Cinderellas All

Did you know there are hundreds of Cinderellas? Many cultures tell a story of a girl, or guy, who travels the road from ruin to riches. You’ve probably heard of Cinderella’s fairy godmother, but what about the magic fish, the grandfather frog, or the magic doll that help the Cinderellas in other cultures? You’ll hear about all these, plus a Cinderella who needs no assistance from anyone in Cinderellas All

Award-winning storyteller Mary Hamilton presents a Cinderella celebration featuring a multicultural mashup of eleven traditional Cinderella tales from Chile, Russia, France, China, Republic of Georgia, Germany, Nigeria, Ireland, and three North American cultures – New World Spanish, Native American Micmac, and Appalachian.  But the multicultural Cinderella mashup, Eleven Cinderellas, is only one part of Cinderellas All.

Wordplay takes the stage too when Hamilton spoonerizes Cinderella into Rindercella. Hamilton readily admits Rindercella is not her unique creation, “I’ve heard lots of versions – all including Rindercella, the Pransome Hince, and a slopped dripper.”  That’s Cinderella, the Handsome Prince and a dropped slipper, for those unfamiliar with spoonerisms — wordplay based on swapping initial sounds named after Reverend William Spooner who is said to have created them unintentionally. 

Your audience will hear at least one traditional Cinderella (or lad) tale told in in its entirety in Cinderellas All too. 

Appropriate for: Ages 8 — adult, and especially Cinderella fans!


Visit the Video page on Mary’s website. Select Stories for Audiences 9 and Older. You can hear the beginning of “Eleven Cinderellas” and hear or watch “Rindercella” the spoonerized version. 

To hear excerpts from all 11 tracks of “Eleven Cinderellas” go here and use the arrow in the upper right corner to play excepts from Mary's CD Sisters All. . . and One Troll 

What Others Say:

"Eleven Cinderellas is a storytelling tour de force."
Ted Parkhurst, President
Parkhurst Brothers Publishing, Inc.

“Brilliantly crafted, the segments work like blocks of a quilt: individual works of art that make up a whole. Here, Hamilton chooses to place her stories emphasis not on the stereotypical 'wicked stepmother' but rather on the inner character of the struggling stepdaughter as she encountered difficulties during her journey."
Flora Joy, Reviewer for Parents’ Choice
(About the multicultural mashup, Eleven Cinderellas)


Haunting Tales

Mary works with presenters to determine what level, from the spooky to the haunting and gruesome, will be the best match for their intended audience. Her haunting repertoire lends itself to the creation of events for varied audiences — School groups Grades 3 and up, family audiences, tween or teen audiences, or adult audiences. 

For widely mixed-age audiences Mary has created events in which she begins with merely spooky stories then increases the haunting intensity with each subsequent tale. Events such as those are well-suited for presenters who are comfortable encouraging families to pick their own appropriate “time to go home” based on the intensity of the story they have just heard. 


You can watch and listen to stories and excerpts by visiting the Video page of Mary’s website.  Selecting Haunting Tales will take you to several stories. 

Or, watch Mary tell "The Beaded Bag" a Victorian tale recorded by KET.

You can also listen to excerpts here. Use the arrow in the upper right corner to listen to stories from Mary's CD  Haunting Tales: Told Live from Culbertson Mansion.


From Kentucky Humanities:

Haunting tales are also featured in “Feeding Nightmares” one of three talks Mary offers through the Kentucky Humanities Speakers Bureau. 


Kentucky Tales

 Mary celebrates Kentucky’s narrative traditions by telling folktales — including fairy tales, ghostly tales, and tall tales all collected in Kentucky — and true stories from her life. Yes, family stories are indeed a Kentucky narrative tradition. Specific programs will vary by age group:

  • In schools, the younger students hear mostly the folk and fairy tale stories, and sometimes a tall tale. The older students hear examples folk or fairy tales, tall tales, ghostly tales, and sometimes a family story too. Older students also hear a bit more about where Mary found the stories, so they briefly hear about the folklorists and individuals who have made it possible for even folks with little storytelling traditions within their own families to find and enjoy these stories.

  • Family programs will also include a variety of tale types, unless the children are primarily very young (as in way too young to comprehend the exaggeration which makes a tall tale tall, and too young for the ghostly stories!)

  • Programs for adults will vary with details worked out with the program presenter. 

Through the Kentucky Humanities Speakers Bureau, Mary also offers two programs that focus on specific Kentucky narrative traditions:“Liar, Liar, Storyteller” examines tall tale telling traditions in Kentucky.“Feeding Nightmares” looks at the haunting, even creepy, stories Kentuckians have been telling each other for generations. 

For samples of Mary’s Kentucky Tales: Visit herYouTube page and watch/listen to “The Great Big Enormous Bear” for younger children, “Hunting Alone” a tall tale for adults, and several of the tales in the Haunting Tales playlist.  

You can also hear brief excerpts from even more Kentucky Tales here. Use the arrow in the upper right corner to listen to excerpts from her CD Some Dog and Other Kentucky Wonders .  


Athena Did What?

What does Pegasus have in common with a spider? 

The goddess Athena!   Yes, indeed Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, played a role in the creation of both.

From her unusual birth to her role in the reunion of Odysseus and Penelope, Athena plays an essential part in story after story.

Other characters from the stories told in “Athena Did What?” include Zeus, Poseidon, Arachne, Perseus, Medusa, the Grey Ladies, Gorgons, and more.

If your audience tends to view Greek mythology as a list of unfamiliar names, this program will leave them retelling the tales. 

Appropriate for: Ages 10 and older.


All Together Now

In an “All Together Now” program audience members chant along, sing along, and help tell the stories. 

In addition to providing young children with practice attending to auditory and visual cues, stories in “All Together Now” also include lots of repetition providing plenty of opportunities for young listeners to anticipate and predict what will happen next. 

“All Together Now” is especially appropriate for:

  • school assemblies for grades preschool - 3rd
  • family events with lots of young children

To hear/watch examples of such stories, visit the Video page and select Stories for Audiences 8 and Under. 

Or, listen to brief excerpts from here. Use the arrow in the upper right corner to play excerpts Track 1, "The Bun" and Track 5 "Drakestail" two stories from her CD, Alligators, Bees, and Surprise, Oh, My! Folktales Revisited! Both of those stories include lots of joining in when told live.