen Limmud section of this weeklong international celebration of Jewish learning, arts, philosophy, and culture. She taught 5 workshops, and told stories for parents and children as part of inter-generational evening programming, and for adults as one of three featured tellers in a panel conversation about the power of storytelling to transform lives. This is the original Limmud that launched many worldwide conferences including LimmudBoston, see below.
Leeds Masorti Shabbos
As a special guest, Andrea lead Friday night house services and told classic and original tales on the power of lights. On Saturday, she told during a lovely group walk through the wet and drizzle!
Seanachie Nights in Maine: Where are you going? Stories of tricksters, wits, golems, and the power of words.
Seanachie is the Celtic word for storyteller. Andrea featured at Lynne Cullen’s series of musical storytelling performances to an adult audience, telling Jewish folk and original tales at Bull Feeney’s Irish Pub in Portland, ME, accompanied by fiddler Janet Lynch.
Right Between the Ears! RiverStones Custom Framing, Rochester, NH
As the featured teller at this fabulous fun monthly series hosted by Joanne Piazzi, Andrea presented The Prickly Princess and Other Tales of Women Witchy, Wild, and Wise. The evening opened with Rochester’s new Poet Laureate, Katie O’Connor.
The Story Space 25th Anniversary Gala – Storytelling Concert
With Andrea as the evening’s host, and special guest emcee Tony Toledo, a baker’s dozen of storytellers regaled a packed house in the social hall of St. Paul’s AME Church with personal, traditional, historical and fantastical tales in celebration of the 25th anniversary of The Story Space weekly storytelling venue. They showcased the breadth and depth of all who have gathered for the past quarter of a century to “Tell it and hear it”.
The Story Space was started on February 4th, 1992 by the late Brother Blue and his wife Ruth Edmonds Hill so storytellers could hone their craft and anyone from anywhere could tell their story. Tellers and listeners came from as far away as California and as near as Cambridge, MA, to celebrate.
Andrea helped create the line-up and book the tellers, and designed and printed the programs. Contact her for your organizational or personal event, and she’ll help you make it shine!
WGBH-TV Showcase – “House Cleaning”
Andrea was a featured performer at WGBH-TV Brighton Studios in a massmouth showcase event on the theme House Cleaning. She doesn’t clean by the book anymore, but when she did, it was the 38-chapter Blumenkrantz Passover Digest read while snuggled deep into a burnt-orange upholstered armchair.
Spooky Stories – Cambridge Community TV
On October 31, Andrea was on local TV with a studio-taped performance of Rabbi Judah’s Golem, along with Spooky Stories by the incomparable Norah Dooley and other tellers for Halloween 2015.
Big MouthOff 6
massmouth Slam Finals
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA
As a first-place slam winner in Season VI, Andrea competed against semi-finalists from all categories with her 5-minute first-person piece on her extraordinarily normal family in a best-of-show that thrilled the packed house.
Puppet Showplace Theater, massmouth Scary Story Slam II
On the eve before Halloween, Andrea was co-host at the Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline for a back-to-back story event, Transformations, that placed first-person massmouth slammers with professional and amateur traditional tellers on the same stage for a scary story showdown. As the hostess with the ghost-est, she also performed a traditional Ukrainian tale about a brazen girl who steals a shroud from a corpse.
“Mother Africa” featuring ToRena Webb Thomas
The Puppet Showplace Theatre
Organized by Norah Dooley
**1st Place Winner**
Andrea won first place in this auditioned slam with her vibrant and amusing telling of some Mother-wisdom from Zaire in the folk tale The Yes Sir King.
“Andrea Kamens is one of the best performers of traditional folktales of all kinds in Boston today. I most appreciate how she picks stories that have more to them, giving value-added wisdom to one heck of a good time.” – Norah Dooley, Founder | massmouth inc.