I have always had a strong curiosity for History, learning about people who lived in the past and why the history books in school never satisfied my curiosity. I had so many unanswered questions. However, a door was open while under tutelage with Professor Lloyd Barbee at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The door opened- untapped American History that was absence from my school history books.
Made a living for thirty years in Social Welfare, never lost my passion for history.
I sold my home after I retired and moved to San Antonio, Texas. Met a Storyteller, and agreed to meet at a Telling. Consuelo Samarripa performance blew me away. She introduced me to the Tejas Storytelling Association of San Antonio, Texas.
Storytelling to Living History Artist
While performing as a Storyteller, I was an Educational Interpreter at the Texas Institute of Texan Cultures. Perusing historical documents at the Institute rekindled my passion for untapped American history. The Institute encouraged me to perform in first-person and so I did and the rest is history.
Texas to New England in the name of Love!
Moving to Connecticut in the fall of 2001, I married John Presutti and brought my love of history with me. For more than 20 years I have performed all over New England, Midwest, and across the United States.
“As a member of the Friends of the Case Memorial Library, I wanted to congratulate you on your wonderful program “I Can’t Die but Once.” It was a refeshing look into a part of Harriet Tubman’s life. Like many people, including myself, we are all too familiar with the legends of this great lady. History books have long associated her with the Underground Railroad. Yet, seldom of her role in the Civil War and her role as a humanitarian has ever been discussed. And, so many thanks to you for incorporating this into your performance.
I do hope we can have you back again for another show. You have a great talent as a storyteller and it was more than a pleasure for to have shared this with us.”
Charles E. Pigaty, Orange, CT.
“We were fortunate to have Gwendolyn come to Hamden Hall Country Day School. To put her performance in context, the middle schoolers had just had an exciting Friday that included the annual Halloween costume contest. Gwendolyn’s program was scheduled for the last period of the day before the Halloween weekend. Usually, twelve and thirteen-year old are pretty restless in those circumstances. However, the kids were enraptured by Gwendolyn’s tour de force performance. It would not be an exaggeration to say that you could hear a pin drop. I think the kids were just completely swept away by the incredible pathos in her voice. She painted an extremely vivid picture, and she clearly knew how to command and audience.”
Brian Christman, Middle School Dean, Hamden Hall Country Day School, CT.
We can’t thank you enough for your extraordinary performance of Ruth on August 29, for the Longfellow Summer Festival. Your audience was clearly delighted and the children loved working with you and making corn husk dolls. The dolls were beautiful.
The Longfellow Sumer Festival was a success this year with many beautiful concerts, fine poetry readings and exciting and engaging activities for families. You were an important component in making the festival of such high quality, artistically and professionally. Again we greatly appreciate all of your hard work.”
Alyson Gaylord-Loy Park Ranger, Longfellow National Historic Site.