Activated StoriesAuthor: Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr Goza
17 Aug 2018

Activated Stories

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Bringing you comedic folktales from somewhere on the road. Act!vated Stories is presented by Act!vated Story Theatre a national touring theatre troupe for children and their families. Join us for a family friendly story and travel tales.

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    The Monkey Husband

    The Monkey Husband from Japan is one of those many stories about a girl from a poor family marrying a beast of some sort or other -- including, of course, one of the best known, Beauty and the Beast. This one also seems to be related to a legend that Shakespeare borrowed for King Lear: a father with three daughters, of whom the oldest two are selfish and ungrateful, and the youngest is loving and loyal. Our monkey husband's name, Misue, was supplied by Elizabeth McFarland, who is one of our patrons on Patreon.

    We come to you from Mashpee, Massachusetts, on beautiful Cape Cod. Since we last spoke to you, we have traveled all the way from North Carolina, and had quite a few adventures along the way. We have documented these in our series of YouTube videos, Gozas on the Go; Act!vated Adventures. They include the Salty Pirate water park and the Wright Brothers flight site in North Carolina; the Virginia Aquarium, the Virginia Musical Museum, Warehouse 29 escape room and the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Virginia; Gettysburg, Hershey Chocolate World and Lost River Caverns in Pennsylvania; and Purgatory Chasm State Park, Art's Dune Tours and Hyannis Whale Watching in Massachusetts. Phew!

    And during all of that we managed to work in some performances. And we have more coming up. We hope to see you at one of them, if not on a whale watching boat.

    Happy Listening,
    Dennis (Narrator, Farmer, Middle Daughter) and Kimberly (Misue, Oldest Daughter, Youngest Daughter)

  • Posted on 16 Aug 2018

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    The Magic Pear Tree

    The Magic Pear Tree is a strange little tale about greed, generosity, paying it forward, and poetic justice. It comes from ancient China, showing that these concepts are not just modern. It's somewhat similar to the stories about someone getting three wishes, and becoming so overwhelmed with greed that they end up with nothing.

    We come to you from Raleigh, NC. Since we last approached your ears, we went to Memphis, where we stopped by the pop music landmarks of Graceland and Sun Studios. We also visited a considerably older historic locale, Chucalissa Indian Village, an archaeological site that was home to a settlement of Mississippian Culture natives many centuries ago.

    From there we went to Chattanooga for the Fourth Of July and then Pigeon Forge, where we rode the thrilling Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, a hilltop coaster that zooms down and down and around and around and then down some more.

    Then we drove through the Smoky Mountains themselves, into North Carolina for our shows at the High Point Library. (A big howdy and thank you to podcast listeners the Singletons for coming to the show again.) While in High Point, we had to pay our respects to the world's largest chest of drawers. 

    On to Greensboro, and a repeat visit to Elsewhere, a truly fascinating art museum and play space that features shelves and shelves of old toys, books, appliances, tools and various other items left over from the days when the building was the home of a surplus and knickknack store.

    And finally, our travels brought us here to Raleigh, where we went ape at Go Ape, a treetop canopy course with zip lines, tricky bridges, and the really fun Tarzan vine.

    Happy Listening,
    Dennis (Farmer, Onlooker) and Kimberly (Narrator, Beggar, Customer, Onlooker)

  • Posted on 15 Jul 2018

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    Common Sense

    Common Sense is a story from Jamaica with roots in Africa that involves the legendary trickster man-spider, Anansi. Many tales are told about Anansi not only in Africa, but in America and nearby islands. He seems to have come to the New World along with the slaves, which is hardly surprising. This particular story is rather similar to Anansi and the Story Box, a tale from Ghana that we have performed on stage.

    We come to you from Jonesboro, Arkansas, where we are in the middle of our summer season, which we kicked off with 17 performances at libraries in Los Angeles County. In the midst of it all, we've managed to find time to take a float down the Buffalo River, as we try to do almost every year. And we're constantly on the lookout for bits of that common sense.

    Happy listening,
    Dennis (Narrator, Old Man 1, Old Man 3) and Kimberly (Anansi, Old Man 2, Owl, Little Girl)

  • Posted on 24 Jun 2018

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    Kaguya Hime

    Kaguya Hime is a Japanese tale in the tradition of the stories about a childless couple who find a child of supernatural origin, and adopt her/ him as their own. (See, for example, The Snow Maiden from Russia.) It doubles as a nature myth, as some versions of it are intended to explain a full moon, and some versions explain the smoke arising from Mount Fuji (Fujiyama). This story was requested by podcast listeners in Tokyo, Japan, Sakura and George.

    We come to you from Reno, NV, which is our base of operations every May as we frantically put a new show together. We're getting ready to head to Los Angeles to open up a busy stand of 17 performances May 24th-31st for the Los Angeles County Library system.

    We're very happy to have with us a special guest, an old friend from -- would you believe -- Japan! Yukari is visiting us at Kimberly's parents in Reno this month, and she insisted on helping us work on the props and costumes for our new production. If you've been listening to our podcasts from the beginning, you may remember that we visited Yukari and her family in Japan in 2006.

    Now if you'll excuse us, we'll get back to rehearsing while you listen to the podcast. Happy listening!

    Act!vatedly Yours,
    Dennis (Bamboo Cutter, Suitor 2, Suitor 3), Kimberly (Narrator, Wife, Kaguya Hime, Suitor 1, Soldier 1) and Yukari (Soldier 2)

  • Posted on 22 May 2018

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    The Fly

    The Fly is a trickster tale about a boy who is wise beyond his years and gets the better of his elders. He is part of a long tradition of clever "fools" who are really not so foolish, but save the day in the end. We previously performed, for example, The Boy Who Listened to Birds from Russia.

    We come to you from Dublin, the shamrock city in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we are wrapping up our Northern California tour and finishing our run of our production Hammer, Nail, Tell a Tale. And we are getting ready to buckle down to readying our new production, Tuneful Tales.

    Meanwhile, we took the time to celebrate Earth Day in Yosemite by making a brutal hike up a mountain to get a good view of a magnificent waterfall.

    Happy Listening,
    Dennis (Banker, Father, Judge) and Kimberly (Narrator, Boy, Mother) 

  • Posted on 25 Apr 2018


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