Workshops for Adults

Carol Birch’s presentations can accommodate whatever mix of storytelling, literature – especially literature for children – and oral/aural communication skills your audience requires. Sample topics are listed below. Each event includes stories, lecture, demonstration and question periods. When appropriate, participatory exercises are encouraged.

After attending a workshop, author and storyteller Cynthis De Felice wrote:

“My luggage didn’t arrive and my car broke down on the way from the airport – but I didn’t care – my brain was (is) still full of what I learned. I can see so many ways to grow and explore. I don’t know how to really thank you for just being real and letting your intelligence, warmth, experience, humor and integrity come through in a way that was instructive, compelling and honest…but thanks.”

Do Tell! The Art Of Storytelling

Very basic information woven into a demonstration which reminds people how effective they are in their daily lives as situational storytellers. The goal is to help them identify and strengthen the skills that they presently possess, as they explore moving into other storytelling contexts. This lecture can be easily modified to meet the needs of educators, business people, lawyers, minister, and other professional communities, for example: Storytelling in the Classroom, The Art of the Tale in the Art of the Sale, etc.

The Whole Story: Using Imagery To Extend The Story Experience

The real art of storytelling is restoring the primacy of the imagination in tellers and audiences alike. This presentation, which helps storytellers bring character and setting into sharper focus, is easily adapted to meet the storytelling experience of the audience. The goal is a more precise re-creation of an imaged world, one that has the vividness and conviction of daily living.

Three Part Harmony: Voices Of Parallel Peoples

Storytelling is well suited to the values inherent in multicultural education, simultaneously celebrating universal themes along with specific, cultural details. If the universal is the stock in the stew pot of stories, then it is those geographic, ethnic, cultural and historical details that flavor the stew and make it distinctive. The goal is to enable educators to examine issues related to telling outside one’s own culture, while also helping them become more effective in their telling of stories.

A Storyteller’s Passionate Virtuosity

As John Barth says, technique in art is like technique in lovemaking — heartfelt ineptitude has its charms, as does heartless skill — but what we all long for is passionate virtuosity. The goal is to make the ‘ techniques’ of storytelling vanish, leaving only the storyteller’s depth of feeling, wit and conviction in evidence.

Who Says?

The function of the narrator in storytelling is a key issue. Storytelling’s resonance is derived, to a great extent, by the creative tensions between the narrator as the intelligence within the literature, the performing narrator, and the characters of the story. What emerges in a telling is a co-expression of styles, and in this coalescence a fresh and compelling language that allows the literature to astound us. This workshop focuses on the narrative functions, and explores the ways in which the harmony and the dissonance among these voices can be amplified.