Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Value of Stories - revisited

Tuesday afternoon, 3:30pm. Had one performance today once again with a Creche and Kindergarten Preprep group at one of my regular community kindergartens. They were around 4 years old and totaled around 40 children.

It was a good show. The children were enthusiastic, well warmed up to stories and storytelling. The staff were very supportive and had specific requests as to which of my stories they would like and which themes they would like me to explore - eg Easter.

I told three stories as per usual. 'The Tailor' or 'Something for Nothing' (this had been requested), 'The Little Blue Train takes the children to the farm (with an Easter theme) and 'Dragon Boy' ( a faux Chinese folktale I created with preschoolers last year).

As a performance artist I really enjoyed the way the audience joined in so enthusiastically and offered little gifts of possibilities for the stories.

Talking to one of the Directors afterward, I mentioned these interview questions and what she thought the value of stories and storytelling were to children. She includes daily reading and storytelling in her program and said, 'Stories and storytelling are so empowering for children. It gives them power over language and expression and communication.' (paraphrased)

I thought 'Yes! That puts it very clearly.'

Yes stories are fun and entertaining and thought provoking and provide a shared experience but, possibly most importantly, for children in particular, storytelling and stories are empowering.

That segues most opportunely into my answer for Q2 but more of that in the next post.

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