Colleges, Schools & Camps

CPI artists have been working with students of all ages for 20 years.  Finding your story, and learning how to write about, record and present it are lessons that can be lifechanging for students from the elementary to the postgraduate level.  Below are some of the offerings that can be used in your:

  • College or High School level Playwrighting class
  • Summer museum art camp
  • Elementary school community performance production
  • Middle school family and local history project
  • Multi-generational geneology project
  • Videography and documentary film-making
  • and other arts education programs

Playwriting Workshop

Co-creating a Full Length Script of Community Performance

Description: Participants learn to collect and craft stories into a full length script in this one week intensive workshop.  Participant writers exchange stories with volunteers, surface themes, transcribe stories, write scenes, order and integrate these into a script with the Master Story Crafter.  Class learns Community Performance playwriting based on student-written scenes from gathered transcripts, with each student writing a scene and the class together crafting a full play.

Duration: 5 days, four hours/day (or night), all day Saturday.

Target Audience/Size: 10-20 writers --An organization, school, camp, club with novice or experienced writers interested in creating their own Community Performance script.  Public script reading and discussion on Saturday night concludes the process.

Special Requirements: Storytellers to interview.  Audio recording equipment, computers for transcription.

Takeaways: Finished draft script for Community Performance, suitable for public performance, written by community writers and Master Story Crafter.

Staffing: Master Story Crafter and assistant

Finding Us

Description: Through personal story and collective performance CPI brings strangers into a relationship or boosts the commitment and creativity of an existing group.  Participants find a partner, each pair sharing stories on the topic of your choice.  The stories are winnowed as partners join other pairs.  Groups of four to eight perform using whatever furniture, props, and costume items are available.  The process discovers inspirational stories for your organization and affirms the talent of your people and their ability to function as a creative team.

Duration: 3 hours

Special Requirements:  Large open room(s).

Takeaways:  Trust building.  Creative team building.  Diversity training.

Staffing: Master Story Crafter, assistant

Panning for Gold

Description: From the Master Story Crafter, volunteers will learn the art and technique of Story Exchange.  Once trained, volunteers can use their skills to drive a larger project.  Topics covered include technical /legal/ethical concerns, and will focus on
  • Introducing self and project
  • Establishing rapport
  • Priming the story pump
  • Listening to deepen empathy
  • The power of silence to take a teller deeper
  • Asking for details
  • Saying "Thank you."
Each participant will leave with a kit, a checklist, and access to CPI's technical assistance email.

Duration: Two Hours

Target Audience/Size: 6 to 60. Community Performance projects, Ethnography students, school students (local history/generational history), Local history organizations.

Special Requirements: One digital audio recorder.

Takeaways: A Confident and cohesive group of volunteers ready to participate in a story exchange as part of a larger project in organizational cohesion, Community Performance, or development of communicative agency.

Staffing: One Master Story Crafter

Story Exchange (Laboratory)

Description: This is the gold standard in how successfully to gather stories.  Utilizing each other, participants exchange stories, fill out a log, receive permission, transcribe stories, and submit material for staff evaluation.  (The stories gathered will serve your organization.)

Duration: Two Hours and online follow-up on transcription.

Target Audience/Size: 6 to 20

Special Requirements: Digital Recording equipment.

Takeaways: Increased awareness of story in community.  Practical experience in story exchange. Increased communication and public speaking skills.

Staffing: Master Story Crafter

Who We Are and How We Move Forward

The Stories We're Made Of

Description: Understand your organization more deeply through its stories.  The Master Story Crafters at CPI have listened deeply and long to the stories of organizations.  Through reverent listening they move to the heart of the matter.  On site, or at your gathering (annual meeting, board retreat, picnic, reunion, anniversary), they will draw forth organizational stories that teach, define, and inspire.  Through discussion, video, presentation, or print material (your choice) our experts will reflect back the ideas and stories that define your organization.

Add ons: For even more "standing in your shoes" impact, this project can be presented as a performance starring your people.

Duration: Several hours of contact, transcription, layout, reporting (more if the performance modality is chosen).

Target Audience/Size: 10 to 30 individual interviews, or several story circles.  Interviews and stories drawn from a group of any size.

Special Requirements: Quiet and lovely place for the story sharing

Takeaways: Insight into the deep purposes of your organization, its transformation stories, stories that catch your group being as good as it gets.  The process informs planning and branding.

Staffing: One or more Master Story Crafters, photographer, videographer, editor/producer

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