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.

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.

June 2017 Presentations

Sarah on bench
Sarah on bench

After a busy April and May, fewer programs tend to be scheduled in June. I’ve had my first 2018 (non-standing) booking. Check and see if there is a program coming near you. Find the current full schedule.

Cottage Grove Place – Cedar Rapids, IA – In the Kitchen With Laura – June 21, 2017

That’s it for this month so far, but it’s not too late. If you’d like me to come present near you make sure to tell your local library, museum or civic group.   Learn more here:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/booking-a-program
Find descriptions of the various programs available:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/program-descriptions

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.

Rolling Out New Page

Sarah Uthoff sitting on merry-go-round in front of one-room school
Sarah at Ingalls Homestead

I’ve been working on building this new page and I just published it on the Trundlebed Tales blog. This page will have quotes, photos, and facts to help anyone needing help on publicity or news coverage of Trundlebed Tales. Check it out!

https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/for-reporters-the-press-and-other-publicity/

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.

Mentions March 2017

In the Kitchen With Laura at Mason City
In the Kitchen With Laura at Mason City

This month’s mentions of me and Trundlebed Tales that appeared in the news during March 2017. The first article talks about doing my In the Kitchen With Laura program in Marshalltown, Iowa and the second is advertising my program in Clarksville, Iowa on April 1st, 2017. The final article is based on some suggestions I made to a follow up for a story about Field of Dreams with some additional book suggestions.

Jordan-Heintz, Sarah. “Cooking on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder Topic of Presentation.” Times-Republican [Marshalltown, Iowa], 24 Mar. 2017, http://www.timesrepublican.com/news/todays-news/2017/03/cooking-on-the-prairie Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

“Laura Ingalls Wilder Celebration Planned.” The Courier [Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa], 26 Mar. 2017, http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/laura-ingalls-wilder-celebration-planned/article_a0db2b0a-2959-52f5-b847-31b043296af7.html Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

“Field of Dreams.” Monday Morning Eye-Opener [State Library of Iowa]. 27 March 2017, p. 3.

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 March 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. :)

Laura and the Half-Pints
Travel Times Part 2 Disney Books
T-Shirt of the Month March 2017
This American Life Radio Show
Schedule of Presentations
This American Life Radio Show
Registration is Open for South Dakota Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference
Birthdays
Anderson House 2017
Cassandra Cooper Writes Another Book
Laura Ingalls Wilder Events Around the Country
Program Descriptions

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.