Susan Devlin, Programs Director, Tells her Story...
I began my journey with We Tell Stories in 1986 as a performing artist touring the schools all over the Southland. You've never lived until you have the experience of waking up before dawn, dress in bright colors which startle the senses, drive to the ends of the earth, unload a heavy steamer trunk filled with costumes and props, and perform on a school stage (some are extremely modern and professional, while others were seemingly built while dinosaurs ruled the earth). Despite all that, the experience of interacting with the students and introducing them to storytelling and theatre is nothing short of magical. The twinkle in their eyes, the creative expression bursting from their imaginations, the joy of discovering characters from within yourself unfolds on that stage. You can't help but feel how important and life changing this work can be. I've heard countless stories about the shy student who came out of their shell, the misfit who suddenly becomes more outgoing and popular after being on stage with us, and the student who discovers a love of theatre and goes on to pursue a career in the arts. Now I watch from a different perspective, that of the Programs Director (which I've been since 1993) and although I'm not out there in the trenches anymore, I plan and coordinate our programs with the schools and venues where we perform. It's a labor of love. One of my favorite stories comes from parents who tell me they attended our shows when they were young and now they're bringing their children to see our shows. Keep those stories coming!!!
We Tell Stories is a multi-ethnic theatre troupe that educates, nurtures, bonds, and strengthens our artists and communities by enriching the art and summoning the power of storytelling and theatre.
Our goals are to inspire creativity, enhance literacy, cultivate intercultural awareness and harmony, and to spark a love for theatre and the spoken word.
Our stories are original adaptations of classic myths, legends, fairy tales, and literature representing humanity’s collective wisdom made relevant to today’s society. They elucidate the values of compassion, humor, valor, and responsibility that express the universality of the human condition. We perform in an extemporaneous style much akin to children at play. In so doing, the process of theatre is revealed, and children find their own voices. Audience members play integral roles in every story, and kids walk away saying, “I can do that!”