Storytelling For Heritage & Community Projects
'Tell me a fact and I'll learn.
Tell me a truth and I'll believe.
But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.'
Portsmouth Archives For Portsmouth City Of Stories: May 2019 - February 2020
I am currently working with Portsmouth Archives as part of their 'Portsmouth City Of Stories' project, to interpret the history found in the archives housed at Central Library. I have researched and scripted two stories for KS1/KS2 pupils and will be performing these stories at various libraries in Portsmouth in January 2020. To find out where I'm performing, please see my events page.
Staunton Country Park, Havant, Hampshire: January 2019 - April 2019
Tasked with bringing the world of George Staunton to life though interactive story and share his love of China with visitors to Staunton Country Park, I designed a Tea Treasure Hunt for families with children aged 5-11.
The project culminated in a tea festival treasure hunt around the park where visitors discovered the life of George Staunton, his gardens at Staunton and the importance of his work with the East India Company and his embassies to China.
Buster Ancient Farm, Chalton: January 2018 - September 2018
I produced two stories for Butser Ancient Farm, weaving the magical and ancient elements of the site, into stories for families. One aimed at those with 3-8 year olds entitled 'The Missing Manx Loughtan' and one for those with 7 -12 year olds entitled 'The Hunt For The Aurochs'. Both use elements of costume and song to bring the old ways and the tales of Butser to life.
Four days of storytelling over the summer launched these stories and they have now been passed to the volunteers who I have trained and supported in their first performances over Summer and Autumn at the farm.
Butser Ancient Farm, is a unique site in the South Downs National Park, Hampshire and is home to experimental archeology and reconstructions of ancient buildings, dating from the Stone Age through to the Anglo Saxons. They also keep rare breeds of animal for example English Goats and Manx Loaghtan Sheep.
Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley: January 2017 - April 2018
As a Consultant Storyteller for Royal Victoria Country Park, I have created stories that interpret the history of Netley Military Hospital, once situated in the parkland, bringing history alive for 3-12 year olds and creating a unique programme of interactive storytelling for the park's visitors. This work has been as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project to refurbish the chapel and is one of the educational elements of the project, bringing history to life for families visiting the park.
I have developed three, twenty minute stories for two age groups and performed them over the summer with some great feedback from audiences.
With four days of storytelling and four performances a day, I told tales of the people who used to live and work at Royal Victoria Military Hospital with the bats in the belfry, Pip and Estelle. Then, dressed as the signalman of Netley train station, I took the audience on a journey through the decades on a time-travelling train and deciphered a hidden message in the tickets. Finally I was the postman at Netley, with postcards to deliver, but my postbag was in a muddle. I needed the audience's help to discovered the author of the unsigned letter, before they could escape!
For the final stage of the project I trained volunteers in storytelling basics and taught them how to perform the stories I have written. I then supported their first performances and ensured that the volunteers were able to confidently tell the stories, as part of the parks ongoing educational offer.
What The Audience Thinks:
'Wonderful, a lovely mixture of history and child friendly information.'
'All four children were engaged...'
'Great level for teaching children about history'
'Very captivating and fun to hear about the history.'
'... the training was fantastic! I loved how you introduced them to storytelling techniques and methods and led up to learning the Chapel stories!
Lauren Rhodes, Venue, Events & Heritage Manager, Royal Victoria Country Park
'THANK YOU for your help with this project and the AMAZING way you have brought the history to life.
'Paul Del-A-More, Senior Project Manager, Country Parks Transformation, Hampshire County Council.
'Dawn wrote and developed two special stories for Butser Ancient Farm. She delivered the stories to test them and then trained and supported a group of volunteers to tell the stories. It has been a real pleasure to work with Dawn. She is creative, responsive, happy to make changes and very professional. Her story telling is greatly enjoyed by her audiences and her ability to share and develop those skills in others is a delight. I hope we can work with her again in the future.'
Sue Weber, Project Co-Ordinator
Buster Ancient Farm
'In every phase - conception, writing, delivery and training – Dawn has been outstanding. Her research into the specific periods dealt with in each story, as well as her understanding of our particular requirements was excellent. Dawn consulted and sought feedback at every stage of the development of the project. Her engagement with the process and, in particular, with the members of our staff and our volunteers whom she trained was utterly first class.
Dawn has developed stories, delivered costumes and props, and engendered enthusiasm and skills in our storytellers which are now tangible assets for our business. We would recommend Dawn to any prospective client without hesitation.'
Maureen Page, Director, Butser Ancient Farm.
“DD Storyteller, who comes with high recommendations from Butser Ancient Farm & Royal Victoria Country Park, was exceptionally professional in the setting up of her contract with us. She paid attention to detail and thoroughly engaged in the researching the history of Staunton Country Park in the development of her story and script. The materials she sourced were highly creative and she was flexible with the content of her story, so as to fit it with our requirements. Lastly, during the days performance of the story, Dawn had to gage attention of about 40 people in total during high winds—which she carried off with animation and grace! A pleasure to work with, looking forward to future projects with her.”
Katrina Foxton, Staunton Country Park, Hampshire.