Stories For Grown Ups
Judith’s stories include explorations into the mythic and dissections of the minuscule, with traditional and original material available for all age groupings. Well known for stories sculpted from her own observed life, subjects such as patient (or the attempt at it) parenting, disasters in dating land, aging and even helping elders through their last journey, are no strangers to her repertoire.
Her son’s path through the ranks of football playing and into the US Marines has been the source of much comedy and a template for human growth and development. One of these tales appears in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and many of them are on her recordings.
Her original tales sculpted from authentic history bring alive our national past. From riding aboard the USS Constitution during the War of 1812, to living in Yankee occupied TN, to meeting the women who kept the factories buzzing during WWII, these stories will offer you a new perspective on the people and events that have shaped us. For a full listing of her HISTORY STORIES: Judith has appeared at theaters, festivals, and conferences throughout the world. For a full biography: https://storiesalive.com/bio.html
Full theatrical programs are described followed by an abridged listing of individual stories. Judith is also available to create original stories for agencies and institutions, special occasions and celebrations, and to augment knowledge management. For more about commissioned stories: https://storiesalive.com/CommissionStory.html
“Judith Black should be sought after by one and all for her wisdom, for her wit, for the risks she takes on stage and for her genuine warmth which she abundantly shares with one and all.”
– THE BOSTON GLOBE
Retiring the Champ: Coaching Life’s Last Big Bout
When Michael discovers he is the only one available to guide his mother through the maze of Alzheimer’s and into death, he feels the same thrill you and I might at the prospect of going for a root canal. You are hereby invited to take this journey; the physical one from downsizing and dealing with the medical and elder care establishment, the social one involving the delicate weave of family relationships and the spiritual one that takes this son from angry boy to soulful adult.
Full Show:1 hr. 35 minutes plus intermission Abridged Version Available, Frequently used for medical,geriatric, and hospice care training:
Women, yearning for some comedic empowerment as you barrel towards the far end of your ‘genital functions?’ Men, trying to figure out how to support your beloved through these years? Nationally acclaimed storyteller, Judith Black, has shaped a night of riveting and hilarious theater. Full Show 1 hr 15 min.
This is the thinking woman’s version of Menopause: The Musical,…….
Black is a warm and dynamic storyteller …….Smart and undeniably funny
The Orlando Sentinel
Bittersweet Midnight’s’: Women’s Walks on the Dark Side
Features funny, ironic, and moving journeys both past and present. You will walk with accused witch, Mammy Redd on Old Burial Hill and through the music of Betsy Rose be transported to a time when the ocean’s healing power ruled the coast and the Calvinist caused havoc on the land. The second act explores a trilogy of female appetites; compulsive eating, sexual fantasies and our relationships with our mothers. Not to be missed! Full Show 1 hr. 50 min.
…. local history with all the intensity and scandal that historians and historical societies too often feel compelled to expurgate. Black embodies a dozen characters from Salem and Marblehead with glee and grit, telling the well-known stories of witches and sea captains and fishermen’s wives with whiplash inducing impressionism.
NORTH SHORE ART THROB
The enthusiastic audience delivered a hearty standing ovation.
World of Tales
From the love stories of our immigrant great grandmothers, to the wisdom of ancient folk lore, and from the hard earned lessons taught to us by our children, to adult yearnings at the sight of our muscled window washers, these tales will have you laughing until your sides hurt and sighing in recognition of our shared humanity condition.
Specific tales and running time are flexible.
Black has culled the minefields of childhood and elevated them through her storytelling to a level of universal experience that is not only painful and poignant, but gut-wrenchingly hilarious. The Boston Globe
She received a standing ovation after her engrossing, often hilarious,and in the end poignant portrait of a contemporary urban romance. Chicago Tribune
This program is a standing ovation to the lives of women. We begin in the ancient past finding out how Mrs. Noah (of the ark’s fame) finally got her own name, explore the intricacies of relationships with our adult parents, contemplate how our children draw us into places and experiences we would never have gone, willingly, and laugh at our own aging. It happens, whether we like it or not!
running time is variable
Esau My Son:
In a family of ‘Jacobs’ the intellectual inheritors of the tribe and tradition, what happens when you birth an ‘Esau,’ a hairy lover of meat and hunting? This very funny and poignant tale for parents, educators, and teens struggling to make meaning of their lives, is about the barbed wire of parenting, and how our children, if we listen and learn, eventually teach us who they are and how to nurture them. It includes 8 broadway parodies, and appeals to the musical lover in all of us.
running time 1 hour
This story, besides being outrageously entertaining, is well used as a training tool for psychologists, counselors, and educators.
An Abridged List of Judith’s Stories for Grown Ups
HUNGRY: What happens when compulsive over eater, Esther, and perfectionist/anorexic Katherine, are called to work on a committee together, is the stuff of comedy and horror. For anyone who struggles with food, this tale will offer a mirror of our lives and a window onto hope. 20 minutes
Hungry: Teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=WLlEmNVDxUk
Whole Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=X8KXe4nNDT8
Generations of children have read about the innocent Snow White and her jealous and vindictive mother. This story appears in hundreds of forms throughout the world and in every one the beautiful pubescent girl is deified and the aging mother is vilified. It’s about time we heard it from the mothers vantage point and that’s exactly what this tale does.
(Adult language and experiences) 15 minutes
Who do you think figured out that the carnivores and vegetarians should sleep on separate decks, organized the morning aerobics, ran things on the Ark when Noah collapsed from sea sickness? It’s time she received her own name! 15 minutes
What is a post-feminist, pacifist, mother to do when football is her son’s only passion?
Need a super heroine to model your ‘golden years’ after? Here she is. Taking on pharmaceutical giants, middle aged men who leave their loyal wives for aerobic instructors, and discovering seasoned love, the Queen will also win your heart. 20 minutes
Goodbye Mom: Some relationships take a lifetime to understand. By helping her mother through the end of her life, Judith invites us to laugh at the ironies that keep us from loving and sigh in the recognition of our shared quirks, long held resentments, and reluctant walks towards familial peace. 20 minutes
Goodbye Mom Teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LP7De8E2ecM
How The Kid Got Religion: Your children were born to question your every belief! The convoluted paths and reasoning we use to keep them invested in the faith of their fathers and mothers is sometimes trumped by the simplest realities. 20 minutes
Marjorie’s New Reign/Rain:
A modern fairy tale about the ‘change’ and what it takes for a woman to reclaim her life. 25 minutes
Did you ever wonder how old souls are called from the heavens and back to do duty on this earth? This tale explains the miracle. 8 minutes
The 5 minute story that won the 2010 Mass Mouth Story slam is about a mother in an airport waiting room, anticipating the arrival of her son from combat duty in Iraq. Homecoming Video:
Homecoming Audio file:https://storiesalive.com/images/JudithBlack-Story.m4a
The frustration of being an educator in a community under economic, social, and often, racial, duress is a theme that runs through too many teachers’ lives. This is a story that struggles with our humble attempts to leave our students emotionally and intellectually more grounded than we found them. 35 minutes
Judith’s award winning stories grounded in our national history have been commissioned by organizations as far reaching at NPR, The Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, The US Dept. of the Interior, and many others. From climbing the mizzen mast of Old Iron Sides, to living in a Yankee occupied TN town during the Civil War, to celebrating the women that ‘manned’ the American factories during WWII, these stories offer a new, human vantage point on times and places you thought you knew.