What Youth Tellers Want & Need – Part 4 of 7

This is the fourth of seven parts on gleaming from personal experiences as well as experiences of the 100+ youth who have taken the stage – live and virtual – through Story Crossroads since 2016. We support youth beyond the stage through Youth Teller Reunions as well as Live & Virtual Story Camps.


  • Part 1 – Choosing the “Right” Words – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Friend/Listener/Mentor – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – The Storytelling Birthday – REVEALED
  • Part 4 – Combining Talents – TODAY
  • Part 5 – Ownership of Events & Beyond
  • Part 6 – Virtual Options
  • Part 7 – Wishlist Stages

Youth have more than one talent, and storytelling is one of many.

When it is the first time for youth to learn storytelling, then focusing only on that talent is best. Though the second, third, fourth, or any other time after that initial instruction needs to be exploring what the youth enjoys beyond the art.

One of my favorite combinations was a youth teller who told a personal story while doing Karate. Obviously, Karate was important to the movement of the plot. He had the right amount of kicks that enhanced rather than distracted from the whole experience. He ended up being one of my top youth tellers for that year of Story Crossroads and moved along to the National Youth Storytelling.

We have plenty of adults that combine other talents with storytelling.

Although coming from an adult, I have always been fascinated by what Dustin Loehr contributed to the storytelling world with merging his tap dancing to the tellings. I could tell you of the time when he flew into Utah, needed a tap board, and I was scrounging and taking pictures of different wood panels to see if they “would pass inspection” the day before performance….

Though once on stage, his way of tip-tapping different sounds and postures to represent different characters was inspiring. We certainly will want him to perform at Story Crossroads again.

Any talent can combine with storytelling.

Music and dance are always brought to mind, though what are different genres and styles?

To get the brain-a-bubblin’, here are some music: Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Country, Soul, Dance Music, Hip Hop.

Normal, right?

Notice that dance and music often overlap.

Have you heard of: Enka, Isicathamiya, or Frevo?

Here is a highlight of one of them, and I will let you explore and learn about the other two.

Enka = Japanese semi-traditional singing style and folk wardrobe, mixed with modern and traditional instrumentation and influences…yet see some youth at a pep rally combine this style with “Let’s move” by Beyoncé – could there be some kind of combination with storytelling? Though, experience Enka and an interview with the singer, Hitomi Idemitsu…and the reason she is attracted to this style is that “Enka has stories in it.” Hmmm.

What about in the dance world: Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Ballroom.

Though have you heard of: Demi-Character, Bugg, or Ghumura?

Again, here is a highlight of one of them, and I will let you explore and learn about the other two.

Demi-Character = Classic ballet though must focus and portray a character in a…story, many competitions are out there for it and here is one youth with a “swimmingly” wonderful story dance.

Back to the youth in your life.

More talents are out there than music and dance. What else could youth combine with storytelling and draw them more so in the art than ever before?

  • Photography – with big enough pictures, projections on stage, or virtual means – this talent can be amazing with storytelling. Plus, I recently learned about PechaKucha.
  • Cooking – sometimes the cooking can be shared after the performance – the aromas can enhance the overall experience – or can be shared on screen of making/baking while telling. So many food stories around the world. David Novak had bread baking in an important Gilgamesh scene. Here is an article about it.
  • Fashion – how can the change of wardrobe help in the telling of a story – can more than one teller take the stage or can this be done solo – Pippa White (interview with her – she admits she did not call herself a storyteller until later) loves to do a simple switch of hats for historical representations while Darci Tucker (interview with her) has been three characters in one performance due to strategic layering. Why cannot youth do this with a twist? Does it always need to be historical…perhaps modern or even futuristic? We had youth tell 1-minute or so stories for the Story Train that stopped to the past, present, and future. The youth had to dress up to match their time period and story. The future ones…were fantastic. Actually, all were wonderful.

And this is only a sneak of talents that can make it to stage or performance in one way or another.

Brainstorm with youth.

Are they great at foreign languages? Can there be bilingual storytelling? What of visual arts beyond photography? Pottery? How can that tell a story?

How can anything truly be used to tell a story?

Yes, teach the basics of storytelling without the combining first…though there is no harm is letting youth know that you love their fill-in-the-blank talent and hint that you would love to see what they do with it for storytelling after learning how to do “pure” storytelling without the embellishments or add-ons.

You will be amazed.

Be there for our youth – today.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities. See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.

And…Spread the word about our upcoming Story Camp for youth aged 8-17 in mid-August of two kinds: Limited-Sized/Proper-Distanced as well as Virtual.

Skilled Stagecrafting for Story Theatre – A to Z Blog Challenge

Lion King Mask--London production--Steve Evans

Versión en Español se puede encontrar a continuación o haga clic aquí para ir allí. Haga clic en mí para saltar a la parte española.  Support the free Story Crossroads Festival by giving today.

This post is part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.  See more at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

Story Theatre takes the spontaneous side of the art of storytelling and combines it with the choreography and style of Theatre.

Normally, Storytelling and Theatre are at odds with each other.  Storytelling wishes for there to be a connection with the audience and recognizing the audience is there.  Theatre has the 4th wall that have characters interacting with each other and pretending the audience is not there.  Storytelling keeps the plot the same though the dialogue and responses could vary depending on what the storyteller senses from the audience.  Theatre keeps the lines the same for the actors whether for one audience member or for a thousand.

Yet, Story Theatre takes the strengths of both worlds and a happy art is born.

So what are basics to keep in mind for skilled stagecrafting for Story Theatre?

Narrator(s) vs. Character(s)

Some plays or musicals include a narrator such as for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”  In Story Theatre, it is assumed you will have at least one narrator of some kind.  Story Theatre can be a one-person show or could involve a huge cast.  Determine how many people will be part of the production.  Of that number, who will be considered narrator(s) and who will be considered character(s).

A narrator has the ability to talk directly to the audience.  The narrator could ask questions and expect (and will wait for) answers from the audience.

A character is in its own world and do not know that the audience exists.  A character can interact with a narrator.  Thus, the narrator has god-like qualities of being all-knowing and all-inclusive.

Script vs. Improv

Story Theatre will involve some level of script though the big question is of what percentage will be scripted and of what percentage will leave room to have improvisational moments.  Even Story Theatre has its own spectrum of 100% scripted to 100% improv.  Most Story Theatre follows the 80/20 rule of 80% scripted and 20% improv.  There is not a right or wrong way for it to still be considered Story Theatre.  As long as you have at least one narrator that intermingles or interacts with the audience, then the “Story” part of the “Story Theatre” is maintained.

Simple vs. Complex Staging

The simplest of staging for Story Theatre is of using nothing except for the person(s) involved in the production.  Their body language and hand movements are the extent of what could be considered staging.

A single prop can also be part of the staging.  For example, Elaine Muray uses a flowing blue cloth to represent different moments or characters within a piece. She has been told many times by audience members that she was dancing.

The Story Theatre staging could also be highly involved with stage pieces, sets, garb, and anything else that would be expected for Theatre.

Choose where you want to be on the Story Theatre spectrum.  No matter what you choose, the audience will love you.  I am sure of it.

We appreciate Steve Evans granting permission to use the picture he took of this Lion King mask from the London production.  You can find all of his images here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/babasteve/.

Aquí lo tiene.
Lion King Mask--London production--Steve Evans

Para la Historia del Teatro Etapa Elaboración Cualificados

Historia Teatro toma el lado espontáneo del arte de la narración y la combina con la coreografía y el estilo de teatro.

Normalmente, la narración de cuentos y teatro están en desacuerdo unos con otros. Cuentacuentos desea que exista una conexión con la audiencia y reconociendo la audiencia está ahí. Teatro tiene la cuarta pared que tengan personajes interactuando entre sí y pretender que la audiencia no está allí. La narración mantiene el trazado de la misma a pesar de que el diálogo y las respuestas podrían variar dependiendo de lo que el narrador los sentidos de la audiencia. Teatro mantiene las líneas de los mismos para los actores, sea de un miembro de la audiencia o de mil.

Sin embargo, Cuento Teatro toma las fortalezas de ambos mundos y un feliz arte nace.

Entonces, ¿cuáles son elementos básicos para tener en mente para etapa elaboración calificados para la historia del teatro?

Narrador(s) vs. Personaje(s) Está

Algunas obras de teatro y musicales incluyen un narrador como para “José y el asombroso Technicolor Dreamcoat.” En la historia del teatro, se supone que usted tendrá al menos un narrador de algún tipo. Historia teatro puede ser una persona o mostrar podría implicar un enorme elenco. Determinar cuántas personas formarán parte de la producción. De ese número, que serán considerados narrador(s) y que serán considerados personaje(s).

Un narrador tiene la capacidad de hablar directamente con el público. El narrador pudo hacer preguntas y esperar (y esperará a) las respuestas de la audiencia.

Un personaje está en su propio mundo y no saben que el público existe. Un personaje puede interactuar con un narrador. Así, el narrador tiene como Dios cualidades de todo conocimiento y todo incluido.

Guión vs. Las Improvisaciones

Teatro Historia implicará cierto nivel de script aunque la gran pregunta es qué porcentaje será escrita y qué porcentaje dejará espacio para tener momentos de improvisación. Incluso historia teatro tiene su propia gama de 100% a 100% con guión las improvisaciones. Más Historia El teatro sigue la regla 80/20 de 80% y 20% con guión las improvisaciones. No hay una forma correcta o incorrecta para ser considerada todavía historia del teatro. Tan largo como usted tiene al menos un narrador que se entremezcla o interactúa con la audiencia, entonces la “Historia” de parte de la historia de “Teatro” se mantiene.

Simple vs. Compleja

La clasificación más simple de clasificación para el teatro es la historia de usar nada excepto para la(s) persona(s) involucrados en la producción. Su lenguaje corporal y los movimientos de la mano son la magnitud de lo que podría considerarse la estadificación.

Una sola hélice también puede ser parte de la escenografía. Por ejemplo, Elaine Muray utiliza un paño azul fluyendo para representar diferentes momentos o caracteres dentro de una pieza. Ella ha dicho muchas veces por los miembros de la audiencia que ella estaba bailando.

La historia teatro estadificación también podría ser altamente involucrados con la etapa de piezas, conjuntos, vestimenta, y cualquier otra cosa que se esperaría para el teatro.

Elija dónde desea estar en la historia teatro espectro. No importa lo que usted elija, la audiencia te amo. Estoy seguro de ello.

Apreciamos Steve Evans la concesión de permiso para utilizar la foto que tomó de este Rey León máscara desde la producción de Londres. Puede encontrar todas sus imágenes aquí: https://www.flickr.com/photos/babasteve/.