Shared Wisdom, Passion and Play

By Christine Carlton, STF 2017 Workshop Presenter

A group of enthusiastic tertiary students had gathered at a conference. Their spirits and minds were open to participating in workshops to discover and extend their knowledge and skills in the area of their interest and study. When they walked into a workshop room they were delighted, yet surprised to see one of their college professors sitting in the circle of chairs. He was a renowned expert and teacher in his field of passion and study.

One of the students said, “We didn’t know that you were presenting at this conference.”  “I’m not.”   “Well, why are you here? You are invited all over the world to give keynotes and offer workshops at international conferences. You are a leader in this field, both in research and practice. Surely you are not here as a participant?”  The Professor replied with the words of eminent teacher Thomas Arnold “I prefer that my students should drink from a running stream rather than a stagnant pool.”

I am always delighted when I see very experienced storytellers attending a Storytelling Conference or Festival when they are not featured on the program. It shows Storytellers’ willingness to support others and acknowledge the shared wisdom and skill of both presenters and participants. This is something special about the spirit of the storytelling community.

For me workshops provide an opportunity to draw on the wisdom, insights and experience of the group. Workshops are the times and places where we can individually and as a group play with ideas, be spontaneous, creative and flexible as we step into story to capture the essence, the drama, and refashion it for a new telling.

Using simple drama techniques can provide participants with the opportunity to enter into a story or go behind the story and beyond it to explore social and cultural issues it contains, to understand and see from different perspectives some of the gems, meanings, challenges, insights and learnings for our lives and for development of new tales.

We all know that one story can spark another story. Using one story as a stimulus to refine our storytelling techniques and generate new and parallel stories, invites us to improvise, to work with others and share ideas to develop character, voice and plot. Experimenting with a variety of ways to break open stories to identify key images and important moments can get the creative juices flowing.

Some effective drama techniques including, still images and freeze frames, thought tracking and tapping -in, soundscapes, liquid pictures, talking pictures, and other visual, auditory, verbal, kinesthetic creative activities can not only stretch our skills but be pleasurable as well.

A Workshop where we can tell stories, capture the drama, share our wisdom and experience in a playful manner invites engagement, discovery and laughter.


Interested in learning some new drama techniques?  Sign up for Christine’s STF workshop

Telling the Story, Capturing the Drama


from 10:30 am to 12:00 noon on Saturday, March 25th. Visit the STF Conference Details page to register for the conference.

Have personal experience of your own to share on this topic? Leave a comment.

Christine Carlton at STF 2017Christine Carlton, Australian Storyteller and Education Consultant travels throughout Australia and internationally. She offers workshops for teachers, children, adult storytellers, tertiary students, community groups and organizations to enable them to tap into their creativity and give voice to their stories whether they be true, tall or traditional tales. Christine believes in the power of Storytelling to engage and transform the human spirit.


Shared Wisdom, Passion and Play — 2 Comments

  1. Exactly, Christine–great post–I use skills in my writing and personal history workshops taken directly from what I’ve learned in the many years I attended STF. Looking forward to learning more this coming conference.

    • Yes Marjorie, that’s how we grow our own wisdom and skills. It is especially envigorating when we have the opportunity to explore a variety of ways to improve our storytelling skills in the company of others who are story lovers. I’m looking forward to the conference too!

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