Saturday, July 5, 2008


Thanks for stopping by.

(NOTE on my recent performance, and talk, "Gilgamesh":  Perhaps the best testament is that at both the talk in the morning, and after the performance that evening, each audience stayed and stayed in order to discuss the power, meaning, implications, and whatever moved them.  That really says something.... that a person who carved this story into clay tablets 4500 years AGO can still speak directly to each of us, timelessly.)

Please scroll on down this pixellated parchment.  May you discover the many delights I have to offer, such as powerful historical performances, scary tales, ancient myths, and playful tales...  I aim at adult audiences, families, and kids and tailor my shows accordingly -- AND I do requests. 

ALSO!  You will find the CDs, cassettes, and booklets that I have to offer -- a way to make the stories your very own.  Please e-mail me if you have questions (

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded me their Solo Performance Fellowship  and, as you'll  discover below, I have a number of award winning CDs as well as children's booklets to offer.

Too, there are recommendations from others in the field (e.g.: "...a powerful presence..." --Jay O'Callahan") ("...simultaneously powerful and inviting" -- Michael Parent).   There is a list of favorite offerings (always expanding), and --- well, scroll on down.  It's all there.

Ah, but HERE!  Just below, is a photo of my very first solo performance as a storyteller -- self-motivated, too.  I just HAD  to tell the story of Mercury to my 6th grade classmates, and I went all out....cardboard wings and dining room drapes   AND, I've never looked back.  I was launched. 

...telling a good one from
 "Scary Stories From Around the World"


In character as "Rachel Carson" ...

Captured in the middle of  a tense theatrical moment...

After telling "Billy the Kid" at Timpanogos...

...and looking back at you!


Friday, July 4, 2008


Dedicated to the spirit of Rachel Carson and her sense of wonder, this little bedtime story simply recounts one night in the piney woods when I responded to an owl's call -- only to realize that the owl was circling in closer and closer, until he was directly overhead.  I grew frightened and though he called again, I remained silent.  I will always wonder what would have happened if I had answered that owl's last call.  It is beautifully illustrated in full-color, full-page dreamlike drawings.  $7 (incl. s/h)

I wrote this original story on request from Sage Magazine in Albuquerque, where I performed it for a Christmas pageant.  It is a touching story of a little girl and an old man at Christmastime -- in the way, and left out of all the tree-trimming excitement.  The loving grandfather takes his grand-daughter outside where, together, they decorate a tree for the animals.  They use discarded decorations and what-not, and add nuts along the ground as gifts.  But what can they use as the crowning jewel at the top?  What can be grand enough?  I am not selling it, but sharing it for s/h costs:  $3.


Adapted from the oral tradition, this is a delightful performance tale with a surprise "artifact" to be shown at the end -- proving that it is a true story!  You're welcome to take this tale and make it your own -- but never tell it without the "artifact" in your pocket!  Written and illustrated by yours truly.  $3 (s/h included).

Monday, December 10, 2007


FOR YOUNG CHILDREN -- "A Sense of Wonder"
Because the young children did NOT want to leave when I presented these stories in Boulder, I am offering, on a wider scale, my NEW program for children:  the wisdom of scientist and lover of the natural world: "Rachel Carson:  A Sense of Wonder."   Aimed at little kids and their grown-ups, this program describes delightful encounters with the natural world -- how to be quiet and be present --  and let NATURE and her animals tell YOU stories.  A sure cure for this new-fangled thing they're calling "Nature Deficit Disorder."  Come outside and be....
(NOTE: see newly released children's book, "Answer an Owl" above... dedicated to the spirit of Rachel Carson)

FOR ADULTS -- "Victoria Woodhull for President/1872"
Topical as all get out, think seriously about inviting  "Victoria Woodhull for President -1872"  to your venue!  Her running mate was Frederick Douglass, a black man.  Obama and Clinton are NOT something new.  What's more, Victoria's platform was astonishingly modern in its scope -- as well as rather shocking since one of her planks was:  free love.  Women have the right to the same sexual free-for-all as men have, said she.  I present this show in character.

FOR FAMILIES -- "The Epic of Gilgamesh"
I am personally deeply moved by the ancient tale of "Gilgamesh."   It is a 4,500 year old story describing one man's  search for immortality, from what is now Iraq.  A timeless, poetic, and powerful story,  it rocks you to your bones as the hero struggles against the inevitability of death -- both of those he loves and his own.  As a king, he is powerful, reckless, and arrogant, but when his best friend dies, he fights against fate.  Embittered and crazed with grief he makes his way to the ends of the earth seeking immortality -- and finally comes to terms with it all. You will recognize yourself here.


Featured in festivals from New England to New Zealand, Sara is the daughter and granddaughter of performing storytellers.  Sara has traveled worldwide in learning her craft.  Her "excellent sense of pace and dramatic tension" (NEA) won her a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Performance Fellowship in 1991.  Her international experience exhibits itself in her eclectic performances.  With a hint of the brogue in her masterful portrayal of Celtic mystery, she draws her audience into ancient Irish legends, while her powerful portrayals of Kali, Shiva and the Ramayana gain an authentic feel from her years in India.

Using voice and posture, Sara has mastered the "quicksilver transformations" (NEA) that can mesmerize an audience.  Involving the audience as she performs, she is indeed "a compelling presence, representing the art of storytelling at its best." (Sidney Brien, Boston Institute of the Arts)

With a lifetime of professional experience, Sara has developed a vast repertoire.  Besides presenting concert-length solo shows for adults, she has taught 2-3 week workshops to retirees.  She taught music/drama in schools for eight years and has been on various school-based artist-in-residence programs across the nation beginning in  1980.

Performances, workshops, residencies, and festivals--she will tailor her repertoire to your theme.  



These recordings are available for purchase, $15 plus $3 s/h. PayPal accepted. Please contact me through this blog:

The dramatic telling of the life of the west's most famous outlaw - a charming, intelligent kid who loved to dance and sing, a kid who couldn't keep out of trouble, a kid no jail could hold. Gripping and dramatic telling. Historically accurate. Available on CD and cassette. This recording received a coveted Parents' Choice Award.

Eight stories from around the world, posing questions like... ...why do the Costa Ricans say you must never travel alone late at night? ...what is widdershins and why does it scare the Scots? ...would you shudder with the Africans when they encounter talking skulls? ...or shiver with the Chinese and Japanese as they cross misty bridges at night? ...what becomes of the arrogant among the Native Americans? ...and what really scares a punk in Australia, a kid who said he wasn't scared of nothin'? DOES WHAT SCARES THEM SCARE YOU? This CD received a coveted Parents' Choice Award.

THE SUNDARAKAND ( "The Beautiful Story" )
From India, a retelling of the most beloved chapter of the Tulsidas "Ramayana." This chapter tells the story of Hanuman, the monkey god, and his search for the kidnapped princess Sita who is held captive by the demon king, Ravana. Funny at times, dramatic, poignant... This telling is a direct translation from the lyrically poetic original text.

A delightful collection of audience participation stories collected from numerous African countries. Each object on the teller's storystick represents a story, from the trickeries of Anansi to the last-minute cleverness of a little monkey... The stories invite audience participation. Seven stories. Available on CD and cassette!



The true story, powerfully told, of a black woman who walked out of slavery, and traversed the nation spreading her truth. She faced down lynch mobs, met Abraham Lincoln, and impressed all who met her. It is a privilege for me to tell her story. This CD received a coveted  Storytelling World Honor Award.  In performing it live,  I was awarded a Solo Performance Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.


2004 Parents’ Choice Award ("Scary Stories from Around the World)
2002 Storytelling World Honor Award ("Sojourner Truth")
1996 Parents’ Choice Award ("Billy the Kid")
1991 National Endowment for the Arts Solo Performance Artist Fellowship Grant

"high-ranking performer"
--National Endowment for the Arts

"Scary Stories.." CD: "Perhaps more mysterious than scary, this collection will entertain listeners who want a chill bump or two without accompanying nightmares. Ransom wisely selected stories without the distasteful gore or violence that seeps into so many entertainment programs labeled as “scary.” Parents can rest easy with this diverse collection of tales found in a variety of cultures."
--Parents’ Choice Reviewer

"Ransom’s remarkable talent as an actress and storyteller was evident from the first moment of her first story."
--The Santa Fe Reporter, Santa Fe, New Mexico

"I was so thoroughly engaged that I lost track of time."
--James Nave, Founder, Director: Taos Storytelling Festival

"...a powerful presence..."
--Jay O’Callahan,

"...simultaneously powerful and inviting."
--Michael Parent,

"...enthusiastically received and critically acclaimed"
--Barbara Dawson, Artistic Agent, Christchurch, New Zealand

"..mesmerized her audiences...immediate and personal"
--Douglas Temkin, Spoken Word Series, West Valley College, Saratoga, CA

"It was the best day at school I’ve ever had!"
--Student at Red River Schoolhouse (NM) 75th Anniversary

DESCRIPTIONS OF NEW REPERTOIRE ADDITIONS (more repertoire listings below these new ones):

"A Sadhu’s Christmas in India" Barefoot and penniless under vow of poverty, Sara Ransom walked through India as a spiritual pilgrim (sadhu) in the early ‘70s. These are some of her stories.

"The Epic of Gilgamesh" The world’s most ancient story (from what is now Iraq)-- 4500 years old. A tyrant king who seeks immortality and enslaves his subjects to reach his goal. But then he encounters a wildman from the wilderness... and everything changes.

"Maui The Trickster" In fine company with Coyote, Anansi, Monkey, and Jack--Trickster Maui of Polynesia brings the secret of fire, slows the sun, and fishes up entire islands. Invite this show to your school, or family program of any size.

"A Sense of Wonder" Aimed at little kids and their grown-ups, this program describes delightful encounters with the natural world -- how to be quiet and be present, and let NATURE and her animals tell YOU stories.  Based squarely on the writings of Rachel Carson (author also of "Silent Spring"), this is a sure cure for this new-fangled thing called "Nature Deficit Disorder."  Come outside and be.

WORKSHOPS (tailored for adults or children):
"Art of Storytelling," "Creating Your Own," "Master Class," "Myth & Wisdom," "How-to of Historical Characters"

JUST A FEW MORE FAVORITES FOR CHILDREN (delightfully participatory):
"Just-So Stories," "Starstories," "Swedish Storyquilt," "African Storystick"(on tape), "Scary Stories from Around the World"(on CD), "Scary Stories from Across the Nation," "Trollen!" (plural of Troll), "Dreams of Flying," "Maui the Trickster," "A Sense of Wonder" and so many more

"Sojourner Truth"(on CD), "Billy the Kid"(on CD & tape), "What a Woman Most Wants," "The Selkie," "Finn McCool," "Victoria Woodhull for President/1872!" "Gilgamesh" (and that’s just for starters)

8th Annual Winter Festival of Stories, (Boulder Library), Boulder, CO
Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, Orem, UT
Albuquerque Folk Festival, NM
Four Corners Storytelling Festival, Farmington, NM
Four Corners Folk Festival, Pagosa Springs, CO
Ram Dass & Friends, Santa Fe, NM, Austin, TX, Durango, CO
Spoken Word Series, W.Valley College, Saratoga, CA
Taos Storytelling Festival, Taos, NM
“Once Upon a Time” Storytelling Festival, Arapahoe District, Littleton CO
Rocky Mountain Storytelling Festival, Monument CO
Rocky Mountain Storytelling Conference, Denver CO
Renaissance Festivals, Farmington, NM
Utah ARTS ON TOUR, Utah Arts Council
"Festival of Romance," Christchurch, New Zealand
"Teddy Bear Festival," Christchurch, New Zealand
New Zealand ON TOUR
Three Apples Storytelling Festival, Harvard MA
“Dangerous Ideas” /Solo Performance Art Festival, New York City NY
New England ON TOUR
Tellabrations, Albuquerque & Farmington NM, Mancos, CO
Storyfiesta, Albuquerque NM
Sharing the Fire, Cambridge MA
Fall Festival of Tales, Charlottesville, VA