Workshop:  Learning a Biblical Story by Heart
Leader:  Elizabeth Adkisson

The represents a total approach to the process of learning and telling biblical stories by heart.  Each portion of the workshop can be contracted or expanded. Minimum time is 90 minutes. Depth of the work possible depends on the number of people in the group and the amount of time available to the leader.  

FOR BEST RESULTS:  The workshop could be divided into separate sections for a more in-depth workshop over several hours. See the further list of workshop available at this site.

Objective:  Working as a group and in pairs, the goal is to learn a biblical story “by heart.”  
A variety of tools to grasp the story and a variety of approaches to bring the story to life are used.

Finding  the Bones of the Story
    In this section of the workshop ,  the group will become acquainted with different characters, relationships among the characters, place and time of the story, sequence of the actions that take place, events preceding and following the story that relate to the story.  Historical, cultural and belief systems/ideas that influence the story are discussed. Then each person attempts to tell the bare bones of the story without referring to the script.

Locating the Sinews of the Story in the Words and Sounds
    This section focuses on arranging the words on the page to expose what sections can be said in one breath; usually punctuation is a major guide.  Then the words themselves are examined for meaning and repetition of words or phrases. Then the sounds within the words are explored.  All this adds life to the structure of the story and integrates the activities of the breath, face, lips, teeth and tongue into the communication of the story. The work also opens the doors to exploring the feelings and emotions of the people in the story, including the narrator. During this section, tellers will begin telling the story more closely to the script.

Putting Flesh on the Story
    Focus shifts to putting the story into the body of the teller.  Stance, silhouette, centers of energy of each character who speaks will be considered; along with use of movement and gesture to be used to undergird the embodiment of the story. Consideration will be given to quickly changing from narrator to character and from character to character. Consideration can also be given to adjusting to performance spaces.

Goal:  The have each participant learn by heart a short biblical story by the end of theworkshop.