Just the Basics—Beginning Storytelling
you tell a clear and inviting story, your audience willingly
joins you, so you create an even more exciting story by imagining
An introduction to the basics of shaping a dynamic and inviting
oral story with an emphasis on structure and sequence, creating
environmental details, character development, and performance
techniques. Make every story your very own! Discover a process
that lets you distill a story to its essentials, so that you
can manage all the details without getting lost in them. Lively
discussion and fun small group work interspersed with examples
of Steven’s storytelling. Single event or residency
Recommended for teachers, librarians, beginning performers,
and anyone starting to use storytelling in their work. Supports
communication curriculum, including listening, language development,
and writing skills as well as standards in speech and drama.
Available for students 4th grade and up.
the Image: Balancing Text, Voice, Gesture and Movement
Create a world in an image. Discover how to distill the elements
of a character, action or environment to its essentials. Identify
the simple performance tools that grow out of the interaction
between text, voice, gesture and movement. Explore how the
interplay of simple elements creates complex characters or
a nuanced environment. An accessible approach to open, inviting
images modeled on traditional tales, but applicable to personal,
family and original fiction. Single event or residency format.
Recommended for writing, speech and drama students from middle
school through university, as well as teachers, librarians,
more advanced performers and others who use storytelling in
in Our Lives: Finding and Sharing Family Stories
Stories create a common memory that strengthens families and
personal and family stories within a comfortable, interactive
atmosphere. Learn techniques for exploring memory, elements
of a well-crafted story, and simple, effective performance
tools to fit your storytelling style. Group discussion and
small group work interspersed with examples of Steven’s
in a short introductory format that has been used successfully
with parent/teacher groups and senior organizations. A longer
format allows time to further explore sources and begin developing
individual stories. Recommended for teachers and other adults
in community, senior and parent groups.
Legends: Truth and Lies from a Friend of a Friend
Everyone knows and tells these informal stories about the
burglar in the closet, the real ingredients of that hamburger,
or the poodle in the microwave. None of them happened to us,
but we heard about it from a friend, who heard about it from
a friend, or received it in an email. They’re funny
and scary and gross, and are probably modern legends.
We hear them at reunions, hanging out with friends, and over
the Internet. They reflect legitimate anxieties, offer practical
lessons, but also traffic in rumor and stereotypes.
thoughtful, fun and participatory session of performance and
discussion that helps to spot these stories, ask why we tell
them, what we are saying about each other, and invites audiences
to share the versions that they have heard.
for middle, high and university students as well as adults.
Stories and oral storytelling remain an integral part of our
modern lives, and they continue to shape our relationships
with family, community and language. Steven brings a wry perspective
to his passionate belief that our informal, everyday storytelling
can bridge generations, strengthen families and communities,
and wrap us in the joy of language.
Steven draws from his broad experience with his own family’s
traditional storytelling as well as from his work in the theater
and as a folklorist to examine and share how storytelling
fits into our everyday lives.
keynote, Stories and Joy, charts in story and observation
how his family’s storytelling inextricably connected
the wonderful shared memories that shaped his sense of family
and community with an appreciation of the language that the
storytellers in his family used to explore and share and play
with life. The oral literacy that grew in this informal setting
provided a firm foundation for his developing literacy in
reading and writing.
belief in the power of storytelling can shape a warm, often
funny, and incisive keynote for your community or organization.
and small group coaching provides the opportunity for one-on-one
attention. Develop your own work and style in a relaxed and
can begin with an idea, an outline or the complete draft of
a story. Steven draws on his years as a performer and writer
to help you tease out the essentials, shape the structure,
and wrap the story in incisive, inviting images.
course, stories are more than text. Steven’s experience
as a coach and theater director will help you join text, voice,
gesture and movement into a unified whole that will strengthen
both the text and your performance.
work? Certainly. Reinvigorating? Absolutely.