Andrea Kamens has an original story on NPR Hanukah Lights. Listen here.
* Limmud Festival – UK
- 22-28 December 2017
- Pendigo Lake near Birmingham, UK
- All week long!
Andrea will be 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 will tell stories for parents and children as part of inter-generational evening programming. This is the original Limmud that launched many worldwide conferences including LimmudBoston, see below.
- Story: The Princess and the Moon – Sunday 18:45-19:15
- What Came First? Playing with Creation workshop – Monday 9.45-10.30
- Family Values story-sharing workshop – Tuesday 16:15-17:00
- Spin that Dreidle: Chanukah Tales of Wits and Tricks Tuesday 10.10 – 11.00
- Is First Best: Chevruta study on First Fruits Wednesday 11.10 – 12.00
* Leeds Masorti Shabbos
- 29-30 December 2017
- Leeds UK
As a special guest, Andrea will be lead Kabbalat Shabbat and tell a classic Hassidic tale of the power of lighting and blessing Shabbos candles in A Light from Heaven. On Saturday after services and a group walk, everyone will warm up with inter-generational storytelling of traditional wit and humor tales and a chance for story sharing.
* Ongoing: The Story Space
The Story Space, in its 25th 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
LimmudBoston Conference 2017
LimmudBoston is a day-long annual celebration of Jewish learning and arts. Andrea coordinated two storytelling shows through the Jewish Storytelling Coalition. She was emcee for a lineup of three stellar tellers – Rabbi David Finkelstein, Thea Iberall, and Judith Black – followed by facilitating 3-minute stories by audience members on the theme of Wandering. Then, with Ralph Chadis as emcee, Andrea told an original tale from Jewish midrash (oral tradition) Sarah’s Tent, as part of trio that included Jackson Gilman and Sara deBeer on the theme of Home.
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) helping facilitate the evening, Andrea told a tale of cheating death with a good story. You can view it at 34.10 here.
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.
Fireside Tales at Newagen Seaside Inn in Maine
Andrea returned to the picturesque Maine coast to tell tales of the sun, moon and stars the week of the visible to North America solar eclipse. Adults and children (and puppets) joined the sky and the sea in celebrating old stories made new again. After the telling, guests swapped tales of their own while toasting marshmallows and eating s’mores.
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 and Celebration
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 enjoy the evening.
In addition to being the host, 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!
Lag B’Omer and Shavuot Stories
Andrea told stories and conducted study sessions and workshops for the Jewish spring holidays at Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe and Kehillath Israel. If your synagogue, senior center, school, or interfaith organization is interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Keep an eye on the massmouth website for story slams, improv combos, and showcases. http://www.massmouth.org/
Humanities Day at JCDS
Andrea returned as a workshop presenter for the annual Middle School Humanities Day at JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School.
In her workshop, “Walking in Wolf Paws: Old Tales from a New View,” middle school students played with perspective, embodied a villainous, marginalized or objectified character in voice, movement and thought; met each other; and told their original beginning to a traditional story.
After rave reviews as a presenter last year, Andrea was the co-chair of this year’s program, whose professional guests included a novelist, a storyboard animator, a children’s book illustrator, videographers, photographers, and journalists.
Live Story Taping and Story Sharing
Andrea was taped before a live adult audience telling her LimmudBoston original story “King David and the Olive Tree”. Then she emceed an open mike where audience members told 2-5 minutes stories. There was a dramatic reading of The Lorax by a former librarian who always wanted to share Dr. Seuss’s wisdom with whom she believed to be his intended audience – grownups. Two sisters, one with intellectual challenges, shared holiday memories as tag-team, sparking someone else’s story of being raised in socialist, Bundist, Yiddish Jewish New York. Stories begat stories, and everyone who wanted had a chance to be taped.
A Trio of Light, Holiday Stories
The rich man’s latkes follow a simple recipe from his bubbe: grate the potatoes, crack the egg on the side of the bowl, throw in a pufffff of white flour, and shake in paprika, pepper and salt. But it’s not simple to have a real Chanukah celebration. A clever rabbi delivers one in this traditional folktale, “The Smell of Latkes” opening a set of interactive stories of light, food, and miracles. Next, a captive girl resists the wicked poetry and nasty dreams of a witch in Margaret Mahy’s “The Girl Who Washed in Moonlight”, told with permission. The third story was by request on the spot: an original Passover story of redemption, “Miriam’s Tambourine”, told with Andrea’s tambourine.
Before, between and after the stories, Andrea brought out the stories of the residents and their connections to the holidays, from a rival latke recipe to a Christian missionary’s memories of Jews in small towns in America.
JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School
After telling at Goddard House Assisted Living Center, Andrea brought two of the stories to kindergarten and fourth grade at JCDS, a Jewish day school in Watertown. The students made connections between the stories and their lessons on Chanukah, then drew pictures for the residents at Goddard House to create a “virtual book club” with their older counterparts. The pictures were delivered the next day and distributed to residents.
If your school is interested in a similar partnership through storytelling, contact Andrea for more information.
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. The new slam season has begun and Andrea will be there. Check it out here.
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.