The countdown is on to Saturday, June 2nd, at the Statue of Hans Christian Andersen in New York’s Central Park...
On that day, and in that place (72nd Street and Fifth Avenue entrance, BTW), Diane Wolkstein will officially open the Central Park story season.
That season’s schedule has been finalized, and here it is (as always, subject to unannounced changes). The stories start at 11:00 a.m. Eastern each Saturday from June 2nd to September 29th.
- Tribute to Victor Borge
- Rolf Stang - “The Ugly Duckling”
- Diane Wolkstein - “It’s Absolutly True”
- Drew Gibson - “The Mahabarata” (India)
- Shirley Keller - “The Magic Orange Tree” (Haiti)
- Diane Wolkstein - “Owl” (Haiti)
- Frank Menusan - “The Thunderbird” (Lakota)
- Diane Wolkstein - “The Nightingale”
- Arthur Strimling - “Number our Days” (Barbara Myerhoff)
- Diane Wolkstein - “Ruth” (Bible)
- Melissa Heckler - “White Wave” (China)
- Ron Sopyla - “Tatterhood” (Norway)
- Billie Ballou - “The Puppeteer”
- Carlo Lewis - “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
- David Elyha - “The Tinderbox”
- Katie Green - “The Mermaid”
- Maggie Peirce - “The Princess and the Pea”
- Rita Auerbach - “The Wild Swans”
- Jeanne Donato - “Mother Elderberry”
- Raouf Mama - “Fortune’s Favorite Child” (Benin)
- Michael Parent - “Fools, Princesses and Songs” (French Canada)
- Bob Barton - “Smart Dog” (Australia)
- Kaye Lindauer - “Vasilisa, the Beautiful” (Russia)
- Julia Della Torre - “The Swineherd”
- The Ugly Duckling’s Party!
- Rolf Stang - “The Ugly Duckling”
- Bring your skipping ropes for:
- Diane Wolkstein - “The Day Ocean Came to Visit” (Diane Wolkstein)
- Shirley Keller - “Elsie Piddock Skips In Her Sleep” (Eleanor Farjeon)
- Regina Ress - “The Wicked Prince”
Stories are by Hans Christian Andersen except as noted. Stories, as always, will be told come light rain or shine. Parents should be prepared to sit with their kids (and keep them off the Statue once the stories begin). Everything will be safe for children 5 years and up. For more information, contact: Philip David Morgan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To experience some of the enjoyment in the Central Park Storytelling, listen to Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park, an audio cassette recording of Diane Wolkstein issued in 1981 by Weston Woods. In 1998, Phillip David Morgan wrote about this cassette:
It has now been more than four decades since the Statue of Hans Christian Andersen was unveiled in New York City’s Central Park. There have been many tellers entertaining the old and the young alike every summer since 1956...but I believe Diane Wolkstein - who made her début in 1966 - will be the most fondly remembered. Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park is the storyteller’s first album (made in 1982), and it should serve as the best introduction to anyone hearing her or Andersen’s stories for the first time. Aided by musicians Shirley Keller, Janet Stuart, and Rachel Zucker (the storyteller’s daughter), Diane Wolkstein’s voice carries the listener through six of the Danish master’s tales - not just familiar ones such as “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes” but also such finds as “The Goblin and the Grocer” and the uproarious “Hans Clodhopper.” I love it when a great story is told well, and Wolkstein - who was named “the official storyteller” of New York City in the late 1960’s - is that city’s greatest treasure.
In addition to four stories mentioned by Phillip David Morgan, the cassette includes the immortal “The Nightingale” and the short and lovely “Dance, Dance Dolly Mine”