March 2018 : Nana Oni shared tales from Liberia, Nigeria, & Gambia.
Also a display of cultural artifacts from Zimbabwe & Ghana.
Enjoyed hearing tales of Aesop, The African storyteller. Also, learning about Anansi, who came from Africa to the Caribbean and shared his wisdom with the world.
Enriching the lives of young scholar's everywhere!
In 2016, Oni Lasana came in 1st place in the Story Slam at the 24th Annual New Jersey Storytelling Festival at Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey
"Oni, you rose the bar!"....Denise McCormack, president of Patchwork, A Storytelling Guild (right of Oni with runner ups)
L-R: Caroliese Frink-Reed, Oni Lasana (President 2006), Charlotte Blake Alston, Jawara Bishop, Thelma Robinson, Abiodun, Pauline Cohen, Atiya Ola, Doni Johnson & Ron Carter
Telling "Little Apple Tree" - New Jersey Storytelling Festival at Grounds For Sculpture, NJ 2016
"Cause your a shinning star, no matter who you are"
Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire
"My greatest desire as a storyteller and poet, is to highlight the fruitage's of the spirit in all humankind: Love ~ Joy ~ Peace ~ Patience ~ Kindness ~ Goodness ~ Faith ~ Mildness ~ Self-control and I may add: Self Esteem...sprinkled with reflections on life lessons and laughter. I also enjoy re-telling and creating stories to connect local communities with world cultures."
Oni wrote and arranged a revision of Itsy Btsy Spider with her creation of "Anansi The Spider - I'm a stop crying and keep on trying" with children at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Sundays On Stage series. 10/28/2018
Music : (c) Reggae Randy
Mother Mary Carter Smith & Mama Linda Goss in Richmond, Virginia.
2012 : At Ruth Ann's Restaurant in Harlem, New York, Oni presented "Doin' Dunbar as 'Lias' Mother" at a public book signing for the iconic actress, civil rights activist and author, RUBY DEE. "In This Life Together" was written with her husband, OSSIE DAVIS.
RUBY DEE is also the author of best seller's "Two Ways To Count To Ten, a Liberian Folktale" and "My One Good Nerve." Ms. Dee enjoyed hearing Dunbar's poetry so much, she commented "I want to be like Oni when I grow up!"
May she & he Rest In Peace.
Sto'rytelling (poetic storytelling) a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Tobago Library Services, Children's Storytelling Room, Trinidad & Tobago 2017
Dr. King's stories, sermon's and speeches changed a nation.
Listen to Oni's tribute poem at poetry & video page.
Oni's "drama mama's" have produced plays and reader's theater featuring African American literature for over 30 years. The West Chester Community Performers are based in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
For upcoming performances "like" us on Facebook!
"Thank you so much for coming to our group--you are truly a find and I am glad Philly's CSP (Community Support Program) found you. You are a talented, warm and generous spirit and you were so understanding of our community. Bless you.
Michelle Davis, MBA
Public Health Program Analyst Supervisor
City of Philadelphia
DBHIDS- Operations Unit
"Storytelling can take you back to places you've never been before. So sit back and listen to a story."
"Storytelling is the lifeline to who I am, where I have come from and what road I will travel."
"I love stories that inspire, empower and teach, stories whisper a healing to the soul."
"Storytelling is an opportunity for me to preserve, reclaim and pass on the history and culture of African Americans and others through the oral tradition. For me, storytelling is an intimate way to connect with people, which I love."
"Tell a story, save a life!"
"Storytelling is Big Medicine, and Storytellers are Healers. Collected stories go into our mojo bag, and EVERYBODY loves it when the necessary medicine is laughter. BUT some of our medicines initially offend the senses when swallowed. But it's still the cure... " Ase!
A theatrical storytelling workshop & performance on how to engage and enrich all audiences with characters and story development.
Featured on November 20, 2016
GARDEN STATE STORYTELLERS LEAGUE'S TELLABRATION 2016
THE MANY MUSES OF A STORYTELLER
A theatrical storytelling delight!
Oni presented excerpts on a timeline of storytelling as NANA AESOP, 'LIAS' MOTHER, GRANNY GOOSE, to "story acitivist" MAMA EARTH.
She also introduced "Nyota Kungaa" from her "Girl Friends" program.
This interactive workshop demonstrated Oni's secrets on the development of characters, story enhancements, and audience participation with the use of poetry, story, songs and props.
Glenda-Rose Nassoma Layne, Storyteller & Director of Culture, Tobago
With his beloved wife Dr. Ruth Hill of Cambridge, Mass. Brother Blue is gone but never forgotten.
Diane Williams of Mississippi, Mitch "Grand Daddy" Capel of North Carolina with Oni & Performance Poet, Lamont " Napalm Da Bomb" Dixon of New Jersey.
A wonderful storyteller!
We had Oni visit as the Storyteller and she was simply fantastic. The children were so enthralled and excited that many of them ran up to give Oni hugs following the performance. The variety of stories told was great and her ability to connect with the children was awesome.
Reviewer: John Zimmerman
Event Date: November 24th, 2015
Event Type: School Assembly, Princeton, New Jersey
STETSON MIDDLE SCHOOL, West Chester Pennsylvania
On behalf of the Diversity Committee & Black History Program Coordinating Committee at G. A. Stetson Middle School, we thank you for your performances in our assembly program "We Are Citizens of the World Offering Hope."
Your presentation on Black American Inventors - "Did You Know?"...the Asian folktale, "War & Peace" and your original "Obama Rap" story gave our program a wonderful energy that was upbeat, yet with an informative message for all to enjoy. Your selections really connected with our theme.
This was your second time as a presenter for our Black History Assembly Program and you continue to show your sincere love and commitment to your craft. You are truly a voice of hope in our world community today. We are so pleased to know you.
Angela Williams, Assistant Principal
Dawn McNeil-McMillan, Co-Coordinator
G. A. Stetson Middle School, West Chester, Pennsylvania
2018 till March....Oni is on the island of Tobago in the Caribbean, telling stories facilitating workshops and introducing Laughter Yoga with her LOL4Real! Wellness sessions!
Sign up for Oni's seasonal e-newsletter & to be in the know on what Oni's is up to or when she will be in your area *!*
Storytelling ~ Theatre ~ Language Arts ~ Music ~ History - Wellness
Philadelphia ~ Coatesville, Pennsylvania ~ Tobago