Deborah Ward has been facilitating workshops in storytelling, authentic public speaking, mask work, clown and physical theatre for 6 years. Here she tells us about her practice and upcoming workshop series, Moving Stories.
So, what got you into storytelling?
Good question… I studied philosophy and looked at Native American philosophy – they tell their belief structures through story. I read an amazing book called “How It Is’ by V. F. Cordova which tells the story of a girl, an old wise woman and panther, with vibrant and vivid description of the panther and its relationship to the jungle, it enlivened my understanding of the native people’s connection to the land they live on. I also saw storytellers in America who naturally embodied characters and landscapes. I then wanted to learn about storytelling…
How did you learn about storytelling?
I went to the West Country Storytelling festival and saw some incredible international tellers – I tried out my first storytelling there, on a small stage. I then went on to study at London International School of Performance Art, in Physical Theatre (LISPA). On the intro weekend to the two-year course I met a mesmerising long red-haired storyteller – she was telling full-time in Germany and said all the physicality and vocal training I needed would be encompassed in this course at LISPA – So I went for it!
What will participants experience on the Moving Stories Workshop series?
I hope to connect participants with their natural creativity which I believe lays dormant in many of us in the modern world. We play theatre games, do vocal exercises, physical play and learn creative tools to help structure live storytelling performance. I also focus on the participants’ inner world – bringing their awareness to their personal connection to a story and inviting them to explore movement in their own unique way, as we discover tools to embody the characters and landscape of a story. I offer a creative space that nurtures as many performance pieces and styles, as there are participants.
Who is the Moving Stories workshops for?
I invite everyone, of all abilities, whether a beginner or a well-versed performer. The workshops focus on people’s journey with a new story and the discovery of how they want to embody and tell it. I offer tools in movement, voice and waking the imagination which are accessible to all. Some of the workshop and improv exercises may be more familiar to those with experience, and fresh to others, however each workshop is a live, creative learning space. There is tailored one-to-one and small group feedback.
Moving Stories starts on April 4th from 7-8.30 at the Jam Jar, Bristol. You can find out more and book your place here.