Collective Storytelling
Across Age & Discipline
Writing and Performance Project

An ongoing collaborative and interdisciplinary project that offers young and professional artists and audiences the opportunity to develop and present work that focuses on identity and memory.  


PHASE ONE: spring 2014 // teen memoir writing workshop 

PHASE TWO: summer 2014 // rehearsals adapting writing into performance

PHASE THREE: fall 2014 - spring 2015 // When I Was Seventeen

PHASE FOUR: summer 2015 // mondays at the montrose (A storytelling series) 

PHASE FIVE: SPRING/SUMMER 2016 // PERFORMANCES BASED IN STORYTELLING + IDENTITY


PHASE ONE: 

LED BY AMY BETH SCHNEIDER

Amy Beth completed her Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, with a concentration in creative nonfiction. In February of 2013, she was named one of four finalists for the Cheryl Strayed/VIDA Women in the Literary Arts Memoir scholarship. Prior to pursuing her M.F.A., she studied both Dance and English at Oberlin College. In the summer of 2013, her essay “border town” was the featured nonfiction selection for the Nashville Review. Along with many years as a teaching artist in the New York City public schools, she teaches writing to college freshman at SUNY Purchase and The College of New Rochelle. 

THE WRITING WORKSHOP

The teen writing workshop focuses on the personal essay, and invites young writers, with a target age of 16-19, to contemplate their relationship to their bodies, as well as their sexuality and gender identity, while developing a personal writing voice. Participants will read broadly to engage with these themes, works by James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Edmund White, David Sedaris, Alice Walker, and others.  They will balance developing their own writing project with offering critical insight into the work of their peers.  The workshop will encourage sensitivity to the differences between workshop participants, and seek to build positive dialogue regarding the shared thematic inquiry. 


PHASE TWO: 

SUMMER REHEARSALS

Five professional dance and theater artists and two teen dancers met once a week throughout the summer to collaborate on developing a performance work.  Each rehearsal started with one member of the company leading the group through a writing, movement, or speaking exercise exploring personal memory and identity.  These prompts led to developing short performance vignettes that by the end of the summer had been woven together to create a work-in-progress, performance ready work that was performed to an audience in a meadow in Prospect Park.  

work-in-progress performance

Wednesday, August 13th at 7:30PM

Over 20 invited guests and those passing by watched our work and provided thoughts and feedback to guide us through the next phases of the project.  


PHASE THREE: 

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WHEN I WAS SEVENTEEN

Working with an eloquent and imaginative seventeen year old, we are creating a performance work based on the memories of those older than her and performed by her and other young artists around age seventeen.  This fall, we are on a mission to collect 500 memories in the form of one word, one sentence and/or a story.  Rehearsals have also begun where we are exploring ways to adapt these memories into performance.  

PLEASE share your memories from when you were seventeen to guide the development of this multimedia performance work:  SHARE A MEMORY


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COLLABORATORS FROM VARIOUS PHASES OF COLLECTIVE STORYTELLING


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This program is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).