Professional Storyteller

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Movement, Masks, Props and Much More


Movement, Masks, Props and Much More

Share and learn about the use of movement, mask work, props and more in your work.

Members: 62
Latest Activity: Sep 25, 2014

Discussion Forum

Mime and Storytelling 1 Reply

Started by Caleb Winebrenner. Last reply by Brenda Pritchett Aug 14, 2013.

Multi-sensory storytelling 3 Replies

Started by Gwen Bonilla. Last reply by Gwen Bonilla Feb 19, 2012.

"A World of Storytelling" Radio Station

Started by Don 'Buck P' Creacy Aug 18, 2011.

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Comment by Sheila Wee on July 7, 2008 at 2:18am

I've just joined this site and this forum. I only use props in some of my stories to younger children, but I do love telling those stories. I am particulary keen on drawing stories, just because I am lousy at drawing and I can still do them effectively. Anne Pellowski was the one who first introduced me to drawing stories, string stories and handkerchief stories and I am very grateful to her for it. I love her book
Drawing Stories From Around the World and a Sampling of European Handkerchief Stories, Libraries Unlimited, USA 2005.


Comment by Elaine Muray on July 2, 2008 at 12:18am
Just thought I'd mention that if any of you are going to this year's NSN Conference, I'll be making great use of one prop in multiple ways at the Fringe I'll be doing: "Right Down to Her Toes: What Women Want."
Comment by Elaine Muray on June 29, 2008 at 2:24pm
What a great idea from Activated Storytellers! I would encourage everyone to take a household object and spend a long afternoon exploring the different ways in which that object can be transformed! Thanks for contributing! Invite more!
Comment by Act!vated Story Theatre on June 28, 2008 at 8:20pm
We use a lot of movement, some masks and many props. One of our favorite props that manages to find it's way into each show is a string-less tennis racket. It's a cave, a tunnel, a mouth with a loose tooth, a mirror, a shovel, a lollipop. The fun part is when Kimberly manages to squeeze her whole body through it. That's why we pulled the strings off; she gets a little strained otherwise.
Comment by Patricia Kjolhede on May 26, 2008 at 8:23am
HI there
I started out using guitar with my storytelling partly because it gave me something to "hide behind" as I gained confidence in my work. I will be the first to admit that I don't really play that well, but the audiences that I play for don't seem to care that much; it is more the enthusiasm that counts. Also, because I started working with pre-k and kindergarten kids, flannel board helped me to remember where I was going chronologically. Props are just a natural and in the classroom kids love using them as a re-telling tool.
It is amazing to watch kids work with these tools and see their oral language skills develop daily and those skills develop into writing skills....the metamorphasis is miraculous!!!


Comment by Dianne de Las Casas, Founder on May 20, 2008 at 10:12pm
I love using props in storytelling. My latest book Handmade Tales has 27 stories in it that use bandanas, handkerchiefs, napkins, towels, string, shoe laces, dollar bills, newspaper and other simple household items. I think that props can add so much visually to the story but you really have to practice at being adept with your props, otherwise, the props can detract from the story. When using props, there has to be a seamless integration of the story and the prop. I usually learn the story first, then learn to manipulate the prop. It's fun to see the audience gasp when a prop is transformed either literally or through the imagination!

Comment by Elaine Muray on May 19, 2008 at 3:23pm
I also want to dovetail made by Scott and Johanna below who are fab storytellers! Recently a director was working with me on a prop and when he told me that props are like friends, good relationships...very forgiving. When he said that, I stopped fiddling with the prop and getting angry and related to it more calmly, knowing that it would forgive me...made all the difference!
Comment by Elaine Muray on May 19, 2008 at 2:36pm
Tip of the Week (When Time Allots)

I have one story in which I use a fan for each character. After much research, I found out that silk and bamboo fans are the ones you can open with a little flick of the wrist and with dramatic effect. I was even find a resource in Vietnam with hand paintings of the characters in my story (this was luck). The fans are beautiful!
Comment by David S. Sharp on May 12, 2008 at 3:52pm
I met an interesting storyteller at a festival I worked at this last weekend. His character was a Moorish storyteller from Spain and He used a staff that had been decorated with woodburned designs for a prop in several of his stories, it helped illustrate many of the actions in the tales such as a snake, a tree or a giant schimitar. It was a great prop and helped add to the interest of his costume.

Dave Sharp
Glastonbury duo
Comment by David S. Sharp on May 5, 2008 at 2:47pm
Hi Elaine

I like the picture of you with the mask and I've always felt that action, props and sound help illustrate a story. I've been working on some plywood back drops to take with us on some of our storytelling shows and from a Greek play I worked on last year for our local college the prop department gave me the sturdy little rock they made to hide my portable battery powered 50Watt amp. That make it easy for my wife and I to do our shows either outside or on a stage without house sound and keep the focus on the theatre of the thing with out a lot of mic stands and speakers sticking out.

Having come at storytelling from years of playing music, I tell stories about musicians in folk tales that play our kind of music and we use the instruments as props that illustrate some of the actions of the characters as well as for sound effects.

I've always done quite a bit of pantomime with things as well. Such as stomp my feet on the stage when the angry father in law makes his entrance into the story. I also have a number of African and tibetan masks hanging about the house and have been giving serious thought about using them for God like characters in stories from those places. We have worked with dancers quite a bit for our stories and my sister has a large childrens dance group that we have written stories for and my sister and two nieces compose dances for. To my mind anything that helps get the story across to the audience is a good thing and fun.

Dave Sharp

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