Press release from Rumson Country Day School
On January 17, the nursery, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade students of Rumson Country Day School were treated to the outstanding show Aesop Bops! by nationally acclaimed storyteller, musician and poet David Gonzalez. Using different voices, movements, and facial expressions, Mr. Gonzalez delighted the young audience with three tales told in the spirit of Aesop.
“Parent Council is so pleased to sponsor this event as a way to enrich the academic experiences of our youngest students,” said Parent Council President Jennifer Steiner Crowell ’88. “It’s never too early to expose students to the performing arts while reinforcing the RCDS philosophy.”
Aside from being vastly entertaining, the performance packed an educational punch that illustrated the four tenets of the RCDS philosophy: Kind, Honest, Responsible and Respectful. The messages were artfully woven into hilarious, animated stories that engaged everyone in the auditorium and were delivered in the context of three classic stories including The Lion and the Mouse (Aesop), The Fisherman and His Wife (Brothers Grimm), and The Turtle’s Shell (Aesop fable combined with a South American folk tale). The last story was an origin story, also known as a pourquoi story, that is a fictional narrative explaining why something is the way it is, in this case, why a turtle’s shell has its particular design.
“Mr. David Gonzalez easily had all the children engaged in his storytelling through repetitive verse and mirroring his gestures,” remarked Head of Lower School Jayne Carmody. “His creative energy filled the room, and the children were mesmerized by all three stories.”
With speech, sound, mime, comic timing, dance and his special brand of magical imagination, David Gonzalez has performed before more than 5,000 audiences worldwide. From London’s Royal National Theater, to Broadway, to hundreds of schools across the country, the gifted storyteller has received numerous awards including a 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from International Performing Arts for Youth. In 2006, he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award, was a featured performer at the 2007 National Storytelling Festival, and a Joseph Campbell Foundation Fellow. He has created numerous theatrical productions that have been performed at some of the best performing arts centers, theaters, and festivals in the U.S. including Lincoln Center in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Mr. Gonzalez received his doctorate in Music Therapy from New York University’s School of Education.