Act!vated Story Theatre

Quotes / Testimonials

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What Teachers | Librarians | Media | Kids | Parents say about Act!vated Story Theatre.

"I've had the opportunity to see the Activated Storytellers perform three times. Each time the children in the crowd were thrilled and the parents were delighted! The Goza's have a way of involving the children into their performances, making them a part of the folktale, while entertaining and teaching valuable life lessons."

~Mary Ann Malkoff
~Past President of Orange County Jewish Community Center

Teachers / Educators Say:

"Activated Storytellers was awesome! We see a play every year, but this is the first time many of our teachers came to me to tell how wonderful it was. We were all very pleased!" ~Julie Haught, Second Grade Teacher/Assembly Coordinator, Mount Dora, FL

"I thought they were terrific! I liked the way they kept the kids' attention while everyone was coming in. They understood children and how to interact with them without losing control. Their performance was appropriate for our age kids. I have no criticism and my kids loved it." ~Debbie, Teacher, McHarg Elementary, Radford, VA

"Thank you so much for two wonderful performances at Oakview Elementary. The kids are still talking about your trip through the tennis racquet. What a wonderful way to splice Drama with Language all were awesome!" ~Darris Duncan, School Assembly Coordinator, Ashland, KY

"My second graders enjoyed the program. It touched on one of our SOLs, Great Lakes and Rocky Mountains. I liked the program showing youngsters that you can use anything to make a prop for a play." ~Sarah, Teacher, McHarg Elementary, Radford, VA

performing poetry

"All of my kids loved it. They were engaged throughout the entire performance. I thought the performers were expressive and on level for their audience." ~Carolyn, Teacher, McHarg Elementary, Radford, VA

"I thought it was great! The kids enjoyed the humor, storyline, etc. Since field trips have basically been cut out of the budget this year, I thought it was an especially nice event for the students." ~Suzy, Teacher, McHarg Elementary, Radford, VA

"I loved the show and my children did too! I loved the use of imagination with the props. My children were full of laughs and really engaged." ~Kim, Teacher, McHarg Elementary, Radford, VA

"I thought the presentation was great. There was plenty of student involvement and I liked their use of conventions of storytelling." ~Denise, Teacher, McHarg Elementary, Radford, VA

"Great show-all students were interested and attentive!" ~Anne, Teacher, McHarg Elementary, Radford, VA

"I thought it was wonderfully creative and my children loved it, too. It was well worth the time." ~Gloria Boyd, Teacher, McHarg Elementary, Radford, VA

"They touched upon a few SOLs and showed how you can use ordinary things to demonstrate." ~Kitty, Teacher, McHarg Elementary, Radford, VA

"Listening skills were enhanced. You kept the children involved and so in tune to what was being conversed." ~T. C., 1st Grade Teacher, Mathis Elementary Hayti, Missouri

"On behalf of St. Mary's Rehabilitation Center for Children I would like to thank you for your wonderful performance. Our children truly enjoyed the wonderful tall tales. We would like to thank you for your time and energy." ~Fred Badger, Ossining, New Jersey

"Wonderful! Thank you for such a great presentation! It is exactly what our kids need. A delightful enrichment!" ~R. A., K Teacher, Mathis Elementary Hayti, Missouri

"Everyone, students, parents, teachers . . . everyone enjoyed your show so much last year." ~T. K., Home and School, Honey Grove, Pennsylvania

"Very lively, entertaining and animated. Kept the children's attention." ~C. H., Kindergarten Teacher, Muir, Michigan

"I love your show. I was just going to peek in for a minute and ended up staying for the whole thing." ~teacher, Gilbert, Arizona

"I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful performances in our two schools. The teachers and students are still buzzing about how great it was." ~P. B., Assembly Coordinator, Crawfordsville, Indiana

"Your performance last year was such a hit and enjoyed by all who attended that we are all looking forward to your performance again this year." ~C. E., Family Night Coordinator, Chicago Ridge, Illinois

"Very participatory. Great use of everyday items for props - gave me some great ideas. Children truly enjoyed the program!" ~L. L., 4th grade teacher, Sayre, Pennsylvania

". . . enhanced their education. It even enlightened me with some of the details mentioned in the skits. Many times actions speak louder than words. Great job!" ~Mr. J., 4th grade teacher, Trenton, New Jersey

"The program gave the students an exciting introduction to tall tales. There was even some American History taught in an interesting format." ~R. F., 3rd grade teacher, Muir, Michigan

"A wonderful job presenting a lot of information in a way that students will remember! I liked the use of the U.S. map. Excellent assembly!!" ~K. M., 1st grade teacher, Muir, Michigan

"You had the undivided attention of students and teachers alike." ~J. B., 5th grade teacher, Snyder Elementary, Sayre, Pennsylvania

Librarians Say:

"23 years later, and the Gozas are still going strong. This is my fourth time seeing them, and they never disappoint. This morning, the Northwest Reno Library's meeting room exploded with bursts of laughter for the hour-long performance as 94 patrons reacted to the physical comedy, jokes, and plain silliness of the two main "activated" storytellers, Dennis & Kimberly. We also had a couple young actors who took part in the "actor’s workshop" an half-hour before the show, and they were thrilled to be a part of the main performance, along with three little girls who were pulled from the audience to dance with the Pharaoh – and dance they did!

The storytellers were clever and creative in their use of sign language and the way they tied their performance in with our Summer Reading Program theme of "One World, Many Stories"; – they even sent the audience on a hunt for "398" somewhere in the library. Dozens of excited children came back with books (folktales) to show the performers what they had found. I don’t remember ever seeing that many patrons checking out books as the result of a program. Wonderful!" ~ Jason Adams, Youth Services Librarian, Northwest Library, Reno, NV

"A brilliant performance by Kimberly and Dennis Goza enthralled patrons on Thursday afternoon at the Sparks Library. Egyptian Cinderella and The Hat Seller were both beautifully brought to life through their high energy, physical flexibilities and colorful imaginations. They superbly promoted this summer’s reading theme and libraries." ~Genoveve Stowell, Programs & Youth Services Librarian, Sparks Library

"In close to five years managing Verdi, your show stands out as one of the best. We really felt blown away with your show and found the timing fortunate as Pam (school librarian), just last week, explained folktales to the lower grades. The performance really reached all ages as First Graders, Sixth Graders and Faculty all shared laughs. Many students loved the props and the storybook backdrop. Also, the sign language really enhanced the performance just like y'all explained in the introduction. Good Luck and thanks again." ~Dave Eveland, Managing Librarian, Verdi Community Library

"The performers all interacted well with the audience. They solicited feedback comments from the children without patronizing or "playing down". Their interpretations of children's poetry really resonated with the group as a whole! I was glad to see the program was signed too. I am amazed that Kimberly fit her whole body through a tennis racquet." ~F. D., Children's Librarian, Bellevue, Washington

"Looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful craziness!" ~Peggy Northcraft., Youth Services Librarian, Hannibal, Missouri

"Once again you have delivered outstanding performances that were enjoyed by us all. "~ R. B., G. R., J. C., Librarians, Reno, Nevada

"Our patrons loved the program; many of them came into our library the following week to let us know how creative and original the program was." ~K. N., Indian Trails Library, Wheeling, Illinois

"What a great show! Very fast-moving, and the kids really enjoyed it." ~L. B., Children's Librarian, Woodmont Library, Washington

Joe balancing lumber - click for current stories on tour"The Act!vated Storytellers are a wonderful touring trio! You can expect educational, entertaining and professional shows from the Gozas." ~Karen N., Youth Services Librarian, Jonesboro, Arkansas

"Captured the imaginations of everyone - no matter what the age." ~S.E., Children's Librarian, Pleasanton, California

"Your animated movements, expressions and humor kept everyone involved throughout. It was wonderful to see children participate in performing, and your use of sign language was a special treat as well." ~K. B., Librarian, Monterey, California

"Great fun for children and adults to watch. The volunteer actors loved sharing the spotlight and hamming it up. I admire your ability to amuse the audience on multiple levels. Your high energy style of storytelling, combined with American Sign Language and streamlined costumes and props was highly entertaining." ~C. D. H., Youth Services Librarian, Roseville, California

"The children loved it and the parents voted it BEST SHOW OF THE SUMMER." ~R. H., Children's Librarian, San Carlos, California

"An exciting, entertaining, funny, action-packed, creative, innovative (the list is endless) performance. The show was a big hit. We had great feedback afterwards. You folks are so amazingly creative. We are all looking forward to having you back in Coos Bay in April." ~Pat Flitcroft, Children's Librarian, Coos Bay, Oregon

"Your stories were entertaining and informative and the audience was delighted with your theatrical renditions. Thank you for a very professional and well done production. It was a pleasure working with you and we would like to engage your talents at our library again." ~E. M., Elmhurst Public Library, Illinois

"The Act!vated Storytellers are unique in the tremendously inventive techniques they use in putting a story across to an audience. When Kimberly threads her whole body through the oval of a tennis racket it is visual comedy worthy of Lucille Ball herself." ~Tim Tomasik, Youth Services Librarian, Rancho Cordova, California

"A true highlight of our Summer Reading Program! Everyone had such a great time at your show - from the babies to the parents." ~L. I., Librarian, Jacksonville, Illinois

"Thank you for your continual deliverance of captivating entertainment. It is always a pleasure to be in your audience witnessing all of your amazing talents and high spirits." ~ R. B., G. R., J. C., Librarians, Reno, Nevada

"Your show was high energy and lots of fun, and professional even though the audience was large, you kept them actively involved all the way." ~C. V., Children's Librarian, Des Moines, Washington

"We received nothing but plosive comments. Everyone really enjoyed it and was astounded by the energy! It was terrific that they told patrons the Dewey numbers of poetry at the end so patrons could find poetry to check out! Having this program in the library itself, rather than in the meeting room was a real success." ~S. S., Children's Librarian, Sammamish, Washington

Hannibal News

The Media Says:

"I enjoyed your show. There were elements all ages could enjoy. Even when the rag was removed from Dennis' horn, about not doing ragtime. :) Thanks for a wonderful show." ~Doug Hunt, Reporter, Crawfordsville, IN

"Entertaining tales with a message - without getting too preachy ....physical comedy that would put Jim Carrey to shame." ~Portales News -Tribune, New Mexico

"Hailed as one of the most entertaining traveling theatrical families. They encourage families to learn through reading, playing and having fun together." ~The Jonesboro Sun, Arkansas

"TheAct!vated Storytellers have reinvented the art of storytelling." ~The Las Cruces Sun-News, New Mexico

"Colorful stories for school children" ~Houston Chronicle

"Hilarious, imaginative, touching, witty and wise."~The Reno Gazette Journal, Nevada

"More fun with poetry than anyone should be allowed." ~The Famous Poets Quarterly (Professional Poets Magazine)

Links to online Press Coverage

Kids Say:

"Hi, I'm one of the students from East Prairie school in Skokie Illinois I just wanted to tell you that i really enjoyed your show... and it's quite entertaining!!! You were awesome! You are very creative and I never know what will happen next. Zephyr, you are very talented. It was very exciting to watch you. You were really funny. I liked when your mom went through the racket! I didn't think she would get out! Your dad was very funny also." ~S.P., Skokie, Illinois

"We really enjoyed the show and thought you were very creative. Your athletic abilities were amazing. We hope you come back again." ~The 5th grade class from Rush Elementary

Kids rehearsing their parts - Rancho Cordova, CA

"Being able to participate as stars was our favorite part!" ~7 and 9 year olds, Ripon, California

"I just loved your show. I especially liked the show about the little girl and her grandfather. And I like the part where Paul Bunyan is a baby. I think that it was very funny. Especially when he dressed up like a baby. But out of everything I really liked the sign language." ~4th grade student, Sayre, Pennsylvania

Parents Say:

"My 11 yo. son got to be in the show. He had SO much fun. He told me afterwards his favorite part was hearing the story of silly Ivan. Kimberly is frightfully athletic. I think I gasped audibly when she did a flip during the show, and a handstand, amoung other neat stunts! Dennis is such an incredibly natural performer -- the kind that puts the audience right at ease and makes you feel welcome to laugh along." ~Jessica

"The broomstick tricks were wonderful. Please do come again to our town!" ~R.N., Santa Clara, California

"Enjoyed the variety of the stories and the original scripts. The kids liked the slapstick parts." ~D.A., Sparks, Nevada

"Favorite parts: The enthusiasm of the troupe and the "book" set. My 15-year-old liked the whole thing. And my 11-year-old liked the American Sign Language." ~The J. Family, Olean, New Jersey

"We loved everything - the intro, the giant book . . ." ~J. E., Moro, Illinois

"Good wholesome fun. The kids loved being a part of the show! "~K. D., Bethalto, Illinois

"We enjoyed how you got everyone involved and interacting." ~Connor Antony, Salem, Massachusetts

"I attended your show tonight with my 5 yr. old daughter and my 85 year old mother! We had a wonderful time and purchased a tape. Thank you for bringing your talent and business to our library. Our country needs more of this type of entertainment and I applaud you." ~B. N., Wellesley, Massachusetts

"Thank you again for such a wonderful show (we saw it twice while you were in the area--Ledyard and Jewett City, Connecticut) and for such a great tape!" ~L. R., Ledyard, Connecticut

"We loved your show and talked about it afterwards and laughed. Wish I had a kookla !!! That skit was my favorite. (The story of Vasalisa) And I liked the witch telling the truth in a Tourette's kind of way, hilarious!! It was good that you used Russian words in your script and explained the meaning and also the sign language. You guys are fabulous!!!" ~G. C., and daughters, Rogers, Arkansas

"We are very excited about your upcoming visit to Reno. We have seen you perform here twice before, and play your Out of the Bag tape lots! ~The A. Family in Reno, Nevada

"Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how much my Dad (88), my granddaughter, Annie, (7), and I (ageless), enjoyed your performance yesterday. My Dad grew up in a family with deaf parents and really enjoyed the signing. Thank you for a great hour of entertainment and education." ~L. G., Park Ridge, Illinois

"I'll *never* forget your wonderful show. My grandson and I attended here in OKC a couple of years ago! We LOVE you guys!" ~Mrs. J. M., Oklahoma City, OK

"The sign language was very helpful for the children who are acquiring the English language."~O. R., Whittier, California

"My daughter has been waiting a year for you all to come back and perform. She is soooo excited!" ~parent, Jonesboro, Arkansas

"We loved finding about your lifestyle, watching the physical movement and the mom going through the tennis racket!" ~R. G. C., Toluca Lake, California

"Our favorite parts were the interaction with children and great humor, also the pantomime and physical comedy." ~J. S., Corapolis, Pennsylvania

"We liked the comedy: like when the bird jumped on the man and took his bag with the money in it." ~E. W., Franklin Park, Illinois

"The children laughed so much - had a great time! It was funny and educational and we liked the sign language. Thank you!" ~D.A., Des Plaines, Illinois

Stories for long car rides