Storytelling can take place wherever you can fit a storyteller and an audience, so long as it’s quiet, and the conditions support focused listening (and it’s not too cold or raining on anyone!) Consider the acoustic quality of the space and any visual and physical distractions and consult the storyteller.
Ideally harmonise the storytelling and the spaces so that the stories reflect the space and visa versa. To create focus it may be necessary to close a gallery, or providing alternate throughways around your building. Staff should always be on hand to move audiences in case of emergencies.
Sometimes you might wish to transform a space appropriately (for example a dull or familiar classroom space). Textiles or rugs can easily create a good atmospheric for storytelling but remember that inappropriate visual stimuli may work against the storyteller.
I can design site specific ‘story-walks’ that can guide small audiences along a narrative trail: crossing habitats, cultures or time as they do so.
Many people believe storyteller events just involve children up to the age of 16, but this does not mean children only. Events can be designed for school parties, families, local community groups, the general public…anyone you like. You may want to mix audiences from different generations or cultures. Your chosen audience and its anticipated size are important factors for helping you to decide what your project will be like, where and when you do it and what stories are told.
Yes! You may want to follow-up a storytelling session with practical skills development workshops so people can learn to tell stories themselves, or you may want to work to encourage creative responses to stories, with workshops where people can create artifacts and exhibits based on their imaginative experiences. If you’re looking for ideas contact us so we can discuss your individual requirements.
Stories can last from a few minutes to hours. If you're aiming to run an event within your venue which passers-by can graze into, then lots of short stories will allow people to come and go. If you're organising an event with a pre-booked audience then longer stories can be told. Young children will sit attentively through surprisingly long stories. A good length for a storytelling session is between 45 minutes and an hour. I will do three such sessions in a day and help you devise a timetable of story sessions to suit your event and the stories being told. There will also be time for questions and discussions after each story.
School parties obviously have specific hours when they can visit an event. For family and community groups choose times and days when they’re likely to be able to come. You will know when your public are likely to come at weekends. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Be bold - make an event: ghost stories surely need to be told in the middle of the night; and stories of banquets can be accompanied by feasts… Also for older groups ‘A story with soup’, or ‘A story- A supper’ is always popular.
17 Oct 2008