Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The power of storytelling: our visit from Donald Davis

Storytelling is an ancient and powerful art, one that long predates our relatively recent experimentation with the written word. Satisfying the universal human need for connection with others, it continues to flourish today. Storytelling is not an exact recitation of memorized lines; the storyteller observes and responds to each audience. No two tellings of the same story are exactly alike.

Donald Davis is legendary in the international storytelling circuit as a master of the craft; someone who vividly shares the particulars of his upbringing in rural North Carolina in a way that has his listeners laughing, crying, and nodding along in recognition, recalling their own family stories. In addition to his many recordings and books, he also runs workshops at many of the festivals where he performs. If you missed him at Open Window this week, or if you'd like to see him again, mark July 22-23 on your calendar for the PowellsWood Storytelling Festival in Federal Way, WA where there will be a great line-up of tellers!
Watching gifted tellers at work (our school has hosted Carmen Agra Deedy, Alton ChungJohn McCutcheon and Antonio Sacre) and engaging in storytelling games is joyful and educational. I've heard professionals - people working in law and business - say that what matters is being able to tell the most persuasive and memorable story. Teachers, politicians, and historians know this to be true as well.

We were incredibly fortunate to be able to host Donald Davis at our school this year. Check out the photos below: the students' faces really say it all!

1 comment:

Donna said...

I'm so envious of those kids! Thank you so much for bringing such talent to OWS.