A few weeks ago SAI held the annual Board Members/ Storytellers meeting. It was a huge success. This is a day for Board Members and Storytellers to meet and discuss storytelling, our mission, what we storytellers have been doing in the schools and ways we can help one another. This meeting helps all of us clarify goals and strengthens the bonds of the organization.
The last couple of years we have met at an idyllic historic house near Princeton. Though we don’t have time to hike around, we do have a glorious fall view surrounding us. The morning is spent in separate groups. The Board Members meet in one room to discuss the things Board Members discuss and we Storytellers have a luxurious few hours of professional development provided for us. We don’t discuss our work, we play, dance, write and otherwise get creative with our stories. I feel honored and appreciated that Karen (Executive Director) and the Board Members realize how important it is to spend time and money on such an activity. Like all professionals, we storytellers need to grow and get reenergized. The afternoon is spent in a pot-luck lunch and combined gathering. Some stories are told. We Storytellers present the work we’ve been doing and answer questions. Board Members tell us what they’ve been working on... But, what I want to tell you about is the morning workshop.
This year the workshop was presented by Carolyn Hunt a Playback Theatre Director. After a brief introduction to Playback Theatre we dove right in moving, growling, stomping and interpreting. Carolyn is an amazing workshop leader. She led us through general Playback exercises but she listened to our questions and observed our explorations and immediately adapted the exercises she had planned to our work. The more she saw us working with parts of our stories, places in our stories, questions we’ve always had about certain motivations, the deeper she pushed us; still using the exercises she had planned. At times the work became uncomfortably intense due to issues the story was revealing. Then we stopped to talk about how these tensions could be balanced in a classroom. I could go on and on but the post would be too long. Thank you Carolyn for a terrific workshop. I have already used fluid sculptures a couple of times in a school. Thank you Board Members and Karen for offering this workshop. Thank you fellow storytellers for playing with me.