Whether it’s 1860, and you’re writing a play to put on in your crowded family room like Jo in LITTLE WOMEN; or it’s 2019 and you’re a teen staying up late trying to come up with a tweet to make your friends laugh: the words you choose have power. Learning to communicate—to tell a story— is a skill that will always be valuable.
In our world today, stories are experienced so rapidly it’s difficult to retain their message before jumping onto the next big “thing.” Teens especially are exposed to hundreds of thousands of possible forms of entertainment and are rarely encouraged to experience any one for longer than a few minutes. Telling a story, however, is a slow process that opens doors to deeper-level thinking, and encourages useful self-investigation. Joyfully, most children are eager to tell stories if they are given the space and time to share.
Now, here’s an exercise you can download and pass on to your Jo(e), Meg or Amy. Encourage them to write a letter (or e-mail if more convenient) to a grandparent or someone dear to them. Ask them to retell a story they have recently heard or seen – it can be silly or serious. Make sure they indicate the source of the story. Write back and tell them a favorite story of yours and how you experienced it. The goal of the exercise is to allow the child to not only examine how they like to get their information, but also to help them discover their own preferences and organically establish connections with others.
Invite the grandmas and grandpas in your world to see LITTLE WOMEN running December 7 – 22, and don’t forget to see Nana herself in LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET this March!
Family bonding time is great at a DCT play. Buy tickets at dct.org!
IMAGE CREDIT: LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET permission granted by Penguin Random House LLC.
Photo by Karen Almond