March 3rd 2011: Storytelling with Dennis Strain

We will facilitate a class on storytelling through the Philly Public School, initiated by Quentin Lannes and taught by Mr. Strain.  “Traditionally, oral stories were committed to memory and then passed from generation to generation. However, in Western, literate societies, written and televised media have largely surpassed this method of communicating local, family and cultural histories. Oral storytelling remains the dominant medium of learning in many countries with low literacy rates."

This is a course for those who want to tell stories but do not know how to begin.  The first session, Developing The Skills, examines the basic components of a story and uses a storyboard for learning how to tell it.  The second session, Enhancing The Story, uses props, movement and dialogue to make a story more interesting.  The third session focuses on description and movement.  The final session reviews the rules and provides the students a safe place in which to exercise their newly found skills.  Each session includes instruction, demonstrations, and exercises to develop these new skills.  The course bridges the gap between wanting to tell a story and being able to tell.  It gives the student the tools for breaking apart a story and assembling it into an entertaining presentation.  The exercises provide opportunities for exploring ideas and discovering new skills.

Dennis Strain has been telling stories for twenty years.  He learned from taking numerous workshops and taught this workshop for the Unitarian Society of Germantown and for Mt. Airy Learning Tree.  Dennis is a member of Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild.  The members of Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild are dedicated to promoting awareness of storytelling as a vibrant contemporary art form, a folk tradition, a way of celebrating life, a tool for personal and social transformation, and as a path for spiritual exploration.