Earlier this month, the Brandeis Storytelling Brigade travelled to Drumlin farm, a nearby wildlife sanctuary, to tell stories with summer campers between the ages of about 5 and 10. Split into two groups, the campers were regaled with familiar stories as well as those written just for the occasion. The Brigade elicited the young campers’ participation through improvisation and story co-creation which delighted throughout the event. The energy exchange between the children and the Brigade was amazing to watch and be a part of, and we departed hopefully having imparted as much entertainment as we received.
Storytelling as Social Practice begins with the simple yet powerful observation that stories are a fundamental way of understanding and communicating with the world. Juxtaposing short-story analysis and narrative theory with the craft of creating and telling various types of stories, in this JBS theory enhances practice and vice versa. A day might ask students to read classic works of the short-story genre in the morning–like Edgar Allen Poe and Flannery O’Conner– and workshop autobiographical stories in the afternoon. As the storytellers sharpen their reading and telling skills, Brandeis may have a new and articulate group to add to its story.