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May Guild Show

7:30 pm Saturday, May 11th
Winking At Life's Challenges

Who knows how to handle the silly, serious, bizarre, or bawdy challenges that life throws at us better that those who have survived them --and lived to tell the tales?

Come laugh at the story of the duplicitous –but triumphant bride. Take to heart the wisdom of Baba Yaga. Follow a vain woman from life to death and back again as she wakens to what truly matters. And follow the trials of a grumpy old contrarian who finds just the magic she needs.

As always, when a group of women of a certain age gather, there’s much to learn and much to wink at. So do come join The Crones--Barbara Fankhauser, Pam Maben, Anne Penfound and Julie Strozyk --for a night of laughter and enlightenment.

About the tellers:


Barb Fankhauser

After all these years, Barbara is more than qualified to call herself Crone.  And now that time has become such a precious commodity, she prefers to that carry the wit, wisdom and knowledge that is older, even, than herself, forward with the stories she tells.  Barbara’s most beloved tales involve goddesses and crones and wise folk who come from her own cultural roots of Scandinavia and the British Isles.

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Pam Maben

Navigating the fine line/chasm between the imaginal and the real world, between myth and truth at a deep level in stories has engaged Pam Maben for many years.  These stories bring us their treasures and can take us on far journeys of the mind and heart without ever leaving home.  Slowly but surely this path brings us nearer to wisdom.


Anne Penfound

Anne presents a unique oral interpretation of original stories and multicultural tales which have inspired audiences since 2001. Her style and quirky British humor, facial expression, voice and gestures take you right to the heart of the story. These stories fan the embers of experience and tickle our funny bone with the enjoyment of life.

Anne says, “Stories weave magic, enrich my soul and bring joy to my life.”

Additional questions and answers with reference to the upcoming Crone show in May 2024

‘Winking at Life’s Challenges’

Can you wink? I used to be quite good at winking but now, not so much. Sometimes it looks as though I am winking while chewing a sour lemon. I don’t think that would give the right impression especially if I was trying to be flirtatious.

Flirtatious? Just because I am a Crone doesn’t mean I never feel flirtatious! I can still appreciate a good-looking man even at my age!

Do you wink at life’s challenges? Sometimes I close both eyes and hope the challenges will go away.


Why oral storytelling? Storytelling gives us a chance to gather, to talk, to blether, to gossip, to have a good time, enjoy a good crack, and to pass on a good story with all its many layers from one listener to another.

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Julie Strozyk

Julie Strozyk began her storytelling career by enthralling her classmates with “scary stories” in the 6th grade.  These were extemporaneous tales of mad scientists and vampires made up on the spot.  Although encouraged by her teachers, she put aside her off-the-cuff performances to further her education. In 1986 Julie joined the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval/renaissance recreation group.  A few years later she took up storytelling again, under the name of  Dame Giuliana Benevoli, a “bard” specializing in traditional, mythological and epic tales from early cultures such as the British Isles, Russia and Italy.  She won various bardic competitions within the SCA including membership in the Order of the Laurel, the highest artistic honor.  With the help of her mentor, Leslie Slape, Julie was introduced to storytelling groups and guilds outside the society.  She is now active with the Portland Storytellers Guild. Julie enjoys traditional, historical, and personal tales that touch the heart and “give it a little squeeze,” along with poetry, music and all things beautiful.  She also spends time engaging in other arts and crafts, especially sewing, reading, playing music and attempting to be a true Renaissance Woman.

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