Abracadabra — The magical art of storytelling

by Christopher Salisbury with credit to Ben Haggerty | 30 January 2020 | Posted in: Theatre

The art of storytelling is such a wonderfully magical artform that is seemingly limitless. It has the ability to grasp a moment in time and cause an audience to hold their breath, laugh, connect with characters they don’t know and empathise so profoundly that it makes them weep. But how do we create a story that can do all this? And what of the performative elements that a storyteller possesses creates this wonderful magic onstage? ISTA’s Christopher Salisbury breaks down the storytelling experience in this masterful resource pack.

Learning outcomes

Participants will distinguish the role of storyteller from actor, and will understand and experience the ingredients of what makes compelling narrative. We will learn and practise improvisational techniques to develop more confidence and trust in the practice of being in the present moment and of the relevance and value of the oral tradition to theatre makers.

Students will learn how to engage and animate their immediate surroundings in a process of storymaking as well as a range of devices to stimulate creative responses to any setting.

Brief summary of activities

It was once said that ‘the shortest distance between two human beings is a story’. It would seem that from whichever culture or epoch we are referencing, people have been telling stories to each other… endlessly. But are we aware of the distinct narrative forms of the oral tradition that underpin all theatre making? This workshop will introduce you to the storytelling fundamentals and practices and most importantly, to yourself as a ‘storyteller’.

Good storytelling dances between the known and unknown, walking a tightrope between the present moment and rehearsed forms.

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