R.W. Berky is an Obie Award–winning theatrical clown artist, has performed in major theatre festivals and with symphony orchestras worldwide, and has earned numerous theatrical awards including a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival, the Kennedy Center’s New American Plays Award, and the Sarrett National Playwriting Prize in 2002. He has taught as a Master Teacher at art schools all over the country including The Juilliard School, Brown University, Brandeis University, Iowa University, University of Texas, North Carolina School for the Arts, UC Santa Barbara, and many more. He has received fellowships from many art councils, worked as a director of movement and as playwright, been an artistic director of a theater company, and performed all around the world. And now he branches into the world of literature!
THE LITTLE BOOK OF WONDERS is Berky’s first novel and when it came time to put it on audio, we here at Skyboat Media were excited for two different reasons:
- We simply could not get enough of this story and Berky’s endearing characters.
- Berky was actually a student of Stefan’s back in the day at the University of Rochester!
Stefan and Berky worked together on many plays and projects, and with THE LITTLE BOOK OF WONDERS, they had the chance to come together once again to create something truly special. Add on Gabrielle de Cuir to fill out the cast of narrators, and this story is ready to soar!
Listen to sample on Skyboat’s SoundCloud here!
THE LITTLE BOOK OF WONDERS is an audio experience unlike any other. Berky, Stefan, and Gabrielle came together as a true ensemble for this audiobook, each of them weaving in and out as narrator and as different characters to create a unique atmosphere and storytelling dynamic. They even had the chance to record parts of the book together (from covid-safe remote studios) to share the story together.
R.W. Berky also recorded the music that you’ll hear throughout the audiobook! Using both the banjo and the concertina, Mr. Berky brings a– pardon the pun– WONDERful warmth and dimension to his enchanting, hilarious, heartwrenching tale. Before recording the music, Stefan and Alison had the pleasure of sitting down with the author/musician to talk about music, talk about Berky’s stunning instruments, and put together the songs that would be used in the audiobook.
Here is an excerpt of R.W. Berky playing “Izzerdory Raindrops” with his lovely, starry banjo:
Songs played on banjo: Izzerdory Raindrops (Izzy’s theme) Maelstrom Katie Did Glory in the Meeting House (Zephyie’s theme)
Songs played on banjo:
Izzerdory Raindrops (Izzy’s theme)
Glory in the Meeting House (Zephyie’s theme)
Songs played on concertina: Opening Puzzle Face’s Death King’s Fanfare Ballroom B DoughFan on the DD (DoughFan’s theme)
Songs played on concertina:
Puzzle Face’s Death
DoughFan on the DD (DoughFan’s theme)
THE LITTLE BOOK OF WONDERS by R.W. Berky
Read by R.W. Berky, Gabrielle de Cuir, and Stefan Rudnicki
This story concerns four curiously gifted children from different parts of the world, coming together in a kingdom ruled by a peanut brittle addicted monarch who wishes to destroy their uniqueness in his quest for absolute power.
Four children, each with a special natural gift, grow up in complete isolation from one another, in distant parts of the world. Izzerdory dances, and when she does, everyone and everything dances with her. Doughfan, a boy born with ears the size of dinner platters, hears all the sounds of the world and beyond. His ears have remarkable talents and raise seminal questions of existence and humanity. Zephyie, from a high mountain village, reads the past, present, and future in the clouds. Tenzing, a young very good bad monk, finds knowledge in the currents of rivers and oceans. These youngsters are fated to sail across malevolent seas, hike high mountain passes, experience imprisonment, and float rivers winding through the very center of the earth to confront a greedy, peanut brittle addicted monarch who has a bad attitude, and bad teeth.