PLAYWRIGHT EVAN GUILFORD-BLAKE
TALKS ABOUT HIS STORYTELLING TALES
Q:WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THESE PLAYS?
A: My friend Melody Robb and I decided we’d some storytelling for birthday parties and the like, and created an organization called Stories ‘n’ Stuff. It took over our lives: In three years, we performed more than 400 times at schools, libraries, street festivals, theatres, on radio and television (and, finally, at birthday parties), and put seven hours of stories into our repertoire, including many of those included in this volume.
Q: HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHICH STORIES TO INCLUDE?
A: We wanted a mix of fairy tales (both in classic and modernized versions), folk tales and original stories. We also wanted stories that were short enough that three or more could be told in one sitting, even for audiences as young as five or six. And we wanted stories that avoided traditional male/female roles, in order to enable kids to identify with strong characters of both genders.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE STORY?
A: “The Wonderfully Colored Dragon.” I wrote it specifically for Melody and her daughter, Kimberly (for whom the Dragon is named).
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS WORK?
A: Melody and I were both actors, and we wanted to create a distinctive way to tell stories that was neither traditional storytelling nor theatre. We called it “dramatic storytelling.” It was a way to tell the stories through the characters’ words, as you’d do in a play, with just enough narration to make everything clear.