ABOUT THIS BOOK
Karen Chace’s book, Story by Story, Building a Storytelling Troupe is a must have for anyone even slightly interested in starting a storytelling group with students. I know I am guilty of sometimes skipping over sections, but every word that Karen writes is important and useful distilled (and therefore potent) information. Ms. Chace not only tells you what to do to run a successful troupe, but also WHY you need to do it. This is, to me, very important. Sometimes one is tempted to skip things, but this book explains how important the steps are. Everything from how many hours Karen thought it would take, to ACTUAL hours, where the funding comes from, how and why to lay foundations and expectations (including ‘no teasing policies’ and group dynamics), right the way through presentation skills to advertising the event and getting bums on seats (emphasis important)!
Over the years Karen has and continues to come up with new and inventive ways of teaching the skills of storytelling, and a great many of these exercises and activities are included in the book. When it comes to research and materials as well as technique, Karen adds new meaning to "thorough". There are links to websites for stories, for grants, for microphone techniques, and how storytelling connects to the school curriculum and more. And if you prefer to read books, there is an extensive bibliography, too.
Basically, I believe if you want to succeed in building a storytelling troupe or group, all you need is Karen Chace’s book, Story by Story, Building a Storytelling Troupe and to do everything Karen suggests. I am sure it would be very hard to fail if you follow her words of wisdom between the covers of her goldmine of a book.
Simon Brooks, storyteller, and educator