Eric Miller, PhD,
98403 94282 , 044 4208 0890
(May 2013 onward)
Training via Videoconference
(Skype, Google Hangout, etc). For
individuals and groups of all ages and professions.
For info, please click here.
Storytelling and Healing Workshop (for Adults), in New Delhi, on Thurs 23 May.
For info, please click here.
Psychodrama Workshop (for Adults), in New Delhi, on Fri 24 and Sat 25
For info, please click here.
Workshop in Storytelling
and Movement for Children (for
Adults), by Dr Anita Ratnam, in Chennai.
For info, please click here.
Storytelling Workshop (for Adults), in Chennai, from Sunday 16 June. Two-hour sessions, on 7 consecutive Sunday
mornings. For info, please see below.
Chennai Storytelling Festival 2014,
7-9 February 2014. For info, please click here.
Storytelling Association meets on the last Saturday of each month. For info, please call.
Storytelling Workshop for Adults
This Storytelling Workshop is designed especially for Parents, Teachers,
Screen Writers, Human Resource Managers, and People interested in becoming
Days and Times:
This is a 7-session Workshop. Sessions
occur on 7 consecutive Sundays, 10am-12noon.
The next Workshop is scheduled to begin on Sunday 16 June.
Near Nungambakkam High Road.
For additional info, please call 98403
94282, and click here.
Storytelling Summer Camp for Children
Presented by the WSI and the Chennai Storytelling
Ages: 3-10 years.
Dates and Times: 13-17 May, 11am-1pm.
Location: KK Nagar (Shree
Hari Play School, next to KK Nagar Post Office).
Fee: Rs 1,250 (for five
The children would
listen to stories and do activities (drawing, etc). The children would also be encouraged to
discuss the stories, and to improve their own storytelling.
For additional info about the content of the sessions, please call 98403
To Register, and for
directions, please call 99405 27477.
About our Storytelling Summer Camp --
Storytelling is a form of
Public Speaking that may also include some Acting. The Children would
be coached to form and tell Fairytales,
Animal Fables, True-Life Stories, and Made-Up
There would also be Drawing and Craftmaking (Puppets, Masks, etc) in
relation to the Storytelling.
Participants could develop their Communication Skills, Creativity, Logic, and
Compassion for others.
Participants might also learn and practice methods of researching material,
and composing stories, for stories they might tell.
Most of all, this Storytelling Workshop is designed to help the
participants to become increasingly aware of, and to be able to articulate, their thoughts and
The Workshop Supervisor would be Dr Eric Miller. A storytelling-for-children performance of
his is reviewed here. An article about his storytelling work with
children is here.
For photos of one of our 2012 Storytelling Summer Camps, please click here.
A report written by two
teenage Storytelling-Instructor Trainees regarding the April 2013 Storytelling
Summer Camp for Children (ages 6-years-and-above) they attended is here.
Storytelling Workshop topics (for Children and Adults) include:
Story Content --
Types of Stories. Finding and Creating Stories.
Elements of Stories.
Symbols in Stories.
Story and Place. Story and Community.
Story and the Past. Story and the Future.
Story and Personality Development.
Story Performance --
Breathing/Singing/Moving and Storytelling.
Styles of Speaking in Storytelling.
Acting-out Characters (Role-playing).
Audience-Participation in Storytelling.
Ways of Coaching Storytelling.
Storytelling accompanied by Illustrations, Puppets, and Props.
In these Workshops, participants explore and tell
1) Traditional stories (folktales, epics, legends, myths, etc);
2) Experiences from everyday life; and
3) Original creative stories.
Additional Storytelling Workshops
Workshop for People in the Business World"
Workshop for Teachers"
for Parents and Children Together"
Storytelling, and Coaching Your Storytelling"
for Screenplay Writers" (and Others in the Fields of Stage and Screen).
Storytelling Workshops can be custom-made for 1) teachers, 2) parents,
3) parents and children together (Family Storytelling Workshops), and 4)
members of communities or organisations. These Workshops can include
video recording and playback for study purposes.
15-26 April 2013
A report written by two
teenage Storytelling-Instructor Trainees regarding the April 2013 WSI
Storytelling Summer Camp for Children (ages 6-years-and-above) they attended
13-15 April 2013
Three-Day Workshop for Adults in
and Healing, also
Uses of Storytelling.
Presented by the WSI and the East-West Center
for Counselling. Especially
for people who work in NGOs and in fields involving caring for people and
helping them to grow and heal. Some
introductory words about Storytelling Therapy are here,
and additional information about the Workshop is here.
8 March 2013
WSI Director Dr Eric
co-presented a paper entitled, "Tribal
Peoples as Leaders of Society in a Future in which Fossil Fuels might be
Scarce, with Special Reference to the Kani Tribal People of South India",
at the National Conference on "Tribal Literature: Across Continents and
Cultures", at V. O. Chidambaram College, in Thoothukudi, Tamil
Nadu. The Handout is here.
1-3 Feb 2013
Chennai Storytelling Festival 2013 --
Learning about Storytelling.
*** Here is the Poster
*** Here is the Brochure.
*** Here is the
Announcement (with photo).
*** Here are additional
*** Here is info about the
Storytelling Performance on Fri 1 Feb, at 5:30pm.
*** Here is info about
the Post-Festival Field-trip to Thanjavur.
Articles on the Festival:
*** 1) "The Tale Trail", Indian Express.
*** 2) "Nurturing the Art of Spinning a Yarn", The Hindu.
*** 3) "Pictures in Your Mind", Deccan Chronicle.
*** 4) "How to Spin a Yarn", Deccan Chronicle.
*** 5) "Telling Tales", Indian Express.
Articles on the Post-Festival Field-trip to Thanjavur:
*** 1) "Timeless
Tales", The Hindu.
*** 2) "Thanjavur
Tales, Made in Chennai", Indian Express.
*** 3) "Is Indian
Storytelling a Dying Art?",
WSI Director Dr Eric
recently taught a course in Creative Writing at the IIT-Madras. Related recent academic activities in which
Dr Eric has been involved are:
1) Videoconference between
students at IIT-Madras, and American University in Cairo (AUC). In AUC'
s Global South Dialogue
Course. Session topic: "Everyday Creativity: 'Indian' and 'Egyptian' Ways of Doing Things". Wed 24 Oct.
The handout is here. A recording of the videoconference (which
was also webcast) is here .
2) Talk on "Story Composing, Writing, and
Telling; and Creativity in General".
At the English Dept, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, Tues 18 Sept. Links to Speaking notes and related files
3) Talk on "The Story-making Process of the
Human Mind". At the Conference on Enriching the Connection
between Literature and Life, Periyar University, Salem, Tamil Nadu, Tues
4 Sept. Speaking notes are here.
4) Talk on "Applying Principles of
'Conversation Analysis' to the Facilitation of Student-Participation in
Classroom Discussions". At
the Teaching-and-Learning Center, IIT-Madras, Thurs 23 Aug. The Handout is here. Speaking notes are here. Links to writings on Conversation Analysis,
and Collaborative Teaching-and-Learning, are here.
5) Workshop in "Science Fiction Story Writing and
Telling". At the 13th National Science Fiction Conference,
at Bharathiyar University, in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, Fri 20 Jan. An article on the session is here.
21 Oct 2012
by Members of the Chennai Storytelling Association at Oxford Bookstore
(Haddows Road, Nungambakkam): "Storytelling about Families",
with Special Guest Storyteller from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Steafan Hannigan.
Our other recent
Storytelling Performances at this venue have included,
about Language, Words, and Stories" (Sept 2012).
Beside the Sea" (August
"Friendship" (July 2012).
Animals in Folk Legends"
and Active Heroines in Fairy Tales" (April 2012).
and other Civic Virtues"
and Eco-systems" (Jan
Storytelling" (Dec 2011).
26 August 2012
"5th Annual Living Statues of Marina Beach Walking Tour".
Brief Dramatic Enactments of each Statue were performed (in English and
Tamil): Kannagi, NSC Bose, Thiruvalluvar, George Pope, Bharathidasan, and
Auvaiyar. The scripts (in English) are here.
21-23 July 2012
Training in Storytelling
Therapy (Using Storytelling for Therapy) --
The WSI co-leads the Storytelling Therapy component in the year-long
(Nov to Dec) Diploma
Course in Expressive Arts Therapy. Customised training sessions in
Storytelling Therapy -- especially for people in the Care-Giving and Mental
Health Professions -- are also available.
Tuesday 29 May
Storytelling Performance in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh -- Tibetan folk
tales about Aku Tompa (Uncle Emptiness) were told by WSI Director Dr Eric Miller
and others in Dharamsala (a home of Tibetan people in India), at the Volunteer Tibet Centre.
For links to the texts of two of the stories, and some commentary about the
stories and the event (with photos),
please click here.
Tuesday 22 May 2012
To celebrate World
Biodiversity Day, the Centre
for Environment Education, and the National
Biodiversity Authority, organised a function on Marina Beach to mobilize
public support for Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Conservation. As
part of this event, the World Storytelling Institute (especially Mr
Devarajan) helped to arrange for members of Chennai's sea-fishing communities
(led by Mr Neelamegam) to sing rowing songs and tell sea-related
stories. Photos are here.
This event is related to the ongoing project of developing a Living Museum on the
Heritage of Traditional Sea-Fishing and Sea-Travel in the Marina Beach
Mon 16, to Fri 27 April 2012
Storytelling Summer Camp for Children. The Poster is here. Photos are here.
Sat 28 Jan 2012
"Storytelling on Recycling and Eco-systems",
by WSI Storytellers Asha, Sandhya, Sudha, and Karpagam.
At Oxford Bookstore Chennai.
The Event Poster is here.
WSI Storytellers told stories on this theme at schools throughout Chennai (in
English and Tamil) in January, as part of the Prakriti Foundation's Tree of
Life Festival. If interested in having these stories told at a school,
please contact the WSI.
The WSI (Chennai) and Kathalaya
(Bangalore) founded the Indian
Storytelling Network .
23 Dec 2011
The WSI presented Christmas Storytelling at Oxford Bookstore
Chennai. The storytellers were Asha, Trupti, Sandhya, and Eric.
The stories included, "A Christmas Carol," "The Gift of the
Magi," "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "The
Nutcracker" (the story upon which a very popular western ballet is
23 and 24 Nov 2011
Storyteller Helmut Wittman of Austria conducted a two-session Storytelling
Workshop, and gave a Performance. Details are here.
The WSI e-newsletter (Nov 2011) is here.
On Fairy Tales, and Child Development.
15 October 2011
Videoconference between people in Chennai and Bloomington (Indiana,
USA). In Chennai,
1) India's National Folklore Support Centre Director Dr
Muthukumaraswamy presented a paper about the Patukalam (final battle) episode
of the Mahabharata.
1) A professional Mahabharata storyteller performed in Tamil (with English
2) WSI Director Dr Eric introduced the concept of "Ethnographic
Videoconferencing" -- the paper is here.
A recording of the videoconference is here .
Additional info about the event is here.
1 October 2011
WSI Director Eric led a "Storytelling Workshop inspired by Tribal Storytelling",
at the Festival of
Indigenous Storytellers, Fireflies Ashram, Bangalore. Information
about the Workshop is here.
The Festival (and Workshop) is being planned to occur in various locations in
India. If interested, please let us know.
17 September 2011
Dr Anita Ratnam led a Storytelling session at Oxford Bookstore
Chennai. She brilliantly activated the children to physically act-out
the characters. A number of times, she even led the children in "story
parades" around the space.
Photos are here.
A newspaper review is here.
The WSI e-newsletter (Sept-Oct 2011) is here.
Two events in Madras Week
25 August 2011
"Storytelling by the Sea / Kadalooram Kathaisolluthal".
Community members told Folktales about the Sea (in Tamil). Location:
Nocchi Nagar 2nd Street (behind Santhome Church). Invitation as pdf file, and as jpg file.
Photos are here. This event
supported the effort to establish a Living Museum about the
Heritage of Sea-Fishing in the neighborhood; additional info about
this is here.
28 August 2011
"4th Annual Living Statues of Marina Beach Walking Tour".
Brief Dramatic Enactments of each Statue (in English and Tamil): Kannagi, NSC
Bose, Thiruvalluvar, George Pope, Bharathidasan, and Auvaiyar.
WSI Director Dr Eric has written a paper entitled, "Aspects of the
Storytelling Revival in India". Feedback would be most
5 and 6 August 2011
Carnival for Children!
A Festival to Promote Coastal Conservation.
At Marina Beach (near the NSC Bose Statue).
Organised by the Center for
Environmental Education, with Cultural Events facilitated by the
WSI: Performances and Exhibitions by Men, Women, and Children of
Chennai's Sea-fishing Communities (in Tamil language). The Children
performed a skit on "A Day in the Life of a Fishing Village",
featuring their own stories, songs, poetry, and essays. Photos are here.
9 July 2011
Dr Eric, Director of the WSI, was the Oxford Bookstore Chennai
storyteller this month. A review is here.
25 June 2011
Launching its YEAR OF STORYTELLING, World Storytelling Institute
and Oxford Bookstore Chennai presented a Storytelling (with Arts and Crafts
Activities) Event for Children. Ms Trupti Sayani was the
Storyteller. Photos are here.
8 May 2011
World Storytelling Institute and Oxford Bookstore, Chennai, presented a free Storytelling
Session. This was the end-of-Workshop performance, by participants
in the current Storytelling Workshop for Adults. Approximately 18
Adults and 3 children attended. Photos are here.
25-30 April 2011
World Storytelling Institute and Oxford Bookstore, Chennai, presented a Summer
Storytelling Festival for Childen. 6 Storytellers in 6 days,
5-6:30pm daily. Adults told stories, and the children did artwork to
express their visions of the stories.
Photos are here.
Three articles relating to the Festival are here.
3 April 2011
Before the CSA monthly meeting, Storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton in London
spoke with us in Chennai via Skype videoconference. A photo of the videoconference
-- from the Chennai side -- is here.
5 March 2011
California-based Storyteller Cathryn Fairlee's performance of "Folktales
about Strong and Clever Women" at the Savera Hotel here in Chennai was
very well-received! Cathryn's website is here, and an article about her visit to
Tamil Nadu is here.
8 February 2011
CSA monthly session of Storytelling for Adults (first Tuesday).
Today's topic was, "The odds were a million-to-one against me, but I did
it anyway." Photos are here.
6 February 2011
Before the CSA monthly meeting, Storytellers Johanna and Scott Hongell-Darsee in
Albuquerque (New Mexico, USA) performed for us, and spoke with us, in Chennai
via Skype videoconference. Photos of the videoconference are here.
5 February 2011
Presentation for Chennai School Librarians on "Using Storytelling to
Facilitate Reading and Writing" -- the notes are here. This
Workshop was organised by the Madras Library Association, at Anna Library in
Kotturppuram. A two-page essay based on these notes, "Storytelling
and Story-listening, and Children's Intellectual, Emotional, and Social
Development," is here.
The WSI/CSA provided four storytelling sessions in the Chennai Sangamam 2011 folk
performing arts festival. Links to photos and video of these
storytelling sessions -- along with essays about Chennai Sangamam over the
past three years -- are here.
Chennai Storytelling Association
activities by Members of the Chennai
1) Vasugi directs "Madras Story Works" in Egmore
(98401 18590) -- Storytelling each Saturday
2) Asha directs "Tale Spin" in Anna Nagar (98408
3) Kavitha and Debjani
direct "Once Upon a Time"
in Adyar (99400 36390, and 98402 76914).
4) Farheen directs
books to young children, and leading them in activities) in various locations
5) Sheetal directs
"Square Heads" (Phonics
in various locations
6) Sandhya directs
training, and Storytelling) in various locations (98401 77215).
7) Magdalene directs the
"Center for Counselling",
which provides Storytelling Therapy for children and adults, and also
provides training in this type of therapy, in Nungambakkam (98841 00135).
Chennai Storytelling Association began on 14 Nov 2010.
A primary mission of the Chennai Storytelling Association is to develop and
share lesson plans for training adults and children in the art of
storytelling, in English and Tamil.
For access to these lesson plans -- and to join the e-mail group in which
they are being discussed -- please become a CSA member. Annual
membership is Rs 600.
The CSA is seeking to facilitate:
1) Regularly-scheduled Storytelling Workshops for adults (on Sunday
mornings), and Storytelling Classes for children (on Saturday mornings)
-- please see above.
2) Monthly sessions of autobiographical storytelling (for adults), open to the
general public, at coffee shops and such. (A list of Storytelling
Associations around the world that organise these kinds of storytelling
events is here.)
3) Regularly-scheduled Storytelling Performances for
children (in English and Tamil).
4) Visits to the Tamil countryside, to meet and study with storytellers
there, and to hear and collect their stories.
We are also developing methods of (audio and visual) translation that can be
used during storytelling events.
Chennai Storytelling Association membership benefits include:
1) A monthly meeting at which we discuss methods of storytelling, and the
progress of our various storytelling projects in Chennai. Guest
speakers at times appear in-person and via videoconference at these meetings.
2) An e-newsletter every four months; and occasional storytelling-related
news items via e-mail.
3) Access to lesson plans for training adults and children in the art of
About the WSI
Introduction to Storytelling Studies
(Storytelling and Business),
India, Crest Edition (2 Sept 2012).
Primal Art" (Storytelling and Education),
Mint (9 Sept 2012).
"When the Hare Beat the Tortoise: Today's Storytellers Are Not Just
Rewriting Old Stories. They Are Using New Means -- 3D, Videoconferencing, and
Tour Expeditions -- To Tell Them"
Article with 3 pictures (as pdf).
Article with text
(Sunday Express, New Delhi, 6 Feb 2011).
Times, Mumbai, 14 Nov 2010).
Yarns, Interact with Locals, and Visit the Places of Your Fairytales",
about the WSI's Kannagi Tour (Sunday Guardian, New Delhi, 25 April
Grandmas Telling Grand Stories (The Hindu, 29 April 2009 ).
Whale of a Tale", about the WSI's work with members of Chennai's
sea-fishing communities (The Hindu, 4 March 2009).
Few Tips on the Art of Storytelling" (The Hindu, 10 Feb
Storytelling for Tourism Promotion" (The Hindu, 4 Nov 2008).
Tourists Can Go Down Story Trails", about the WSI's Kannagi Tour (Times
of India, 1 Nov 2008).
the Art of Narrating a Story in a Telling Manner" (The Hindu,
1 Sept 2008).
Articles by Eric Miller, Director of the WSI
1) About the heroine of a Tamil epic, "In
Praise of Citizen Kannagi" (in the Hindu).
2) About a folk performing arts festival in Tamil Nadu, "Ideas for Chennai
Sangamam" (on the Chennai Sangamam website).
Folklore Interviews via Videoconference" (in the Education
Newsletter of the American Folklore Society).
and Videoconferencing: Videoconferencing for Performing, Teaching, and
Discussing Tamil Language and Performing Arts" (in
International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil, Conference
Magic: Storytelling in Chennai" (28 March 2010, Deccan Chronicle).
The unedited, original
version of the article
Links to many more of Dr Eric's writings are on his personal webpage.
The inaugural "Places of Kannagi
Storytelling Tour" occurred 22 February, to 7 March, 2010.
Watch a 21-minute video documentary about
the 2010 Tour !
The Tour blog is at http://kannagistorytellingtour.blogspot.com
, and here is some additional
Additional Tours are being planned -- to parts of the route, and to the
entire route. The two-day visit with the "Kathaiyum Paattum"
("Story and Song") Storytellers of Thanjavur, on 5-6 Feb 2013
(following the Chennai Storytelling Festival), would be a partial Tour -- for
info, please click here.
Please contact us if you might be interested.
2008 Storytelling Tourism Project:
Tour Theme: "Tharisanam: Vision of the Other." 1-16 November
2008. A group of 18 people came from the USA with the Eth-Noh-Tek
storytelling company. A wide range of Storytelling styles was shared
with the visitors, in Chennai and vicinity. Activities were hosted and
arranged by the WSI, in partnership with local individuals and communities.
Visit Chennai's Sea-fishing Communities!
Presented by the WSI in partnership with residents of Chennai's sea-fishing neighborhoods
-- including Ayodhya Kuppam, Nadu Kuppam, Nocchi Kuppam, Nocchi Nagar,
Dooming Kuppam, and Srinivasapuram.
Multimedia presentation -- co-narrated by community members --
featuring video recordings, 500 photos taken by community members, and
paintings about the sea.
Guided tour of the fish market area, and of the working area on the
beach -- including discussion of the boats, nets, engines, fish, weather,
Performances of "The Sea Story," a drama with folk songs.
Storytelling (Grandmother Stories, Raja-Rani Stories, Tenali
Raman Stories, Animal Stories, etc) by and with community members. With
visual and aural methods of simultaneous translation.
Set of Recommendations for a Living Museum about the
Heritage of Sea-Fishing, in the Nocchi Kuppam and Nocchi Nagar
World Storytelling Institute Staff Bio-Data
Director, Co-Founder; Specialising in Storytelling for/by/with Adults.
Eric Miller is a native New Yorker, transplanted to Chennai. He has
studied with and worked for (as office and festival assistant, and video
documenter) numerous professional storytellers in the USA, including Laura
Simms and Diane Wolkstein; and has completed a PhD in Folklore at the
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). He has taught courses in
writing, literature, drama, public speaking, and storytelling at St. John's
University, Fordham University, and New York University (all in NYC); and is
presently Assistant Professor of Story and Storytelling at the Image College
of Animation, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), in Chennai. Mr Eric has also
worked extensively in the video industry, in which he specializes in
facilitating videoconferences. A number of his writings can be found at
his personal website,
. <email@example.com>, 98403 94282.
Co-Founder; Specialising in Storytelling and Counselling.
Magdalene Jeyarathnam is founder-director of Chennai's Center for Counselling, which
offers numerous training workshops, including Approaches to
Counselling Children (featuring exploration of therapeutic uses of
Storytelling, Drama, Play, Dance, and Art). Ms. Magdalene has also
integrated these methods into the CFC's counselling services, and
counselling-training, in relation to adults.
<firstname.lastname@example.org>, 98841 00135.
WSI Storytelling Performers and Trainers include: