Storytelling Programs

Nancy Marie Payne concentrates on two areas of programing.

Traditional Stories

Fairy tales, fables, legends and myths are not only for young audiences. They hold universal truths of love, loyalty and triumph over adversity. The difference is not in the tale, but in the telling.

Ruslan and Ludmilla

Nancy's adaptation of the Russian Folk tale by Alexander Pushkin. It is a saga of honor, courage and love; betrayal, wizards and witches; dragons, steeds and giants – Oh My!

For middle school through adult audiences. One hour in length.

The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

The 1800's were a time of increased immigration, overpopulation in the cities and abandoned children. Civil unrest and civil disobedience surrounded the Civil War years and women were expanding their horizons. Nancy Marie brings this era to life through her characterizations.

Remember the Ladies: The Struggle for Equality

Storyteller Nancy Marie Payne tells the stories of farsighted women who started and sustained the equal rights movement from the fated meeting of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott to the passing of the long delayed 19th Amendment.

6th grade and up. Flexible in length.

Orphan Trains Stories

The 1800's were a time of increased immigration, overpopulation in the cities and abandoned children. Each of these stories tell of the adventures of New York City children, victims of their era, who took a hand in their own destinies.

How I Came to Dowagiac

In 1854 ten year old Elsie Dowdel finds herself living on the streets of New York City. She and an orphan girl who helped her, are taken in by the Children's Aid Society. Their adventures continue as they travel by boat to Albany and by train across the state to, hopefully, find a new life.

(See book top left)

The O'Shawnesseys and Their Trains

Five immigrant children, separated by tragedy, find their lives changed by trains. The story is told by the girls and introduces the listener to life in the 1880's and 1890's.

Suitable for all audiences and flexible in length.

Railroad to Freedom

Underground Railroad station master Ann Wilber tells stories of courage and determination as blacks and whites help fugitives from slavery. This program includes local as well as national events.

Railroad to Freedom is a story of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. Their courage flew in the face of an injustice that stunted the growth of a nation -- an injustice that denied basic human rights to a large portion of its people.

Suitable for all audiences and flexible in length.

Women in Aviation: The Pioneer Days

Women who took up flying in the early 1900's had to handle prejudice as well as their aircraft. Common public sentiment in the early days of flying stated that when a man died in an aircraft, it was a shame, he knew what he was getting into and he was a hero for breaking new ground. When a woman died in a plane accident, it was proof positive she shouldn't have been flying in the first place.

Storyteller Nancy Marie Payne brings this exciting time alive through the voice of Pancho Barnes, one of the colorful and innovative female pilots of the 1920's.

Nancy, as Pancho, relates the story of first flight from a woman's perspective. "Pancho" tells her own colorful story as well as the exploits of early balloonists and aviators, including Ruth Law, Harriet Quimby, Bessie Colman, Bobbi Trout, Amelia Earhart and others.

Suitable for all ages and flexible in length.


For Students

Workshop members are involved, active and interactive. Curriculum Correlation: Language Arts and Literature.

Grades K-3
Workshops include: What is a Story? - Structure, Parts and Kinds. Presented in performance.
Two hours.

Grades 4-8
Workshops include Stories - Parts, Structures, Kinds, Learning a Story and Performance.
Three days or 15 hours.

Nancy Marie Payne is listed with BOCES Arts and Enrichment.

For Adults

Information available upon request.


Please feel free to contact Nancy:
658 Sickle Hill Road, Berne, NY 12023
(518) 872-2209