Storyteller Jay O’Callahan spent the month of January 1999 doing research in the collection and archives, immersing himself in the Gardner Museum’s Venetian-themed architecture and its ever-changing quality of light.
During his residency, O’Callahan explored the differences that lie between the spoken and the written story. He returned a year later to perform some of his Pill Hill Stories: Coming Home to Someplace New, and to share the impact his residency had on his process, discussing parallels between the Museum itself as a frame and how framing affects the portrayal of character in a story.
Jay O’Callahan is an award-winning storyteller who creates stories based on real experience for all ages. Over the years, O'Callahan produced dozens of recordings including The Little Dragon, a story about how a small dragon saved the world, and Raspberries, a story of magical berries. He is the author of three books for children—Orange Cheeks (1993), Tulips (1996), and Herman and Marguerite: An Earth Story (1996). He continues to perform much-loved original stories for adults drawn from Pill Hill Stories, based on his experiences growing up in a neighborhood that was home to many Boston doctors. O’Callahan has performed at Lincoln Center, at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, the National Theater in London, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His work appears regularly on National Public Radio.