About the presenter: Michael Sugarman was co-founder of the National Stuttering Project (NSP) in 1977. He became the Executive Director of NSP 1978 -1981 and again in 1995 -1997. Published numerous articles on self help in academic journals and other publications. Recently, named to the Stutterers Hall of Fame. Currently, Chair of International Fluency Association's Suuport Group and Consumer Affairs Committee.
About the presenter: Luc Tielens graduated in Logopedie and Audiologie in Antwerp (1982) received licensure in de Logopedie en Audiologie at the Catholic University of Leuven (1985) (Master in speech and language). Followed a lot of courses about stuttering and all the world conferences of IFA (Munich, San Francisco, Nyborg). I have a private "stuttering center"in Herent near Leuven with 7 colleages. I work at the university of Leuven in the department of speech therapy: giving the practical courses in stuttering therapy, complementary to the courses of Prof. De Nil. I also work in a school with autistic adolescents. I like to make and play my own music, and had the luck to meet Paul Anrys to create the music for the play about the story based on the booklet of Michael Sugerman "The Adventures of Phil Carrot: The Forest of Discord."
About the presenter: Pol Anrys has the certificate of male nurse but he grew through to the job of security-consultant because of experience and additional studys. He is married to Hilde Pardon and is the father of four children, Anneleen (21 jr.), Thomas (19 jr.), Jasper (16 jr.) en Sebastiaan (11 jr.). The last twenty years he is active as an actor, a stage-director and for the last few years as a playwright. He gives preference to children-theatre, and has done ten stage-managements. Before writing plays himself, he followed a course; "theatre-writing", during a year under the guidance of Ed Vanderweyden, a big name in Belgium as playwright. After an adaptation of the comic "Calamity Jane" for children-theatre he wrote himself a comedy, "Comme chez Swa", which is been played succesfully by ten theatrical companies in Belgium. In the year 2000 he did the adaptation of "Phil Carrot" after a translation by Luc Tielens.

Adventures of Phil Carrot: on stage!

by Michael Sugarman, Luc Tielens, and Pol Anrys
from California, USA and Belgium

The Adventures of Phil Carrot: The Forest of Discord was written to fill a gap in childrens literature by portraying stuttering in a positive light. My goal was to create an adventure story with a positive image of a boy who stutters and his struggles with self esteem, friendship, making the right decision, and communication.

The book took me nine years to complete, including finding an illustrator and eventually self publishing. It has been widely distributed throughout the United States with the help of Friends and the NSP/A, and last summer the story was produced in Europe as a musical play.

The Adventures of Phil Carrot: The Forest of Discord Reviewed by John Ahlbach, 6/95 NSP Letting Go

NSP co-founder Michael Sugarman and his wife Kim have completed a wonderful, illustrated book for young people featuring a redheaded hero who stutters. Those people young and old, who hold a one-dimensional view of people who stutter, will learn much from this colorful tale.

The book is very well written, and, as they point out, a project Kim and Michael took nine years to complete and get illustrated. Besides Phil himself, there are well-drawn characters supporting or thwarting his desire to overcome his fears. Lady Dotty is an ingenious creation, a magical, wisecracking lady bug who becomes Phils sidekick. I mean she is Disney quality shes that good. She offers good, wise counsel, too, when she is not making you laugh out loud. How would you know if you have anything worth saying if you dont even try, she tells Phil. And his new friend Rebecca is someone we wish we had known growing up. Have you ever tried not to hide your stuttering? she encourages Phil. The bully, Sam is convincing, too, and his transition away from the forces of evil will teach young readers a good lesson.

Phil's journey into the Forest of Discord and his more significant journey into the world of his own fears will delight and inspire young people, especially the thousands whose spirit is trapped behind their stuttering. So few books of fiction exist that paint a true picture of young people who stutter and none of these that I have read have the depth and understanding that Phil Carrot does.

The story "The Adventures of Phil Carrot: The Forest of Discord" traveled from the World Congress in San Francisco, all the way to Belgium with Luc Tielens, SLP, where the story was translated and transformed into a play for children between 6 and 12, including never-before-heard songs written by Luc himself. Luc writes: After bringing the story of Phil Carrot home to Belgium from the World Congress in San Francisco. I made a rough translation of it and gave it to a friend, Pol Anry who specializes in writing and directing plays. He was very enthusiastic about it, and started to write. He asked me to make a few songs for the play. We had a group of about 30 children: monsters, trees, dancers, school children, a big lady bug, a worm with two heads, Taah (the bad eagle) and of course Phil, Rebecca and Sam.

A big net spanned the stage on which Taah played her role. Mothers and grandmothers were drummed up to make the costumes. Fathers engaged in constructing and painting the stage. We had a dancing instructor who taught the living trees theirs steps on a song. And there was also a real stick fighter who instructed the monsters how to handle their wooden sticks on the music of a group of dejembe-players of a local dejebe-group. There was a crew for sound and lighting and a live band of four musicians. All the actors sang their songs.

We had an interview on a local TV station about the play and stuttering and teasing. In total we played for 1,200 persons. Each performance was sold out, so we had to disappoint many people who couldn't see the play.

It was a tremendous experience for all of us, especially the children who couldnt stop playing, dancing and singing after the final performance.

The lyrics to "Stutter Blues" are linked below in the original Flemish language and an English translation. You can also hear the song "Stutter Blues." on an MP3 player..

August 26, 2002