Shonaleigh’s Diary


Jul
20
Fri
2018
Festival at the Edge 2018
Jul 20 – Jul 22 all-day
Festival at the Edge 2018 @ Alderford Lake

Join us for superb storytelling and music in the beautiful unspoilt landscape of North Shropshire.

Tremendous tales, from terrific tellers. Festival at the Edge strives to bring you the very best in traditional, and contemporary storytelling from the British Isles, and around the globe.

Stories that will make you think, make you happy, make you sad, make you laugh out loud. There really is something for everyone.

As well as storytelling, Festival at the Edge features live music, dance artists and morris troops, performing throughout the weekend.

Jul
25
Wed
2018
Expedition Ameland Summer 2018, Netherlands
Jul 25 all-day
Expedition Ameland Summer 2018, Netherlands

The events programmed by Expedition Ameland continue with English language stories by Shonaleigh. In the summer of 2018, you can come and listen to multilingual stories in the museums of Ameland every Wednesday afternoon. Six international storytellers found inspiration in whaler Hidde Dirks Kat’s journal from 1818. Listen, shiver, and enjoy

During the main season, the Amelander Museums are organising performances by international storytellers every Wednesday afternoon. The museums attract lots of visitors in the summer, mostly from the Netherlands and Germany, so it’s great to tell an Ameland story in a way that everyone can understand. To compose these performances, ‘Op Verhaal’ storyteller Frank Belt therefore sought cooperation with the German Netzwerk Erzählen (connected with the Remscheid Academy and the Berlin Free University) and the multi-lingual Feuerspuren festival in Bremen, a task in which he was supported by FEST, the European organisation of storytellers.

Find out more at lanfantaal.com/project/expedition-ameland

Programme

(Times are CEST)

2pm – 4pm Nes Nature Centre

8pm to 10pm, Hollum Lighthouse

Info and ticket sales:
Info: www.eilandvan.nl and www.amelandermusea.nl
Ticket sales: the Amelander Museums (your entrance ticket to the museum includes the storytelling programme.)

Aug
4
Sat
2018
Walking The Wild Woods, Year 3
Aug 4 – Aug 10 all-day
Walking The Wild Woods, Year 3 @ Emerson College
Wildwoods is a three year part time course with four one week residential courses, which will introduce you to a new way of thinking about stories and your approach to them. We will walk with the Druts’yla tradition, identify key points of the midrash and learn how stories are held, unpeeled, understood and internalised on a practical and holistic level.

** ALL PLACES FOR 2018 HAVE NOW BEEN ALLOCATED. APPLICATIONS FOR 2019 OPEN IN SEPTEMBER. TO BE ADDED TO THE 2018 WAITING LIST EMAIL YOUR APPLICATION TO ADMIN@SCHOOLOFSTORYTELLING.COM **

Year Three

Bridging The Worlds
Bud and Bloom
Midrash technique, the deconstruction and reassembling of the story to enable both storyteller and audience/participant to connect with various view points.
Five view points, fifteen questions, multiple riddles
Moving from the cerebral landscape  to the physical and the bridges in between
Working with story within the practitioners chosen field. i.e. education, community projects, library services, health, and performance.

In addition there are regular quests and tasks to be completed throughout the year and which form an intrinsic part of the training.
The course is by invitation or application ONLY.

Shonaleigh is happy to discuss your application if you have questions or would like further details before applying. You can email admin@schoolofstorytelling.com and we will send you her contact details.

You need to have a regular creative practice and are advised to take a course with Shonaleigh before applying. Creative Writing and Narrative Arts is particularly recommended.

Aug
11
Sat
2018
Llangwm Literary Festival 2018 – The Golem
Aug 11 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Llangwm Literary Festival 2018 - The Golem @ Llangwm Village Hall

Among the stories of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel there are many tales of wonder, wit and wisdom. But one of the strangest has to be the story of the Golem of Prague. In the time of the Emperor Rudolf II, the Jewish community of Prague suffered great persecution. Each Passover, the Jewish Quarter lived in fear of pogroms, the pretext for these being the notorious blood-libel – the slanderous rumour that Jews used the blood of Christian children to bake the matzos, the unleavened Passover bread. The Emperor could not, or would not, protect the community. So the Maharal made a Golem, a man-made man, from the clay of the Vltava river, to protect the community in times of trouble: a Golem upon whose forehead was written the Hebrew word emet, meaning truth; a Golem who had the unutterable Name of the Most High on a parchment placed upon his tongue – giving him just life enough to obey his human creator, but no other sense of right or wrong.
Each night Rabbi Loew removed the Name of the Most High from the Golem’s tongue, and he slept.
But one night – so some stories say – Rabbi Loew forgot to remove the Name …
My bubbe would often say that every Jewish child was told the story of the Golem of Prague. She would always finish by telling me: He sleeps beneath the leaves – until we need him. When I was a little girl I would spend hours kicking up the leaves in the forest, hoping to find him. What little girl doesn’t need a knight in clay armour? But I never found him.
Years later, I realized that I had probably mistaken her point. I had always thought my bubbe had meant leaves from trees, but for her the leaves were pages of books and scrolls. For according to one legend the Golem sleeps in the attic of the synagogue in Prague, where the old books were stored. She had been telling me that the Golem lies asleep beneath old words.
And so I think he may.

This story of The Golem will be followed by a short-break before a half-hour or so conversational discussion about the Drut’syla storytelling tradition.

“You hear people talking about the storytelling revival, but in Jewish culture it never died. From the age of four I lived and breathed the tales of my childhood, unaware that there was anything unusual. I thought this was quite normal and that all storytellers had this background … It was quite routine for me to fall asleep at night listening to songs and stories in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Dutch and Turkish – a wonderful colourful mix,” Shonaleigh.

Venue

Llangwm Village Hall, Llangwm

Time

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm followed by a short break after which Shonaleigh will talk about the Drut’syla storytelling tradition

Aug
13
Mon
2018
Word Dancing, Creative Writing and Storytelling
Aug 13 @ 10:00 am – Aug 17 @ 4:00 pm
Word Dancing, Creative Writing and Storytelling @ Emerson College

A five-day introductory course to the drut’ syla midrash – the hereditary training of traditional Jewish women storytellers for storytellers, writers and creatives from any discipline who use narrative or stories as an inspiration.
This course will give you the tools to create a piece of work to tell your story in whatever medium you choose. We will explore ways in which the drut’syla’s methods and approaches can be adapted practically to creative writing, storytelling and the contemporary arts.

We invite you to come prepared with a piece of prose/ poetry or a traditional folk tale by this we mean a short story from an oral tradition, (preferably your own) that contains no magic – literally a tale of the folk, for example a trickster tale not tales such as Little Red Riding Hood or Sleeping Beauty which contain magic. Further details will be emailed to you in the welcome letter.

Aug
17
Fri
2018
The Cloth of Hope and Sorrow – Teller, Tale and Tradition Weekend
Aug 17 @ 7:30 pm – Aug 19 @ 2:30 pm

Join Teller and Tradition bearer Shonaleigh for a unique, immersive weekend of storytelling to experience a living, unbroken oral tradition. The Druts’yla tradition has been passed down from Grandmother to Granddaughter by generations of Jewish women. Around 4000 tales are held within the mind and recalled on request, using the lost art of ‘stories within stories’. This weekend is an opportunity to gain an insight into how a culture thrived before the written word became common practice.

Starting at one point in the lattice we the listeners will guide the journey through the interlinked tales, hearing stories possibly left untold for two generations. There will be time for discussion and exploration of both the tradition and the stories.

All the tellings stand alone but if you choose to journey with us on one, or more, of the weekends you will experience the thrill of old friends and foes making an appearance, and witness how the story cycles enfold one into another.

The group will be able to interact in the way it was originally intended, asking questions directly about the stories and the environment in which they were told; from finding hidden trade routes locked within the tales, to the reasons why a person might forgo a story in order to hear one of greater importance to the community.

Shonaleigh is the only known Drut’syla and the weekend will be a thoroughly unusual revival of a culture almost lost. The telling will start at 7.30pm on Friday evening and finish at noon on Sunday. It will take place within a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of cushions and sofas and tea, coffee and cake provided at regular intervals.

This is an unmissable opportunity for anyone interested in stories or in oral and lost cultures to come and help document and archive through listening, requesting stories and asking questions. There will only be sixteen places so early booking is advised.

Aug
20
Mon
2018
Walking the Wildwoods Year 1
Aug 20 – Aug 24 all-day
Walking the Wildwoods Year 1 @ Emerson College
Wildwoods is a three year part time course with four one week residential courses, which will introduce you to a new way of thinking about stories and your approach to them. We will walk with the Druts’yla tradition, identify key points of the midrash and learn how stories are held, unpeeled, understood and internalised on a practical and holistic level.

** ALL PLACES FOR 2018 HAVE NOW BEEN ALLOCATED. APPLICATIONS FOR 2019 OPEN IN SEPTEMBER. TO BE ADDED TO THE 2018 WAITING LIST EMAIL YOUR APPLICATION TO ADMIN@SCHOOLOFSTORYTELLING.COM **

Year One

Finding The Extraordinary In The Ordinary

Understanding the Root of a Tale

The beginning of the path
Unearthing the root/route
The significance of landscape and metaphor
Origins and Understanding of Myth and Wonder tale
Physical puzzles and cerebral riddles
Visualization, language and kinaesthetic learning
Introduction and step one of the Midrash

In addition there are regular quests and tasks to be completed throughout the year and which form an intrinsic part of the training.
The course is by invitation or application ONLY.

Shonaleigh is happy to discuss your application if you have questions or would like further details before applying. You can email admin@schoolofstorytelling.com and we will send you her contact details.

You need to have a regular creative practice and are advised to take a course with Shonaleigh before applying. Creative Writing and Narrative Arts is particularly recommended.

Sep
1
Sat
2018
The Red Alachigh, Ashburton – The Emerald Sea
Sep 1 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Red Alachigh, Ashburton - The Emerald Sea @ Sands School Ashburton

Prince Rahab’s kingdom is threatened. The power which, from the beginning of time, has held destructive waters in check depends on the inscription of an unutterable name, and the name is being erased.

Rahab and his Queen must make a sacrifice to save the kingdom, but the prince has been imprisoned by a woman who has been done a terrible wrong, and the queen is on a quest to find him.

This is a rare and unique chance to hear these ancient tales in the light and on the tongue, stories untold for two generations and barely spoken of for decades.

Shonaleigh is a Druts’yla, and carries a living unbroken oral tradition passed down from Grandmother to Granddaughter by generations of Jewish women. Shonaleigh knows around four thousand tales that she can recall on request, using the lost art of ‘stories within stories’.

To Find Out More – Click Here

Sep
14
Fri
2018
Tobias and the Snow Tear: Teller, Tales, Tradition on the move at Wimbledon Park, London
Sep 14 @ 6:00 pm – Sep 16 @ 2:00 pm
Tobias and the Snow Tear: Teller, Tales, Tradition on the move at Wimbledon Park, London @ Casa Templo Setting

Join us for a weekend-long story told by a living tradition bearer, Drut’syla Shonaleigh Cumbers, part of a series of extended storytelling sessions taking place in 2018.

Tobias and the Snow Tear is one of five stories in The Gem Cycle. The Gem Cycle is one of twelve epic cycles of stories which have been passed down by generations of Jewish women from Grandmother to Grandaughter in the Drut’syla tradition. Tobias owes a debt to a Fire Wolf, a creature of darkness, once human, who has committed a series of such terrible deeds that their soul has become seared and they have been transformed to a fearsome creature of fire and darkness whose primal scream, when let out at full voice, has the power to kill everyone and everything in earshot. They are doomed to eternal damnation unless … and it’s a long shot. They sacrifice themselves for another in one selfless act, never knowing whether it will be enough to redeem them. At their death, they release a snow tear which contains seven seeds of redemption. Should the snow tears survive being eaten by an ogre – for snow tears, which quench unquenchable hunger, are an ogre’s favourite food – and are collected by a person who owes the fire wolf a debt and who agrees to try to undo the wrongs the fire wolf has committed, then a fire wolf has the chance to regain his soul. Tobias is such a man – to repay the debt he owes the fire wolf, he takes on the quest of trying to right the wrongs that brought the fire wolf into existence. Tobias and the Snow Tear is the story of his quest. As for whether he is successful or not, well, that would be telling … but what I can guarantee is that it’s touch and go … join Tobias on his journey and find out what happens for yourself.

Shonaleigh was taught by her Bubbe (grandmother) so this is a rare opportunity to experience an weekend of storytelling from a living, unbroken oral tradition.

Starting at one point in the lattice, we the listeners, will guide the journey through the interlinked tales, hearing stories possibly left untold for two generations.

We will also take time to discuss both the tradition and the issues raised by the stories and explore how the wisdom of these stories can help us navigate life in the 21st Century, and build stronger communities, whatever our location, situation, and whatever our faith or belief system.

The tellings will take place within a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of cushions and chairs. A range of snacks (including gluten and dairy free ones), tea, coffee and soft drinks will be available throughout the event, included in the admission price. BYOB. You are welcome to bring quiet crafts (that will not disturb others) such as knitting, crochet, embroidery etc.

Programme

Friday 14 September 2018

Doors open from 6:00 pm
Telling starts at 7:30 pm
Telling ends around 10:00 or 10:30 pm

Saturday 15 September 2018

Doors open at 9:00 am – morning tea, coffee and snacks available
Telling restarts at 10:00 am interspersed with coffee, lunch, and tea breaks
Telling ends around 5:30 pm

Doors open to larger group at 6:30 pm
Telling restarts at 7:30 pm
Telling ends at 10:00 or 10:30 pm

Sunday 16 September 2018

Doors open at 9:00 am – morning tea, coffee and snacks available
Telling restarts at 10:00 am, interspersed with coffee break, going through to lunchtime.

A range of snacks (including gluten and dairy free ones), tea, coffee and soft drinks will be available throughout the event, included in the admission price. BYOB.

Numbers are limited to 16 so we urge you to book soon if you would like to join us.

Stories within stories

In the Drut’syla tradition, around 4,000 tales are held within the mind and recalled on request, in a networked lattice of ‘stories within stories’. This weekend is an opportunity to gain an insight into how a culture thrived before the written word became common practice.

Questions

Told over centuries these stories have a timeless, universal resonance for all of us, men and women, young and old, survivors and seekers. The group will interact with the story in the way it was originally intended, with listeners encouraged to ask questions directly about the stories and the environment in which they were told. We may find hidden trade routes locked within the tales, discuss the reasons why a person might forego a story in order to hear one of greater importance to the community or be prompted to engage in philosophical discussions by issues raised within the stories.

The Last Drut’syla?

Shonaleigh is the only known Drut’syla having learnt the stories from her Bubbe (grandmother) and the weekend will be a thoroughly unusual revival of a culture almost lost. This is an unmissable opportunity for anyone interested in stories or in oral and lost cultures to come and help document and archive through listening, requesting stories and asking questions.

What is a Casa Templo Setting?

The Casa Templo concept is a simple concept which started in South America. It defines a domestic space in which people gather to celebrate life as a community. LifeLore Casa Templo events are inspired by this model, and are hosted in the light of three universal principles: goodness, truth, and harmony which the people present balance in their own ways to guide the quality of their individual and collective actions throughout the event..

Sep
18
Tue
2018
Teaching, Derby University
Sep 18 all-day

Teaching at Derby University.

Associate Lecturer in the Creative Writing Department.

Teaching ‘Ancient Forms’ Module.