Improv Workshop with Kieron Freigang: The Storytelling Circle

By Maryann Henck

Cat got your tongue? Excus­es, excus­es. In the impro­vi­sa­tion game, “The Sto­ry­telling Cir­cle,” you’ve got to talk—right away and on the spot—whether you want to or not. No excus­es. No excep­tions. No exit.

Now this dra­ma exer­cise is not only an ide­al method for push­ing any­one suf­fer­ing from stage fright into the lime­light, but also for help­ing ESL stu­dents to come out of their prover­bial shells and improve their pub­lic speak­ing skills in an impromp­tu and edu­tain­ing manner.

After ask­ing par­tic­i­pants to form a cir­cle, you just need to fol­low these three easy steps:

  1. Choose a genre: e.g. documentary.
  2. Choose a title: e.g. “Octo­pus Mat­ing Season.”
  3. Choose the first sto­ry­teller to pro­vide the story’s open­ing line: “The mat­ing behav­ior of the octo­pus is quite dif­fer­ent from all the oth­er species of the world.” Then the next par­tic­i­pant in the cir­cle has to con­tin­ue the sto­ry and keep it rolling.

Inter­est­ed in find­ing out what hap­pens dur­ing “Octo­pus Mat­ing Sea­son,” to the Daisy Queen in a fan­ta­sy sto­ry of the same name, or in a musi­cal called “The Rise and Fall of Mrs. Jones”? Then check out the video of this work­shop con­duct­ed by pro­fes­sion­al actor, Kieron Freigang, and per­formed by the tal­ent­ed par­tic­i­pants from my sem­i­nar, “Dra­ma­tize This!” :

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