STORYTELLING BEYOND WORDS SPRING 2021
& Karmit Even-Zur
7 March - 18 June
2021 (incl. 2 week
East Sussex, UK
What makes a story work?
Can words shift the world?
What inner shift is asked of us to help this happen?
This full time, 13 week training in the art and craft of storytelling aims to prepare you to carry the spoken word and a lively imagination into your communities and places of work. Whether you wish through sharing stories to entertain, educate, counsel, inspire or advocate change; whether the stage, fire side, classroom, board room, or the bedside of a dying person is the context for your telling, this is our flagship training to develop a way of storytelling unique to your own voice and calling. Join us on a journey to light up your creativity and, through the surprising perspectives that this work offers, discover new aspects of who you are. This journey, both playful and profound, opens a path of development and transformation guided by humanity’s great shifters and shapers – Stories.
Long before television was ever imagined storytellers and bards, prophets and poets were called upon to tell their visions and, through a live encounter, provide images that could direct, entertain, provoke, heal and reconcile the communities in which they worked. As a storyteller any story that you craft will in turn craft you to be a fit instrument for its telling. We are, in fact, made of stories, some of which serve our individual and collective endeavours, others binding us to outmoded images. Imagination, therefore, will be our key to the invisible realm from which all stories and everything new and possible can be born. Coupled with clear intention, this essential human faculty will help us connect to those creative forces which are ever available to us. The future is shaped, for good or ill, by the stories we believe and follow.
When an old story cracks and falls apart we know a new one is emerging. The story of our time calls for heightened awareness of themes such as the relationship between outer world and inner experience, and the dynamics between the feminine and masculine principles. ‘Listen to life’s movement’, it says... 'where it wants to flow, then risk following its currents'. The oral tradition is humming with fine and foolish wisdoms, and we invite you to join our enquiry into how what is sounding there can help the birthing of the new paradigm so much needed in our times.
As the pace of modern life accelerates, luring us away from the rhythms and patterns of nature, we intend in this course to slow down and attune to the heartbeat of the earth and open our five and twenty senses to the wonder of it. From this place of presence and connection a new language can arise. The art of deep listening being the foundation for the initiation of the storyteller, and as we practice it we will begin to develop ways to ‘speak into action’ the changes we wish for when faced by 21st century challenges.
Combining contemporary social entrepreneurial principles and skills with the repertoire of stories that you collect and shape during our time together you will be invited to create a research project on a personal, social or environmental theme (whatever is close to your heart) that can be taken into the world and engage the people around you. As the search for healthy social awareness is integral to the storyteller’s role, the honing of the required perception and skills will be a part of our practice. We, facilitators of the course, will strive to create a space in which we can all work and play together in freedom, sharing responsibility with you, our fellow learning practitioners.
In our work we mean to cultivate truthful, mindful and courageous speaking, sharing our passions, questions, vulnerabilities and aspirations. Walking this path you will be encouraged to align with your inner strengths and with the quest you brought with you into the world, remembering, of course, to have fun along the way.
Themes explored on the course:
The Oral Tradition: Building a repertoire as a storyteller, working with folk tales, wonder tales and ancient myths. As a group, we will explore the relationship between stories old and new, their relevance to our life, and which of them are asking to be told today.
The Skills of the Storyteller: In-depth work on story structure, voice, gesture, movement, audience awareness, spontaneity and improvisation, authenticity and presence.
Autobiographical Storytelling: Working with meaningful experiences of your life and shaping them into stories to inspire individuals and communities and to nourish the earth.
Visionary activism: Imagination, activated through work with stories, ritual, performance art and games, will enhance your potential to inspire, foster hope and bring into public consciousness the new narratives and visions that you wish to share.
Coaching: In a supportive atmosphere with individual tutorials, feedback and coaching you will develop your own style of telling and find what you wish to serve with your unique voice and stories.
Social action: Learning to use story, strategy and structure to put your vision into action. Developing ‘out of the box’ solutions to challenges you wish to address.
Deep listening in nature: Practices to tune in to the inter-relationships between all living systems, and our evolving planet as a conscious entity full of life and stories.
Performances: Throughout the course there will be plenty of scope for practicing your stories, including weekly opportunities to share them with a variety of audiences.
Self study: Participants are expected to put in a certain amount of work to get the most out of the course. This includes reading stories to find the ones they wish to work with and doing the required assignments over the weekends and breaks.
Supporting subjects will include: singing, movement, games and improvisation, connecting with nature, sacred geometry, writing creatively and artistic craftwork. (See 'Guest Teachers' below).
Over the years we have worked with people from a wide range of backgrounds, nationalities, ages and professions. The working language is English.
This course is offered under The school of Storytelling at Emerson College.