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Passionate Fact Workshop | Voice & Language Workshop | Story Architecture AIS Residency | School Workshops



        Storytelling for Science Teachers, Park Interpreters & Public Speakers
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        Native American Cultural Studies

        This workshop is only given in combination with the Coyote Tales performance. It is lead in a discussion format in which the various messages in a single Coyote story are explored. This workshop demonstrates how a Native child receives their "schooling" from storytelling by gathering different messages at different listening times. Also, It breaks down Native stereotypes and reveals the wisdom of the clown as teacher. Students volunteer what they think is the most important message in the Coyote story. As these are listed on a blackboard, Susan recalls her experiences with Native people which reinforce the story's messages. Also, she points out some messages of the story which might not be clear to someone outside the culture. Messages might be about social conduct, natural history or spiritual awareness. In the end, it becomes clear that no single message is the most important. Some messages appear more important to people at different ages in their life. If one were raised in a traditional Native home, one would hear these stories throughout one's life, allowing the various wisdom's of the story to deepen in the listener over time.

        • Workshop size: 20-30 students (Can accommodate groups up to 50).
        • Time: 45 minutes session for students/ 2 hours session for professionals.
        • Age appropriate: Students, grades 3 to 12 and professional training.


        Voice & Language Use in Storytelling

        This workshop explores the picture making capacity of voice. Activities give participants ways to enrich and project their voice, find character voices, discover the moods created by different vowels and consonants and make more effective word choices in writing and speaking. Eurhythmic movement gestures will be used to develop the participants' knowledge of sounds.

        • Workshop size: 15-20 students.
        • Time: 45 minutes session for students. Up to full day sessions for professionals.
        • Age appropriate: Students K-12 and professional training.
        • Performance/Workshop Combinations:
          This workshop can be combined with any performance, but is best suited to the following:
          - Sound & Silence
          - The Bird's Tale
          - Winter Gift
          - Great Fools
          - The Mythic Wolf
          - Animal Wisdom



        This workshop explores all of the ways in which language is musical and how writing can be inspired by music. Susan introduces how she developed storytelling scripts to perform with Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" and Aaron Copeland's "The Red Pony Suite" (written as music for the movie based on John Steinbeck's book). Concepts of alliteration, tone, tempo and rhythm in syntax are introduced. Then, students are asked to re-write the beginning to a story of their own creation following the same style and mood as three different classical music compositions.

        • Workshop size: 15-20 students. Time: 1 hour/ students, 2 hours/ professional.
        • Age appropriate: Students 3 -12 and professional.
        • Performance/Workshop Combinations: Any.



        In this re-creation of the Cree tradition of Name-Giving Stories, students will discover how important stories are in the shaping of their personal identity. In the process of creating their own Name-Giving Stories, they will learn about the wonderfully fine relationship that exists between our own true-life stories and imaginative stories. This residency will carry them through a rich "telling/ listening/ writing" process that will also reveal how learning about other cultural traditions expand the way we conceive of our own lives.

        • Workshop size: 20 students or one classroom. Time: 2 hrs to a 3 day residency.
        • Age appropriate: grades 3-12.
        • Performance/Workshop Combination:
          - Coyote Tales
          - Animal Wisdom
          - Great Fools
          - Heros& Sheros



        Participants explore the essential elements of the storytelling art: the picture making ability of language, use of voice, characterization, story structure and syntax. Students develop a fluency in the dramatic and poetic techniques used to structure an exciting story. Listening and memory skills develop along with the other learning. Learning takes place through dance, drawing and game like activities.

        • Workshop size: 20 students or one classroom.
        • Time: 5 days residency for students or half & full day workshop for professionals.
        • Age appropriate: K- 12 and professionals.
        • Performance/ Workshop Combinations: Students learn two stories during the course of the residency.
        • Stories from any performance theme can be chosen.



        This workshop focuses on the magical mythic language of symbols and metaphor. Susan introduces the special power of this language by giving a performance from the following selection of world myths and fairy tales:

        • Sigfried & Brunhilda – Nordic
        • Persephone & Demeter – Greek
        • Coyote & The Swallowing Monster – Nez Perce, Native American
        • Finist, The Falcon – Russian
        • Venus & Adonis – Greek
        • The Firebird, Young Ivan & The Wolf – Russian
        • The White Bear King – Norwegian
        • Five Sparrows – Japanese
        • The Hundredth Dove – Old English
        • The Nightingale & The Dove – Afghanistan
        • Spako, The Wolf Goddess – Persia

        In the workshop, she leads participants through an exploration of the major images or archetypes in the myths, how they relate to the images our own dreams make and to those in other world myths. As the father of archetypal psychology, Carl G. Jung said, “Ultimately, an archetype can never be explained, but must be experienced.” Through the exploration of such images as “darkness” or “entering the monster”, the taking of food, the transformation of animals into human beings, the tree of life and other universally appearing archetypes, participants begin to understand how their personal story is connected to a very old and universal story.

        • Workshop size: 20 students or one classroom.
        • Time: 1 hour/ students, 2 hours/ professional.
        • Age appropriate: Students, grades 3 – 12 and professionals.
        • Performance/Workshop Combinations:
          - Heros & Sheros
          - The Mythic Wolf
          - The Bird’s Tale
          - Animal Wisdom
          - Witches, Queens & Goddess
          - Many Myths, One Reality


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