Hiroko Fujita & Fran Stallings
FRAN STALLINGS grew up hearing stories from both parents and telling stories to her younger sister and brothers. Fran incorporates psychology, sociology, world literature, and modern and pre-classical dance into the nearly 400 tales in her repertory which include stories from Africa, the Orient, Europe and North and South America. Telling stories that range from forty-five seconds to forty-five minutes, she adds only discrete touches of gesture, mime, character voice, dance movement, or sound effects to evoke images without dictating them. As an Artist In Residence for the Oklahoma Arts Council since 1985, Fran has reached many thousands of students. Fran conducts workshops, residencies, and festival performance nationwide.
HIROKO FUJITA, a native of mountainous rural Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, tells traditional country tales: animal fables, comic adventures, and stories of family life in old times. She has worked for decades as a kindergarten teacher and primary grade librarian, in Kashiwa City just east of Tokyo. She is much in demand to visit schools and libraries in Japan, where her storytelling keeps the old tales and games alive for the Nintendo generation. She also speaks to older students and parents' groups about the importance of the old stories and games in preserving cultural roots, reinforcing bonds between generations, and laying groundwork for literacy. She is a master teacher, involved in training younger colleagues.
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