FIRST PERSON: Crafting Your Story for Performance 2018


July 16  – 21, 2017

FIRST PERSON: Crafting Your Story for Performance



Come with a story. (Or two. Or three.) Leave with a performance. (Or two. Or three.)

Come without a story, and by the end of Day One, you’ll discover more compelling material than you’d ever think possible. “After all,” says theatre artist Gerard Stropnicky, “people are simply wonderful walking story anthologies.”

Why do some stories – some performances – spark your imagination, set fire to your soul, and leave you transformed, while others just sit there? Is it the content, or the telling? The framing, or the style? Can story be employed to bring laughter, or tears, or understanding, or lasting social change, or all of the above?

Gerard Stropnicky has been working in story for twenty years. This award-winning director has helped create compelling work from interview, gathered story, letters to the editor, even advertisements, recipes and children’s games. He’s written, directed and acted in countless styles; he’s coached diverse thousands of performers, professional and not, young and old, from every walk of life, to bring their stories to vivid life.

We’ll play with monologue, and help each other create scenes. We’ll experiment with styles, colors and tones. We’ll make ourselves vulnerable to our stories, and to one another. The workshop will draw on the work of the late playwright and poet Jo Carson, Stropnicky’s long-time creative partner, as well as other practitioners of Story Work, and will culminate with a showing. This on-your-feet writers and performers story intensive is designed to release the enormous potential energy already alive in you and your story.

A repeat of last summer’s sold out workshop – alums welcome. PERFECT FOR PEOPLE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE KoFEST SUMMER SLAM ON 7/21/18.


Gerard Stropnicky’s exploration of story has taken him from the coal mines of Appalachia to war-torn northern Uganda, from south Georgia cotton fields to Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale frack pads. He’s worked with moonshiners, church choirs, recovering addicts, former child soldiers, rural teens, Mardi Gras Indian Queens in New Orleans, and more.

Big Queen Pauline Johnson, Little Queen Paris Hayes, Big Queen Wanda Womble and Queen Mercedes Stevenson with Gerard Stropnicky

A multi-faceted theatre artist (director, writer and actor), he graduated from Northwestern, studied with Alvina Krause, and in 1978 co-founded Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble (BTE), where he worked for the next 34 years. These days he goes where he’s invited, applying community story to create original large-scale, site-specific performances in communities facing trauma, crisis, transition, or change. These transformative events, and the process that breathes life into them, offer communities both validation and challenge, bringing health, and changing lives.

For this work, as well as for his role in co-founding the national Network of Ensemble Theaters, Jerry was honored as a United States Artists Fellow in 2010. Stropnicky has acted in hundreds of roles and directed scores of productions, written and/or directed more than twenty “Theatre of Place” projects.

FIRST PERSON: Crafting Your Story for Performance 20182018-04-05T15:22:38-04:00
Go to Top