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Telling Heritage

Two day workshop at the Ashmolean Museum - 15 November and 6 December 2017 (cost £175 for both days)

This unique and practical two day course blends together traditional storytelling and best practice in live heritage interpretation. It will provide participants with a far reaching exploration of how to plan and deliver inspirational storytelling in cultural places.

Thoughtful, well planned storytelling is central in creating powerful visitor experiences. Stories draw out the intangible significance of places, features and objects and connect visitors both emotionally and intellectually.

Using real world examples and opportunities to work in the galleries of The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, this course will equip participants with all the tools to deliver high quality heritage storytelling.

The course is aimed at people working in heritage who want to incorporate storytelling into their events and also for storytellers who want to tell in the heritage sector. Some basic storytelling experience is expected.

The course covers:

      • Why use story in heritage?
      • Finding, learning and performing stories
      • Understanding the visitor - who they are, why they visit and what they want
      • Approaches to establishing a rapport with informal audiences
      • Practicalities and dynamics of the storytelling space
      • ‘Identifying and relating the significance of places, objects and features to an audience via their intangible stories.’
      • Planning what we wish to achieve with our storytelling, including choosing the emotion we wish to convey
      • Using Costume, the pro’s and cons
      • Identifying other issues relating to storytelling in museums, including ethics and language
      • Understanding the motivation of the site/museum and how to best work with them to achieve that goal?

The course will provide an interactive, relaxed and highly supportive environment. Participants work individually, in pairs and groups. We encourage lots of talking, laughter, thinking and doing!

The course will culminate a short individual performance on the afternoon of the second day, based on an object or display in the museum.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 10:30

Your Trainers

Stewart Alexander

Stewart has over 25 years’ experience of storytelling which he has used extensively to interpret both cultural and natural places. He has a passion for helping visitors engage meaningfully with historic and cultural sites. Stewart is a qualified Accredited Trainer with the National Association Of Interpretation in the USA. He has delivered regular workshops in the planning and delivery of live interpretation and storytelling at many sites across the UK, including York Minster, Ripon Cathedral, Dover Castle, Stonehenge, Osborne House and other numerous English Heritage sites. He also provides on-going visitor experience training for the RSPB nationally.

Dave Tonge

Dave has been storytelling and delivering education sessions in museums for the past 18 years, having trained as a freelance educator at the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge. As a storyteller he has told at heritage venues including the British Museum and In this role he has developed site specific sessions on themes such as the Myths and Legends of the Vikings and ‘Here be treasure,’ a set exploring where the artefacts in museums come from. He has created bespoke stories for the Historic Royal Palaces at Tatton Park and Hampton Court Palace and is at present working on another historically themed storytelling commission focusing on the Bayeux Tapestry. Dave is also a trained historian having an MA in Elizabethan history and is the author of ‘Tudor Tales,’ a fusion of his MA research and 16th century folk tales. He is currently working on another book, ‘Norfolk Folk Tales for Children,’ as well as undertaking historical research for Channel 4.

Stewart and Dave have worked together on many storytelling projects over the last 15 years. In 2003 they established Past-Imagined, Historical Tale Tellers to bring tales to visitors of all ages.

Ashmolean Museum Lecture Theatre
Booking Details: 

This two day workshop will take place on 15 November and 6 December 2017 and costs £175 for both days.

To book online:
By phone: 01865 278112
In person: at the Ashmolean shop
Enquiries: 01865 288078

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