What’s My Story?

I’m posting a more in-depth description of one of my programs each month.

Check them all out. Which one would you like to see most?

Storytelling
Storytelling

What’s My Story?

This was one of my first attempts to put together a program that was outside friendly as I started to get requests for those types of programs. In many ways it’s my most flexible program because the length can be easily adjusted. You can run it for 20 minutes, for an hour and a half, or just about any length in between. It also works really well for situations where you expect people to flow in, stay awhile, and then flow out again, since they are individual stories you can come in for one or two and then leave without feeling that you are missing something. It also works well for groups without a lot of knowledge of Laura Ingalls Wilder ahead of time and for younger groups. It can be done for groups of all adults, but that doesn’t work quite as well because as part of the program audience volunteers have to select an object off the table at the start of every story and adults have a much harder time doing this than kids.

Program Specifics

I tell interactive stories from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life and from historic tales. Also included are poems and riddles. While I appear in 19th century historic clothing for this program, it’s not a first person program meaning I don’t pretend I’m Laura.

Table with Storytelling Objects
Storytelling Objects

A long table is placed at the front of the space. On this table will be placed an assembly of objects (stuffed animals, a plastic fly, a slate, a china doll, etc.). Each object represents a story, a poem, or a riddle. Audience members volunteer to come up and pick an object and then I tell that story, poem, or riddle. It’s completely up to the audience what comes next. Sometimes an object will have more than one story attached so it can change program to program. Some objects require their volunteer to stay up front and help with the story.

Alternatives for Presentation

There are two major variations of this program available. The usual version has a general mix of subjects. The alternative version focuses on animal stories. That one includes me bringing Pa’s Big Green Animal Book aka The Polar and Tropical Worlds: A Popular and Scientific Description. Read more.

Requirements

Hosts will have to provide a big table or 2 regular size tables at the front of the space and a small table off to the side or the back of the space. I need to be able to move around the table and the space should be set up so it’s possible for audience members to get up to the front and back to their seats as easily as possible.

Note that the one disadvantage of this program is that unlike in normal storytelling I can’t control the “set” which means that similar stories might be told right after each other and that it doesn’t build to one big finale story at the end. It ebbs and flows with the audience choices.

Sound interesting?

If this sounds interesting to you, ask a local museum or library to have me come and present What’s My Story?

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Top Ten Posts May 2017

 

Here are the blog posts and pages that have had the most views last month. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too. :)

Grain Bin Home Safe-T-Home

Value of Old Books

In the Kitchen With Laura Churning Garth Williams

In the Kitchen With Laura Project February 2014

Day 2 Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

June 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Day 1 Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Mentions May 2017

May 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Where did Albert come from?

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Mansfield Pageant Dates 2017

Mansfield Pageant
Mansfield Pageant

What Is It?

You’ve probably heard of the Laura Ingalls Wilder pageants in DeSmet, South Dakota, and Walnut Grove, Minnesota, but do you know there is a pageant in Mansfield, Missouri? This pageant is put on by the Ozark Mountain Players and is called Laura’s Memories.

What’s Different from the Other Pageants?

One major difference is that this pageant is a musical. Frankly I like the music better than the Little House on the Prairie the Musical that got a national tour. I’ve only seen it once in person (although I’ve also seen in on DVD), but I can still sing part of a couple of the songs. ♫♪”Farmer boy, Farmer boy…” ♪♫

Unlike the other two pageants it seeks to tell Laura’s entire life story rather than just a part of it or to dramatize one of the books. It plays off the only known recording of Laura’s voice using that as a set up as Laura shares memories from her life. A unique thing is that they rotate roles as time progresses so no one person has to learn an excessive amount of dialogue, which can be a little difficult to follow until you figure it out.  Important to the audience it also features the most professional theater stage and the best back support for the seats.

Dates

Uniquely for the pageants it splits its dates every year with some during the summer and the rest in September as part of the lead up to Wilder Days. They were very late getting the dates out this year, so I’m taking this special post to share them. I’ve updated my events page with these and a couple of other things lately, so take a look.

  • July 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, 2017
  • Sept 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2017
  • Wilder Days: September 15,16, & 17, 2017

I can honestly highly recommend this pageant. So if you’re looking for a last minute Laura trip. Take a look!

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Mentions May 2017

This month’s mentions of me and Trundlebed Tales that appeared in the news during May 2017. This month’s articles include a reference link back to a post from John Fry’s blog and an article about my performances up in Tomah, Wisconsin.

Fry, John. “Laura Ingalls Wilder: A 150-Year Legacy,” The Faith of Laura Ingalls Wilder. 2 May 2017. https://faithofliw.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/laura-ingalls-wilder-a-150-year-legacy/ Accessed 6 May 2017.

Rundio, Steve. “Recalling Laura Ingalls Wilder: Sarah Uthoff brings show to Tomah Saturday.” La Crosse Tribune.  17 May 2017. http://lacrossetribune.com/tomahjournal/news/local/recalling-laura-ingalls-wilder-sarah-uthoff-brings-show-to-tomah/article_881cf00d-193a-5e68-95df-a12e65f90639.html Accessed 25 May 2017.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Top Ten Posts April 2017

Sarah in Pampas
Sarah in Pampas

Here are the blog posts and pages that have had the most views last month. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too. :)

Day 1 Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Day 2 Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Laura Homesites Open for the Season 2017

Packing Up: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder

En Route to Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference 2017

Author Reception at SDHS Conference

May 2017 Presentations

Where did Albert come from?

Springfield IL 2013

Booking a Program

Schedule of Presentations

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Packing Up: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder

I’m posting a more in-depth description of one of my programs each month.

Check them all out. Which one would you like to see most?

Packing Up 3

Packing Up

This was my first successful alternative to the General Laura program and it remains really successful. It’s slightly shorter than the General Laura program and includes more storytelling. It also offers even more chances for children to come up on stage to directly join in than the General Laura program.

It is staged for Laura as a young farm wife and includes props packed up in a trunk.

Program Specifics

It’s 1894 and we find Laura, Almanzo, and their daughter Rose living in a small house a couple of blocks from Ma and Pa’s Third Street house. Disaster and disease have pushed the Wilders around the country from South Dakota to Minnesota to Florida and back again. Now they are back in De Smet to regroup before they take one more fresh start in Mansfield, Missouri. Find a rich description of this time in the forward of the book On the Way Home and the short story “Grandpa’s Fiddle” from an adult Rose.

We find Laura a week or so before they leave going through an old trunk to see if there is anything they can leave behind. Each thing she pulls from the trunk reminds her of a story. Through these stories she tell about her life.

While it is a good choice for any age group, this is the program that I most often recommend to groups with a younger audience or to an audience that doesn’t have a lot of previous background on Laura. I can change the level the information is pitched at and I’ve presented it to great applause from early elementary school to adult groups.

Alternatives for Presentation

I appear in costume as Laura in the 1890s and it is done in the first person (I speak as if I was Laura).

This program can be done both with an accompanying PowerPoint presentation and without one when presented in areas where projection wouldn’t work well. When done with the PowerPoint which includes photos taken at all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites and museums, it requires the ability to present in PowerPoint which means being inside, with electricity and a place to project. I can bring my own projector along or I can use yours.

Requirements

For both versions I need a table up front and space to move around it.

The program is a live show so length can vary, but it normally takes between 45 and 50 minutes. I prefer to have at least 10-15 minutes for questions afterward, but that is optional and if I need that long, longer, or shorter depends on whether it’s a talkative group or not.

Sound interesting?

If this sounds interesting to you, ask a local museum or library to have me come and present Packing Up: the Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.