Diane Wolkstein: A Storytellers Story
Cloudstone, 2007, DVD (NTSC, Region 0), color, 37:02 minutes (feature). ISBN 1–879846–21–7.
Diane Wolkstein: A Storytellers Story explores the extraordinary career of one of the worlds most celebrated storytellers. In 1967, New York City offered Diane the position of Official Storyteller and she traveled throughout the city telling stories in parks, schools, and hospitals. Her commitment to the art and preservation of storytelling took her to Haiti where she collected folk tales in Creole from local storytellers. Her love of myth led her to perform and publish the first modern translation of the ancient Mesopotamian epic, Inanna. Now, more than forty years and twenty–three books later, A Storytellers Story reveals how Diane — as artist, scholar, folklorist, teacher, and cultural anthropologist — came to be at the forefront of the modern storytelling movement.
Through archival footage, in–depth interviews, and spellbinding performances, this film illuminates the power of storytelling and shows one womans courageous journey to communicate heart–to–heart.
Dianes daring, beauty, depth, delight in story and delight in bringing story to the world will fascinate everyone who watches this film. It will especially inspire current and aspiring storytellers who will greatly increase their skill and understanding of the art of storytelling. There is no film out there this one — its a treasure. — Jay OCallahan, master storyteller
A Storytellers Story definitively identifies what storytelling is and what storytelling can accomplish in human terms. Diane Wolksteins fascinating journey, as she moves gracefully through forty years of storytelling, shows us how she changed the American landscape of the oral arts. — Sue Ann Martin, Dean, Central Michigan University College of Communication and Fine Arts
DVD extras: Complete performances of the Haitian tale Im Tipingee, Shes Tipingee, Were Tipingee, Too, Hans Christian Andersens Hans Clodhopper, the Hasidic tale The Water Spirit, and the Chinese Genesis story The Dreaming; commentaries by Diane Wolkstein on her books; and a dozen additional interview segments.
This film had its world première in New York City on June 22nd, 2007.
Winner of 2008 Storytelling World Awards Honor
Official Selection: 2008 Women’s International Film Festival
2008 San Francisco International Children’s Film Festival
Cloudstone, 2007, DVD (NTSC, Region 0), color, 1 hour, 10 minutes (feature). ISBN 1–879846–20–9.
Inanna is a modern–day rendering of the 5,000 year–old Sumeriam epic. The great Sumerian goddess Inanna — the goddess of love, war, and fertility — gives up her earthly possessions and dares to journey to the Unknown. There she faces her sister and nemesis Erishkegal, the Queen of the Great Below. Told with humor and passion, this primal epic recounts the souls compelling discovery of compassion.
Diane is joined in this performance by the late composer/musician Geoffrey Gordon — an acclaimed multi–instrumentalist and world music pioneer — whose musical score evokes an atmosphere of mystery, stillness, and terror.
This specialized theater piece will have attraction for those with a keen interest in ancient civilizations, mythology, religious studies (particularly goddess worship), Middle Eastern studies, and performance arts. — Library Journal
Inanna, the bewitching and powerful goddess of the Sumerians, speaks from the heart in this wonderful production that brings her poetry and her divinity to life after millennia of silence.
— Dr. Irving Finkel, Keeper of Antiquities, British Museum, London
Theres no one like Diane Wolkstein. A totally brilliant performance. — Olympia Dukakis
Recorded live at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, April 2000.
DVD extras: Two interviews, featuring HarperCollins editor Hugh Van Dusen (4:51 min.) and Samuel Noah Kramer (23:08 min.).
Celebrating Our Mistakes
Cloudstone, 2004, DVD (NTSC, Region 0), color, 56 minutes. ISBN 1–879846–18–7.
Shlomo Carlebach and Diane Wolkstein traded stories of the Baal Shem Tov and the Seer of Lublin before an appreciative audience at New Yorks American Museum of Natural History in September of 1994. The energy radiated from the two tellers created such joy and love that members of the audience spontaneously called out LChayim! (To life!).
We hope that some of that energy — and the resulting joy and love — touches you as you enjoy Celebrating Our Mistakes.
A special essay by Diane is also provided in the package, as well as a glossary and bibliography.
…This remarkable DVD ends too soon, but it is still enough, because it is filled with enlightening, profound stories, heart stirring chants, heavenly whistling and more from both Reb Shlomo and Diane Wolkstein. Reb Shlomo leaves his audience that night, just a few dozen days from the day that he died, and says, How good it is to be alive. He then says, I bless you that every minute of your life you should be alive.… had this DVD done nothing more than to offer that blessing to all of us, it would be enough… — Arthur Kurzweil, Parabola
The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folktales, Volume 1
Musical accompaniment by Shirley Keller. Roomful of Sky Records / Cloudstone RSR 1004, 42 min.
In the 1970s, Diane traveled throughout Haiti and recorded a rich collection of Haitian folktales. With delightful musical accompaniment by Shirley Keller, Diane tells five of these stories so intimately that we feel as if she is sitting directly in front of us, inviting us into the unique culture and imagination of the Haitian people.
The spirit of Haiti comes alive in this rich collection of tales. — Booklist
Diane Wolkstein will go down as someone who made Haiti known to children and adults in America and around the world. — Raymond Joseph (former Haitian Ambassador to the United States).
A portion of the profits from the sale of this disc was earmarked for Partners in Healths Stand with Haiti initiative.
This disc was released as the first of a planned two volume series.
Psyche and Eros
Cloudstone, 2008, CD, 1 hour, 17 minutes. ISBN 1–879846–05–5.
An enchanting, spellbinding rendition of how the beautiful Psyche becomes the bride of Eros, the God of Love. Recorded live at Lawrence University, Appelton, Wisconsin. Includes two Greek love songs. Recommended for ten years and up.
Wolkstein ignites the imagination, creating emotion, character, drama, and music with her magnificent storytelling skills. — School Library Journal
The love story of Psyche and Eros is one of the most beautiful and touching stories in all of Western literature. Wolksteins performance is glorious and inspiring. — Lawrence University Alumnae Magazine
Psyche is no wimp. Shes a young woman who weeps, acts, and triumphs. — Diane Wolkstein, writing in the journal Anima
Cloudstone, 1986 (digital remaster: 2002), Compact Disc, 50:30 min. ISBN 1–879846–15–2. UPC 9 781879 846159.
First released in 1986 on analogue cassette, ISBN 1–879846–06–3.
The classic childrens album. A joyous, spellbinding collection of stories and songs which follow the seasons. Includes two tales from Arnold Lobels Frog and Toad are Friends. Accompanied by Shirley Keller on banjo and pots and pans. Recommended for three– to eight–year–olds and any parents who drive car pools. Parents Choice Gold Seal Award.
Romping is the perfect [album] to introduce your child to the joy of listening to a good story. Filled with imagination, gentleness, [and] excitement, the stories are told in a beautifully quiet and real manner, and a song comes at just the right moment. — Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
The very young will enjoy Diane Wolkstein telling tales and Shirley Keller singing songs. — The New York Times
Joseph, the Master Dreamer
Cloudstone, 1986 (digital remaster: 2003), CD, 54:10 min. ISBN 1–879846–16–0. UPC 9 781879 846166.
First released on analogue cassette as The Story of Joseph, ISBN 1–879846–08–X.
Diane weaves oral legends with the Biblical story of Joseph and his brothers. Recorded live at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Recommended for all ages and religious backgrounds.
In the stories she tells, Wolkstein reaches deeply into the treasures of world mythology. Her voice is often that of an ancient Greek chorus, intoning a wisdom that lies almost silent in the collective human consciousness… Her storytelling is both classical and primitive in its appeal. — National Storytelling Journal
Wolksteins rendition infuses the listener with the intense experiences of Josephs joys, sufferings, sorrows and rejoicings. — Catholic World
Hans Christian Andersen: Classic Stories
August House, Compact Disc, 2005 re–release, 53 minutes. First released in 1981 on Weston Woods vinyl LP and analogue cassette as Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park.
Dianes first album, featuring six Andersen stories highlighted by Shirley Keller on kazoo, kalimba, and guitar. Janet Stuart plays Danish melodies on the recorder. This allbum is considered by many to be one of the best recordings of the Danish authors immortal fairy tales. Recommended for all ages. American Library Association Notable, Parents Choice Golden Award.
I grew up believing I was the match girl, the ugly duckling, the mermaid. How wonderful to hear these stories told again, bringing me back into all the fantasy. — Liv Ullmann
Diane Wolkstein retells Andersen in her characteristically clear and measured delivery which always rings true… all are delightful. — Booklist