Beverley is highly regarded as a humorist for all ages. Her popular stories are both poignant and laugh out loud funny. She is also multi-talented and has won many awards as an educator. Beverly was the Director of Speech and Theater at Harris-Stowe State University for the past 22 years, and also worked in the St. Louis Public Schools for 20 years. She is a well known cabaret singer, writer, director, humorist and storyteller. Her stories are both engaging, animated and always creative.
After 46 years of teaching high school and college, Beverly tells poignant and outrageously funny stories about being a teacher and a human being.
This performance is a wonderful cabaret piece where Beverly sings the songs she loved growing up. Brennan uses her father, the late Jack Buck, as a touchstone for the story she weaves through the music of growing up in St. Louis after moving here at five years of age when Buck was hired as "color announcer" for the St. Louis Cardinals. Brennan brings tears our eyes with "T'was a Moment like This," which her mom used to sing while doing housework. One day, she stopped singing it and told Brennan to do the same. "Children know," she said quietly, referring to her parents' breakup.
The script is very witty and humorous as she tells stories of living on the Hill (but not Italian), Ladue (but not Jewish) and St. Louis City as a young wife and teacher at public schools (but not African-American). Her tale brings her around to the understanding that no one is an outsider, when you realize that all people are just that, people.
Beverly's rich alto voice comes to life on upbeat, jazzy numbers like "Lullaby of Birdland," "Volare" (sung partly and perfectly in Italian) and "I Believe in You." She is an excellent interpreter of the American Songbook. Rick Jensen is a fine accompanist and their interaction sets the tone for her strong connection with the audience. Her theater background makes her well-equipped to elicit the requisite emotion and meaning from her words and music.
Beverly Brennan and Rick Jensen on a sentimental journey as Bev pays tribute to one of her idols, the incomparable Doris Day. The show will feature songs from Doris Day's big band days, her movies and musicals, and her amazing recording career. Bev will also share stories about Doris's life, which has been far from a bed of daisies! Hope to see you at our show. It's magic! And if you can't make it — Que Sera, Sera!
Having taught for over 40 years, Beverly shares some of her funniest stories from her years as a teacher. She claims that her students “taught her” many valuable lessons along the way. She shares these poignant and laugh out loud tales, multicultural humor, and fondly remembers through story some of her favorite students.
In this engaging show for upper elementary, Beverly Brennan defines heroism with humor about baseball and super heroes and shares " inside stories" about three great Cardinals, Stan "The Man" Musial, Albert Pujols and Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck, her dad, her hero.
Vocabulary words will be covered such as optimism, generosity and humility. Participation will be encouraged with call backs, activities, questions and discussions. The literary definition of a hero to will be explained and questions will be posed such as:
Help Beverly sing "Take Me Out to The Ballgame" (Why do we sing it when we are already there?), have fun with a "Go Crazy Folks" activity and finish with Not "That's a Winner!" But "I'm a Winner!" This is a 45 minute show where kids will learn ( about puns) and have a "BALL!"
In Beverly's own words:
Over my years as a teacher, I have learned so many invaluable lessons from my students, including: an appreciation for learning styles, techniques for classroom discipline, cultural sensitivity, and the need for mutual respect for teachers and students. Most of all, I learned to look on the positive side of the educational process! For 44 years I have taught in the city of St. Louis, and at times I have been in the minority because of being a white educator of African-American students. I discovered that my students shared with me a whole new world & culture, and I am grateful to them for doing me that favor. This program features both humorous stories, and also some very poignant memories. My favorite students were always the so-called naughty ones, and though at times challenging, I learned the most from them!
This program will both teach and entertain. Join me as I walk down memory lane and share with you my favorite stories from the dynamic world of public education.
Following the program, Beverly can offer a type of “talk-back” session to further examine topics or answer questions. Handouts are available about the different learning styles and techniques.
Celebrate the artistic achievements of African-Americans in the early 20th century, when art, music and poetry exploded out of Harlem! The literary and musical gifts of these pioneers inspired future generations, and continues to influence world culture today. Songs such as Honeysuckle Rose, St. Louis Blues, God Bless the Child, & Aint’ Misbehavin; humourous skits based on writer Langston Hughes’s Jesse B Simple dialogues; and poems such as “The Party” and “Jump Back Honey” round out this high energy performance. All aboard!
Highlighting: Nat King Cole, Zora Neal Hurston, Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes and more!
This program is ideal for US history, english literature, music, sociology and political science requirements. Handouts and study guides are available for educators for use after the program and throughout the school year. Bringing history alive through the performing arts and storytelling is a primary way to impart lasting knowledge. Neuroscientists have concluded that the “human brain is ‘hard-wired’ for storytelling.”
New Program - Ready for bookings now! Call to schedule a performance.
“The Ville and The Hill” shines a bright light on the problems of race and culture in America, using St. Louis as an example. This brand new, highly entertaining and educational performance features two multi-talented St. Louisians: Bobby Norfolk, three-time Emmy award winning storyteller & author and Beverly Brennan, vocalist, educator & humorist. These popular performing artists offer unique insights into race issues, problem solving, communication and positive changes.
Bobby began his career as a stand-up comedian and used his natural talents to become one of the most popular National Park Service Interpretive Rangers at the St. Louis Arch. Using energetic animation and special sound effects, he expertly engages students and teaches through first person narratives, poetry and humor. Bobby was raised in the Ville neighborhood and relates easily to people of all ages. He is one of the few performing artists who can entertain and reach both kids and adults, keeping them interested by offering topical, creative programs. Beverly is the Director of Speech and Theater at Harris-Stowe State University. She is an award-winning master teacher who is popular with students because she uses comedy and drama in the classroom. She grew up in the Hill area of St. Louis, and her great sense of humor and easy going manner is inherited from her Father, Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck.
This performance promotes a new respect and responsibility in our city through lively and personal discussion. Communication enables healing from tragedies such as Ferguson. Storytelling is all about listening and, quite often enables those who are otherwise too racially deaf or intolerant to make positive changes. Beverly and Bobby tell both sides of the story, discovering that people are more alike than they are different, exposing issues such as stereotyping, ethnicity, ignorance, and fear, and illuminating a pathway to racial harmony. They cover St. Louis history as related to civil rights and share material from literary giants including William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes and others. Audiences will experience different forms of performance art including storytelling, singing, prose, personal narratives, thought-provoking poetry and theater. In addition, the program offers moral education and values clarification in an intriguing fashion that is not preachy, but stimulating.
The performance is 60 minutes, and can be booked with an additional talk back workshop where ideas and themes will be further explored and discussed. The follow up workshop ranges from 60-90 minutes to half day session, and can be adapted for specific audiences and ages.
We recommend this important and relevant performance for older students & adults. This “straight talk” show is aimed at middle school, high school & college assemblies & programs, and is ideal for keynotes, libraries, conferences, festivals and museums. This program can also be booked for diversity days, in-service training or multi-cultural celebrations for larger companies and small business owners.
Download a handout that contains discussion themes & activities.
Download a handout that contains sample questions for the talk-back session.
With stories, songs, literature and humor, Beverly Brennan and Bobby Norfolk give the gift of storytelling and song to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. From Santa to Scrooge, from Rudolph to The Gift of the Magi, Bobby and Beverly also present some historical stories behind the traditional carols & tales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. This lively presentation concludes with a sing-a- long that includes popular carols and holiday songs.
Sample pieces by Beverly and Bobby may include:
This joyful program will greatly enhance your special event or party. Ideal for churches, schools, senior centers, businesses, libraries, museums and community events.
This workshop is geared for students, educators, employees or anyone who wants more confidence in public speaking. How many of us have had to make a sincere toast at a wedding? What about the 8th grader who needs a bit more confidence standing up in front of the class to make a speech? Or the young professional who has to make a presentation in front of his peers? This workshop is for anyone who has to talk in front of a group of people and is scared to death! We all get nervous! This workshop can teach us how to calm down, focus and make a great presentation.
Beverly is a master at developing skills for overcoming shyness, finding ways of relaxing, building confidence and formatting a good speech. Below is an outline of her workshop for taking the fear out of public speaking. Using humor as teaching technique, she will cover the following points:
This high energy, hands-on workshop can be adapted to fit all ages, from the young student to the professional speaker needing some extra help. Workshops lengths range from 60 minutes to two hours. Hand-outs available.
Beverly believes that each person is a unique individual and a unique learner, deserving a secure, safe, nourishing environment in which to grow emotionally, socially, and intellectually. She strives to help students of any age reach their fullest potential by trying to instill focus and discipline without eliminating risk taking and creativity. As a teacher she serves as a guide, providing access to information rather than posing as a primary source. She believes that an educator’s role is to motivate people to become life-long learners. Helping students to build confidence and practice self-respect is the key to success in the classroom and the classroom of life!
This keynote is about sharing, and over the years her students have shared and taught her many things! The presentation includes personal stories, humor & comedy, reflections on race, diversity & behavior issues, and examples of how teachers are learners and learners are teachers. She shows how listening, laughing and love impact education.
Beverly Brennan is a veteran teacher of 43 years and will share stories about substituting, teaching high school, and teaching at the college level. Keynote themes include:
This popular keynote is ideal for state education conferences, in-service training, after-dinner talks and educational seminars. Beverly’s keynote is around 60 minutes, but can be flexible with length of time.