Concerts & Workshops
Heather Forest designs her concerts to suit the age of the audience, the setting and time of the telling. Drawing from her wide repertoire of folktales, fairytales, legends, and fables she crafts her programs with wit and artistry.
SONGSPINNER: Musical Tales from around the World
Folktales, fables and legends from around the world come to life in the imagination of the listener as Heather Forest spins her tales. Her unique minstrel style of storytelling blends vivid language, original music, and the sung and spoken word. This program, selected from Ms. Forest’s repertoire of world tales, celebrates stories that contain kernels of homespun wisdom passed down through the oral tradition. Although these stories span time and place and come from cultures around the globe they show us the commonality of human experience.
TALES OF WOMENFOLK: Old and New
This collection of stories told in song, poetry and prose, features multicultural folktales and biographical narratives of folkloric and contemporary heroines who, unlike the passive princess who waits to be saved by the prince, are courageous and resourceful and embody many facets of strength, from intelligence to wit to physical prowess to undaunted optimism. From comedy to drama, this wide pallet of tales is an entertaining and poignant celebration of modern femininity.
ANCIENT VOICES: Epic and Classic Tales
Heather Forest’s elegant prose, musicality and evocative drama offer listeners a fresh look at some of the oldest stories in the world. Pivotal episodes from both well-known and little-known classics such as Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Gassire’s Lute are masterfully retold for modern listeners
NATURE TALES: Stories and Songs Celebrating the Earth
This collection of folktales from around the world told with original folk music celebrates the delicate web of life and interconnectedness of all things in the environment. Since ancient times people in cultures around the world have told stories featuring nature in all its splendid diversity. Using her unique minstrel style of storytelling, blending music, vivid language, and the sung and spoken word, Heather Forest encourages listeners to preserve and protect the natural world.
Heather Forest, Ph.D. served as an adjunct professor of Oral Tradition at Southern Connecticut State University for fourteen years teaching graduate level courses in Folktale, Mythology and Storytelling Art and Technique. She has presented professional development and arts-based workshops throughout the United States and abroad. Workshops can be designed for educators, students, artists, administrators - for practitioners in diverse fields that require communication skills, creative thinking, and narrative competency.
STORYTELLING SKILLS WORKSHOP
The Magic of Words
This interactive storytelling workshop offers insights into the inner workings of the art of storytelling. Participants will explore the basic tools of storytelling: voice, body, imagination and metaphor. Through demonstration, discussion, and playful improvisation, participants will explore a range of storytelling methods, story composition, character expressiveness, and inventive ways to liberate spontaneous, evocative, descriptive speech. We will examine practical methods to sequence, remember, and engagingly share a story. Participants will consider ways to effectively rehearse, self-assess, and improve their telling over time. Bringing literature to life, oral storytelling skills will also be applied to reading-out loud.
An excellent session with lots of practical ideas . . . She instills a great inspiration for one to try...I liked the way she modeled techniques and had us practice them.
University of Rochester, NY
STORYTELLING IN THE CLASSROOM:
Listening, Literacy & Imagination
Celebrating multicultural folktales, this workshop offers an overview of the diverse uses of storytelling in the classroom to encourage listening skills, oral language expression, reading, and creative writing. Through practical storytelling activities, this workshop examines ways that the oral tradition of storytelling can enhance language arts and social studies curriculum.
What a great staff development workshop you presented! . . . as a result of this workshop, our teachers have improved their language arts instruction. The techniques were put to use immediately and have invigorated the delivery of the curriculum . . . you were able to integrate the pedagogical and historical background of the ancient art of storytelling with the practical methods teachers will use every day. -Early Childhood Director, Port Washington Schools, NY
LEADING with STORIES
This workshop explores storytelling as a core competency for artfully leading change. Through arts-based activities participants examine the power of metaphor to concisely and concretely convey a message, consider how carefully chosen words and evocative stories can impact meaning, and learn how to utilize storytelling to stimulate inventive thinking, clarify values, and motivate action.
After five years of quarterly meetings and a range of national and state speakers, I have never seen the group of 50 child and family experts so captivated . . . -Executive Director, Early Years Institute, LI, NY
VOICE AS INSTRUMENT: RHYTHM, PATTERN AND MUSIC IN STORYTELLING
Through playful vocal improvisation, demonstration, and discussion, workshop participants will explore the natural rhythms of language, simple song making, and the creative potential of the voice as a nuanced instrument for speaking and singing. We will examine ways to include song and rhythm in story composition, sharpen character /narrator voicing, and use musical elements to engage audience participation. This vocal improvisation workshop does not require any prior musical training.
Featured at the National Storytelling Conference 2016 and at Sharing the Fire Storytelling Conference 2018
BRINGING ANCIENT TALES to LIFE for MODERN LISTENERS
Through demonstration, discussion, and playful theatre improvisation activities, participants will build practical skills in selecting, researching and bringing ancient narratives to life for modern audiences. Participants will explore story sequencing, verbal improvisation, compositional forms, evocative description, and ways to develop dramatic dialogue. We will examine how ancient stories preserve and transmit cultural values, how universal, metaphorical themes emerge in classic tales, and how ancient tales transcend borders and can reflect the commonality of human experience.
Featured at the National Storytelling Conference 2017
STORYTELLING and SOCIAL CHANGE
This workshop explores the power of words and examines a wide range of multicultural folklore featuring themes of peace, justice, gender equality and the environment. Using traditional storytelling technique, oral history, rhetoric, and spoken word art forms to enrich interpersonal communication skills, the workshop encourages social awareness and supports the use of storytelling in community activism.
Featured at the National Storytelling Conference 2008