Barbara Faith Storper
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Robin Guttenplan & Myself at the 50th Birthday Bash
being the free spirit part of me!
Greetings, high school, seems like a world away. My life? I am happy and doing what I really love to do. After high school, went to Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor, studied journalism and learned how to juggle! Went to Wash. DC to work with investigative reporter Jack Anderson. Several things came together for me to have a strong interest in nutrition and the poltics of food...worked at a food coop, natural foods restaurant, built an exhibit called "The Junk Food Hall of Shame" for Center for Science in the Public Interest, my mom got cancer, lots of things that firmly planted the seed for me to have a kind of mission--to help turn kids on to healthy habits using creative means. Moved back home to be with my mom and went to Columbia Univ Teachers College to get a Masters in Nutrition. Was asked to do a presentation for an inner city school in Brooklyn on nutrition, and decided to make it fun; enlisted the help of my partner, Steve, who by now had learned how to juggle, to create a live nutrition theater show that we called "FOODPLAY". The NYC Bd of Ed loved the show and toured us to schools throughout the city. 22 years later, we have used the power of live theater to "make good eating great fun" and reached over 2 million schoolchildren across the country. We had the incredible opportunity to go as far as Alaska, bush plane and all, to bring FOODPLAY to the Aleutian Islands!
My organization is called FOODPLAY Productions, and it is a nutrition theater and multimedia company that creates and produces national touring theater shows, video kits, curricula, conference presentations, and cool resources to help arm kids with the skills they need to see through media messages in order to make healhty choices. With childhood obesity at epidemic proportions, it appears that our work is being more and more sought after. Please visit us at www.foodplay.com and if you have kids or are a teacher of some kind, I hope our website will be helpful. Maybe we can even come out and do a show for you. We are going all over the country now, just came back from tours of Phoenix, Philadelphia, Ohio, Missouri, among other places!
It's been incredibly rewarding; my number one enemy for example is Coke and after our shows, we have hundreds of thousands of kids who swear they are going to cut down on how much soda they drink! Little things mean a lot! In addition to our FOODPLAY show for elementary school-age, we have THIS IS YOUR LIFE! for adolescents. TIYL is a program that helps kids see through media messages and peer group pressures in order to take charge of growing up healthy and fit.
I had been performing in FOODPLAY for years, then had the opportunity to make a TV Special, which got me to delegate the performing. So, now I am more the creator, director, and everything else; I miss performing but now do a lot of keynote conference presentations where I can "perform"; for adults. We've had some successes like we've won several awards including an Emmy Award for "Best Children and Youth TV Special" - kind of neat when you think about how boring nutrition was at school!
Anyway, I love my work and am just kind of frustrated with the fact that I have so many ideas but too little time. My next project is a series of nutrition and food books for kids - "The Junk Food Conspiracy" - like "The Fast Food Nation" but for kids. If anyone has any links to publishers, I'd be grateful! I'd also love to do a Michael Moore type of documentary about the Food Industry.
Some history: After college and grad school, i moved to Jamaica Plain in Boston where I lived for about 14 years. I moved to W. MA, Northampton, in '95 to get a bit of country and more community. There has been a lot of cancer in my family, lost both parents to it, and fortunately have a sister who has survived it; but it has deeply influenced me in my work and in my desire to help kids take care of themselves at an early age as well as work towards cleaning up this planet!
As for relationships, I have seemed to successfully avoided marriage, each time it came up, I seemed to have chosen my freedom. I have and continue to have wonderful relationships though and love kids; have a "little sister" and try to be around them as much as possible.
I am in touch with Amy Tarcher, who has been my best friend through thick and thin since we were 9 (I say 7, but she says 9!). I also am in touch with Nadine Milberg and Debbie Kimmel. I don't have any connection to Great Neck any more, remember fondly our old house in the old section near Memorial Field, Wieners for penny candy, the smell of Baker Hill School, but must say don't have the fondest memories of middle and high school. Now when I present my shows to middle and high schools, what i really want to say more than anything else is, "THERE IS LIFE AFTER MIDDLE SCHOOL!"
But I am very grateful for the life I have been given!