Storyteller Susan Gordon Presents ‘Tales from the Brothers Grimm, and Beyond’

Posted: December 7, 2009 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: December 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm

The Department of English and the Mason Folklore Program invite all to hear storyteller Susan Gordon, who will present “Tales from the Brothers Grimm, and Beyond” on Monday, Dec. 7, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Research I, Room 163, on the Fairfax Campus.

The program is free and open to the public.

The evening will feature tales for adults from the Brothers Grimm and beyond, as well as a conversation about storytelling as a healing art, especially in therapeutic settings.

Gordon, a professional storyteller from Ijamsville, Md., will tell three stories:

“Nya Nya”
The Paramount Chief, jealous of his stepdaughter Kitila, calls for his huntsmen to search for the monster, slice off his hideous skin and wrap the skin forever around Kitila. How can she become herself again?

“Shudder and Shake”
A young man thought to be a simpleton by his enraged father is booted out of his home after admitting that he has no fears and that his goal in life was to learn how to shudder and shake. His journey takes him to a dark glen where the dead bodies hang in the trees above him and to an abandoned castle.

“The Handless Maiden”
A father cuts off his daughter’s hands to save himself from the Devil, as the mother stands by. The daughter leaves home, meets a loving king who marries her and gives her silver hands. But the Devil intervenes, and once again she has to flee — this time with her baby son. Then, in a green and growing wood, her life changes forever.

Gordon does much of her work in therapeutic settings. She has designed storytelling programs and related activities for the elderly, emotionally handicapped children, female inmates, adolescent boys in residential treatment centers and survivors and perpetrators of sexual abuse.

Currently, she leads several groups of storytelling for women exploring their life journeys, and she tells stories to terminally ill children as part of the Georgetown University Hospital’s Children’s Program.

A performer of national stature, she has recently told her tales at American University and the Washington Storytellers Theatre. An employee of the Frederick County Health Department, Gordon holds an MA degree in therapeutic storytelling from Antioch College.

For more information, contact Margaret Yocom, associate professor of English, myocom@gmu.edu, 703-993-1172.

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