2017 Festival Workshops

Alton Takiyama-Chung: Crossing Cultural Borders: Collecting and Telling Stories from Another Culture

(9:00, Little Theater)

Alton will share pointers about gathering stories and the amazing things which can occur when diving deeply into a culture not your own. He will share the experience he gained when he was invited into the Okinawan community in Hawaii to gather their stories. Not Okinawan, Alton spent a year collecting, researching, and vetting the stories, with the help of many community volunteers, and presented a show for the Okinawan Community, telling their stories back to them.

Antonio Rocha: Transitions in Eloquence

(9:00, Maier Hall)

Master storyteller and mime, Antonio Rocha, will lead you in the exploration and creation of transitions during the telling of a story with a creative and eloquent approach. Learn how to identify areas where the story changes mood, location, direction and characters, and how to use these important moments to create scenes that belong to the story, but that are not included in the narrative. You may also use the transition to guide your audience carefully, clearly all the while showcasing your style. We will find those places where we can create eloquent works of art with a gesture, sound and even stillness. These transitions give the story momentum, by moving the plot forward while keeping the story deeply connected to its essence.

After the opening lecture, Antonio will demonstrate several transitions from his own work, then coach a few participants on how to create transitions in their own stories. Participants will take home ideas and tools that will help them create memorable transitions for their own storytelling.

Erran Sharpe: Make Friends with your Microphone and Sound System

(9:00, Rm. J-47)

Storytellers need to use a sound system effectively to address larger audiences. Come learn basic skills for using a microphone so that audiences can enjoy your storytelling without struggling to hear your words. In this practical workshop Erran Sharpe (sound man for the Forest Storytelling Festival) will give everyone the opportunity to experiment with a live mic and experiment with how it works. You will also learn to adjust a microphone stand for good sound, learn about feedback, ask questions and address any fears about sound systems and microphones.

Elizabeth Ellis: Prepare to Scare

(10:30, Little Theater)

Do you enjoy listening to and/or telling scary stories? Would you like to increase your repertoire of scary stores to delight your

Join master storyteller Elizabeth Ellis, recipient of both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network, as she discusses why scary stories are important, and where and when to share them. The workshop will include a short survey of the amazing array of material that is available to tell.

Jennifer Ferris: Take the Mystery out of Improv Storytelling

(10:30, Maier Hall)

Join Victoria teller, Jennifer Ferris, in a fast paced workshop on how to tell a story that is created by the audience with you, the teller, as it is being told. Learn the value of being open to the group inspiration and trusting yourself while guiding your listeners in the creation of a story that satisfies both the audience and you, the teller.


Rev Robert Jones: Telling Your Family Story

(10:30, Rm. J-47)

A good deal of Robert Jones’ storytelling comes from the history of his own family. He draws on roots that run from Alabama and other parts of the Deep South to Detroit where he was born and raised. If you would love to share some of the legacies and humor that come from you own family background, this is a workshop that you don’t want to miss.

Robert will discuss how to find “the way into” your family’s stories. He discusses how to keep your stories concise and yet how to identify themes that are universal and relevant to both the teller and the listener.