Story Theatre

Eli Whitney Museum

Show Menu
Thumbnail of Story Theatre project

2016 Summer Program

Viola Spolin was one of America’s great teachers. In the 1930’s she invented a new way to train actors and to build stories.Her work in Chicago led to the formation of The Second City, American Improv Theater, and many many acting careers. Her ideas also influenced the Museum’s teaching philosophy. Spolin taught spontaneity through improvisation games; we teach inventiveness through essential experiments. She encouraged actors to play off the plots of classic tales; we often build from stories of historic events or discoveries. We share her goal of freeing creative confidence.

Build a theater. Build characters. Build stories. Create a simple stage with easy to change sets and flexible props that will support any tale you want to tell. Build small wooden characters from fairy tales you know: Red Riding Hood, a wolf, 3 pigs, a princess, a gingerbread man (you saw their work in Shrek, another product of the Spolin legacy.) Then combine the characters and sets to make new stories. Each day you will play games that will build your confidence in finding new stories.

Back to Top