FRAN STALLINGS tells multicultural traditional tales and original stories. Autoharp accompanies her songs and embellishes many of her stories. She works with adults and all grades from K-12. Lively audience participation suits the age of audience members. Ask about custom-designed programs for your site!
See sample videos on Fran's YouTube channel
Some Program Titles for all ages:
- Folktale Heroes and She-roes: The treasury of world folktales offers a variety of “heroes” besides the muscular hunk with a sword. This multicultural program of traditional legends and tales will show us feisty women and gentle men, underdogs who strike back with peaceful solutions, villians caught in their own evil plans, the triumph of brains over brawn -- a wealth of ancient humor and compassion.
- Stories and Songs for a Green Earth: Multicultural folktales and songs of understanding and stewardship for our planet, paired with science fact-tales.
- Early Oklahoma in Story & Song: Traditional tales and family history take us from before European contact to cowboys, pioneers, and statehood.
- Sisters & Brothers All Over the World: Multicultural family tales.
- Tales from the Japanese Countryside: Wondrous stories from rural Japan. Fran can bring authentic traditional toys, hand games, and even kimonos for big girls and boys to model.
- Our Four-Footed Friends: Animal tales teaching science and compassion.
- Honesty Respect Compassion: Our ancestors didn’t want dishonest, disrespectful, hard-hearted children, so they told them entertaining tales that showed the consequences of bad behavior and the rewards of acting right. Today’s students respond just as eagerly to fables, legends, and folktales from the world’s cultures — with teaching points about “Virtue of the month” subtly tucked in.
- Science: Tell it Like a Story: Our ancestors often “explained” nature by making up memorable tales. Today, even the fanciful stories are valuable for getting students to notice natural phenomena and wonder: How does the moon change phases? What makes the wind really blow? How did turtle get a cracked shell — really? Students will hear a sampling of these multicultural stories, with age-appropriate songs and audience participation. An episode of real science discovery will balance each folktale.
- Sing a Story: Sing along with lively stories which include listeners in the tunes, refrains, and sound-effects. Fran plays autoharp and gets listeners participating in the fun with voice, gesture, and sign language.
- Dinosaurs Among Us: Fact and fiction about ancient dinosaurs and their modern descendants who fly among us today -- birds! Silly songs, engaging tales and solid information. Lots of action and audience participation for young listeners.
- Fins and Fables Tales from the world’s oceans: sharks and whales, seals and eels, fish big & little, with some freshwater critters thrown in.
- Winners and Losers World tales of competition: Stories of perseverance, courage, hard work and wits (sometimes brains outweigh brawn) with lively audience participation and songs.
Program Titles especially for teens and adults
- Green Warriors: true stories of men, women, and kids who work to protect our environment--and you can too! Lively storytelling with age-appropriate audience participation and songs, plus suggestions for practical things that individuals can do to make a difference.
- Ancient Roots of Science Fiction & Fantasy: Myths, legends, folktales foreshadowing SF&F plot elements. Our ancestors thrilled each other with tales about runaway robots, sentient animals, and monsters both otherworldly and home-made... long before “science fiction” was invented.
- Tell a Song, Sing a Story: Ballads are songs that tell stories: funny, gruesome, romantic, traditional--and science fictional. Hear examples and get pointers about writing your own songs.
- A Twist in the Tale: Wry humor, surprise endings, sardonic wit.
- Grimms and Grimmer: Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm did not have kiddies in mind when they started collecting the oral lore of German villagers. Later editions edited out most of the gore, but you can hear some of what Disney didn't tell us-- if you dare. CONTENT WARNING: not for small fry.
- Women Behaving Badly: Traditional storytellers knew that villainesses can be more interesting than damsels. Who were the vengeful lovers, evil stepmothers, witches? Hear their tales in narrative and ballad form. CONTENT WARNING: some bloodthirsty and bawdy antics.
- Below the Obi: Grown up tales from Japan. As interpreter for traditional folkteller Hiroko Fujita during their 12 US tours, Fran learned many earthy and slightly bawdy tales that are enjoyed by all ages in Japan--but they didn't perform them in US schools. Now YOU can hear them. CONTENT WARNING: adult situations.