At StoryCraft, we teach live, personal, true narrative storytelling classes and workshops.
Here's why we do it:
Everyone has stories that matter.
Your stories matter - regardless of how “big” or “small”, “serious” or “silly”. The moments that deepened your understanding of yourself, your relationships, or your world, matter. Regardless of the messiness or imperfection of those stories, our imperfect, meandering lives are what make us who we are, what make us human beings. Telling and hearing stories is an age old practice that brings forth an essential clarity: we are not alone in our meanderings.
Storytelling benefits the storyteller.
Being an effective storyteller levels up your ability to move, persuade, and connect with others, making you more impactful in your work and your life.
Why does that happen? We've learned that when you work on a personal story to understand your life experience, it leads to empowerment, internal acceptance, and peace. This can transform how we interact with others. Telling the truth, starting with our personal stories, allows us to integrate and make meaning of our life experiences. Many students report this storytelling experience to be transformative.
Storytelling benefits the audience and the world.
Stories change hearts and minds in a way that statistics don't. When a storyteller tells a true personal story with an open heart, the audience, for a moment in time, gets to experience what it's like to be someone else. Our shared, human experiences bind us together in our journey through life. When we hear and tell these stories, they help us connect with our empathetic selves. This connection can strengthen families, workplaces, friendships, communities, and, slowly but surely, our world.
Anyone can learn how to tell a good story.
To begin, we take a 3-step approach to teaching storytelling. First, we help you mine your life for stories using prompts, games, and exercises. Second, we share tools that will bring your story to life: narrative structure and arc; details that make a story stick; dramatic techniques that heighten a story’s authenticity; as well as many others. Third, whether you’ve never been onstage before or are a theater veteran, we give you performance techniques that ground you in telling your story powerfully and truthfully. We've helped people with no public speaking or performance experience learn to stand confidently and authentically in their story.
Anyone can learn how to tell a story better.
So maybe you've taken a class with us before. You've gotten those skills, you've told a great story. Is there more to learn? Absolutely! The journey of storytelling is an ongoing development of your craft. If you want to get even better, dive even deeper into storytelling, we have some tools available for you. Right now, you can enroll in our Next Level and Performance classes, and soon we'll be offering courses approaching storytelling from new angles, such as through the lens of fairytale and myth, StoryCraft: In the Wild, and other speciality classes. Come and see where your stories want to go next!
Michelle Darby, Director, co-creator, founder and instructor of StoryCraft, has been facilitating stories through directing, acting, singing, and teaching for more than thirty years. She began teaching true, personal narrative storytelling at Stanford University in 2013. Since then, Michelle has been passionate about the power of personal stories to transform the teller and the listener.
Megan Calfas, Co-Director, co-creator and instructor, is a journalist, playwright, improviser, and podcast producer. She was a teaching assistant for Michelle’s true, personal narrative storytelling class at Stanford, where she studied English, theater, and journalism. She loves stories in every medium, but the ones developed in StoryCraft are always her favorite.
Michelle McGhee, co-creator and Foundations instructor extraordinaire, took Michelle Darby’s true, personal narrative storytelling class in 2017 at Stanford, and has been hooked ever since. She’s passionate about the power of storytelling to inspire self reflection and cultivate empathy. When she’s not teaching workshops, you can find her coding, listening to podcasts, or chasing frisbees.
Rachel Thomson, co-creator and instructor of StoryCraft: Personal Storytelling through the Lens of Fairy Tale and Myth, found her way to storytelling as a student in Michelle Darby's personal storytelling classes at Stanford, where she also studied mythic storytelling with Martin Shaw. Rachel is eager to share with others the power of stories to connect us deeply in community and help us as individuals intimately understand our own journeys. Rachel lives in Sitka, AK and spends most of her non-storytelling time building a new two-year college called Outer Coast.