A set of headsets, a voice recorder and an array of cards are arranged in a public space. A sign welcomes members of the public to sit, put on the headset, and open and read aloud one card at a time.
On each card is a statement. These statements are phrased to spark memories for participants about a story from their lives. The participant responds, telling a story aloud into the headset’s microphone. As they speak and hear their own words simultaneously, they instantly become both a storyteller and listener. As storytellers speak, a digital voice recorder captures their words. My theatre company has used these recordings (transparently to the participants, who explicitly sign up for this and are invited to keep track of the productions that result) to develop new plays and to share online.
StoryStation is a digital storysharing installation in which the participant functions both as performer and audience simultaneously. As storytellers speak, a digital voice recorder captures their words. These stories are collected and used in a variety of ways to make new and larger scale performance events. Framing the storytelling experience functions to liberate the participant during the storytelling as well as to offer a sense of ongoing interconnectedness.
Selected audiences comments: “We’ve talked more here than we have in two years!” “The questions were great. They made me think of so many things in my past that I had forgotten about. Thank you for giving those memories back to me.” And simply, “StoryStation rocks!”
StoryStation has been featured at the Nu:Write Festival in Zagreb, in London at the Battersea Arts Centre, Tristan Bates Theatre, St. Thomas’ Hospital, Hoxton Market, Seven Dials’ Festival, Southwark Playhouse, and the Nabakov Arts Club as well as in Georgia, USA at the ArtsExchange Gallery and the Bibb Senior Citizens Center.