New York Lore
Students go on a tour in tales of New York. Selections follow the curriculum and your interests. ---
Native, Explorers, Colonial, Revolutionary, the Erie Canal, Universal Suffrage, the Environmental Movement and more.
Look forward to lively interactive stories, a skit, a song, turn & talk, and a Q & A.
Ask for up to four in-class workshops
to follow up on the performances. Students discover and learn to use primary sources from the stories performed to launch a writing activity. Ask for a persuasive letter, questions for a historic figure, or an "I was there eye witness" story-making.
$450 For one assembly performance of about fifty minutes.
$ 75 for each class workshops up to four a day
Jonathan Kruk turns New York’s history into stories for students. A master storyteller, selected “Best in the Hudson Valley,” author of two History Press books he performs fifty solo shows annually for Historic Hudson Valley’s “Irving’s Legend.” Drawing from primary sources, Jonathan's programs enchants all with drama, skits, and voices from long ago. Appearing in period garb, colonial to 19th century, he tailors his work to your curriculum interests and locale. Scroll down to see how “New York Lore” meets and exceeds state common core requirements.
New York’s unique history offers Native American wisdom, Dutch, British and French influence, and the “Turning Point of the American Revolution.” The “Empire State” also launched revolutions in industry, art, human rights, and the environment. A performance of New York’s stories makes memorable our state’s heritage and your social studies curriculum. Ask to include local lore in the program.
These historic figures often appear in “New York’s Lore;” Henry Hudson, Peter Stuyvesant, Anne Hutchinson, Mehitabel Prendergast, Alexander Hamilton, Robert Fulton, Washington Irving, Sybil Luddington, Sojourner Truth, the Roosevelts, Pete Seeger, Franny Reese. Ask for for a tale of your local hero!
Native & Colonial Tales
This Algonquin Native American creation myth myth of the Hudson River has an inspirational touch from Pete Seeger. Long ago a giant slept, creating a huge lake. The water drew animals, hunter-gatherers, thanks from “The People”. Alas, they stopped showing respect and the giant stood up. The river that flows both ways, formed., now known as the Hudson. Listeners link arms and “make” the river too! Students learn Mahican Native people’s point of view. They will better understand New York’s geography, myth, and environmental protection.
Hudson’s Northwest Passage to the North River
Minuet Buys Manhattan
Madame Brett & the Pirates
1720 Bold and brazen Dutchess first real land owner defied male culture, thick forests, isolation, Indians and here, pirates. Helped by her sons Rivery & Robert, this single mom flummoxes treasure thieves. We get a look at the dangers of colonial life, and there’s a glimpse of a ghost.
The Concealment Shoe
Imp of Donder Berg
Adapted from local lore and Washington Irving, a bullying Sloop Skipper ignores his Dutch crew’s demand that he salute Hudson Highland spirits. Aided by “Mother Cronk, Witch on the Hudson” the spirits get back at the disrespectful skipper! Creates a picture of the dangers facing ships on the Hudson, and local geography too.
This is the story of a famed song written on the banks of the Hudson, by a British Doctor during the French-Indian War, to tease the Connecticut militia for their humble condition. It dramatizes the meaning of “Yankee” “Doodle” “Macaroni” and why the song best represents the new and continuing American spirit of liberty for all.
Loyalist or Patriot?
A quick debate between Rev. Seabury and Alexander Hamilton dramatizing reasons to rebell or preserve the King. "Do you want mob rule?" 'Do you want independence?'
Arnold & Andre
After the British won the Battle of the Hudson Highlands, their General Clinton dispatched messenger. He got lost, but soon found some soldiers in red coats. They sent him to General Clinton. Unfortunately for the messenger, this general was American! The poor fellow tried to swallow his note, but twice it was forced up. Students may do a drama reading of letters reporting on this incident.
The Gathering Storm
Soldiers rebelling for back pay! A call for Washington to declare himself King! This story shows how General George became the “Father of our Country”, holding things together at the Revolution’s end. Events took place in and around Newburgh!
The Burning of Kingston
Oct 1777 British soldiers seeking to end the new government of New York, burned Kingston. Legend has it a young woman helped save many American Patriots by sneaking off with lists of their names. This tale recounts her adventure.
Sybil Ludington’s Revered Ride
Rip Van Winkle
Washington Irving’s classic! Set somewhere near the Catskills, Rip sets out to escape his wife and Colonial chores,and ends up sleeping right into a new country. Activities - Discuss what had changed in America during Rip’s twenty year sleep. What do you think really happened to Rip? Who were those little men? Was Rip’s wife right?
Industrial & Environmental Tales
Saving Storm King
When Squirrel Was Big as Bear and Red as Fox
Inspired by a tale from the Ramapough Mountain People - Animals teach us to stop bullying and teasing and get along in this lively silly skit from the Ramapo mountains.
The rousing story of a dutch slave who fought for freedom famously declaring "Ain't I a woman?