Sensing Stories

Working in partnership with Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF), Sensing Stories is an opportunity for disabled people based in Scotland to develop storytelling skills and share their stories in a live setting.

Sensing Stories has been designed for aspiring disabled storytellers who might have one or more of the following interests:

  • An interest in live performance, but not necessarily theatre
  • An interest in developing a new artistic and life learning skill
  • An interest in finding new ways of expression, be it personal or artistic
  • An interest in engaging with a creative community and performance network throughout Scotland

Sensing Stories is led by professional storyteller Dougie Mackay

The theme of this project is Sensing Stories, using the five basic human senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, to inspire stories waiting to be told.

Sesning Stories is divided into two sections: Development & Performance

Development: Through a series of workshops, participants will learn some simple storytelling skills and gain the confidence to start their creative storytelling journey.

Performance: After completing the workshops, participants will be invited to share their work-in-progress stories at a closed event.

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is at the root of human connection. Our stories are the threads which connect us to each other, but are also expressions of our differences. Storytelling stimulates the imagination and builds a sense of community between tellers and listeners, helping us understand our environment and personal experiences. The stories of disabled people have historically been missing from Scottish culture – BOP and SISF are passionate about ensuring these stories are heard more widely.

Meet the Storytellers

Left – Right: Carol Fraser, Ruth Rankin, Sorcha Pringle, Zara Todd


Sensing Stories : Development

The development phase of Sensing Stories consists of three group skills workshops, an individual 1:1 session.

The three group workshops will include a practical introduction to live storytelling and the associated skills, and will include the chance to perform and receive feedback. These three workshops are scheduled as follows:

Session 1Tuesday 17 November2pm – 4pm
Session 2Tuesday 1 December2pm – 4pm
Session 3Tuesday 15 December2pm – 4pm

In early 2021 each participant will have a 1:1 individual tutorial with Dougie. This will be an opportunity for the storytellers to receive further guidance through a focussed 1:1 mentoring session with Dougie, where they will focus on preparing a short work-in-progress piece to share with a select audience at a closed event.


Sensing Stories : Performance

At the early stage of planning this project it had been our hope that the performance element may be able to be held live in person but that is now looking impossible.

Instead we are currently investigating different ways that the performance element can occur in the digital realm.

The performances are due to take place in February 2021, once the development phase has been completed.

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