What is Atlas of Obscure Tales at KM Perform?



Atlas of Obscure Tales is a seminar hosted within Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance (KM Perform). It is a class that’s taught to show students a variety of folklore, whether it shows a lot of cultures, different versions of each tale, or even the interesting backgrounds of the stories and characters.

If you didn’t know already, Mr. Keefe, one of the Art Focus mentors at KM Perform, teaches the class. Mr. Keefe explained what the class is to him: “The idea was to explore folklore from across the world, sharing stories aloud in the oral tradition, comparing similarities across countries and discussing the ideas, morals, and coded elements behind the stories.” When asked why he chose to teach this class, Mr. Keefe explains, “October is Halloween month. Folklore seemed like a good fit. I liked the idea of turning down the lights and using the theatrics of telling spooky stories around a campfire to make the class engaging.” 

Students in Atlas of Obscure Tales have many different types of projects. Some students do a project connecting to their focus and their interests, while others do a project to experiment with something new. For example, Yoshira Nuno, an Art Focus junior at KM Perform, is doing a piece of artwork, along with a poem, so that it somewhat connects to their focus area. But on the other hand, Lydia May, a Music Focus freshman at KM Perform, is doing two pieces of artwork about two different folk stories. So as you can see, two different students from different focuses are doing almost whatever they want!

Whether it’s reading scary stories, or drawing magical creatures, students that are in Atlas of Obscure Tales get to show their interests in their final projects. Some students are doing different pieces of artwork while others are making their own folk stories that they will eventually show the class! While students show their interests, they’re also learning about folklore. It gives students a chance to either learn something new, or do something related to their interests; either way, they’re all learning about interesting Folktales. 

Overall, Atlas of Obscure Tales is a folklore class that extends students’ knowledge on old tales that they may not have known before. Though this class may seem just like a normal folklore class, it also helps students figure out their interests. No matter what focus you are, the class Atlas of Obscure Tales helps students all over the KM Perform campus learn about these folktales along with learning even more about themselves!