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06-12_jayocall_1World-renowned and award-winning storyteller, Jay O’Callahan, recently visited Milton to work with Peter Parisi’s Oral Interpretation class for a morning of “sculpting stories.” Mr. O’Callahan began his visit with a journey story about a grasshopper who wants desperately to become a butterfly. With an incredible talent for becoming each of his characters, Mr. O’Callahan showed the power that committing to a story can have.

“The detail is what brings any work of art to life, and it’s what brings a story to life,” he explained. “You really have to use the tools you have—your sounds, your body, repetition, rhythm—to create each character. Each character has its own distinct gestures, voice, language, and way of moving. There are millions of ways to tell a story, but I like to be the character.”

In between stories—which ranged from a fable story of forest creatures to entertaining tales based loosely on Mr. O’Callahan’s childhood—he worked with students who partnered up to share their own and listen to one another’s stories. “Appreciations,” where the audience gives positive feedback to each storyteller, were also part of the workshop.

Mr. O’Callahan concluded by explaining that “stories are a series of images. When telling a story, you’re creating and shaping images. The sculpture here isn’t a visible stone, but it’s something you’re shaping so that the imagination of the listener can see it just as clearly.”

Click here to learn more about Mr. O’Callahan and his work.