Westoryteller is a group of professional storytellers seeking to motivate, inspire and kindle the joy of learning through stories. They have been involved in international storytelling festivals and storytelling workshops in Thailand.
“Everybody loves an interesting story, it’s part of being a human. We’ve become accustomed to ‘tuning-in’ to a story since a young age,” says the group’s founder Khun Lek. “This began with our parents and was further engrained through education. Storytelling has been used in various business situations, like deals, advertising, correspondence… The best sales representatives are incredible storytellers. Storytelling is a fundamental and natural way to enhance communication and connect with listeners.”
How did Westoryteller Thailand come about? WeStoryteller began in 1996. Based on a personal interest, Khun Lek was reading about international storytellers in a local newspaper, so she reached out to Ajarn Wajuppa Tossa, the only international storyteller in Thailand at the time. Khun Lek asked whether the group could host a storytelling camp, and Ajarn Wajuppa simply said, “Yes”.
“That’s how it began, the storytelling camp grew bigger and evolved into the International Storytelling Festival, partnering with a university and a parents’ group.” Westoryteller has since collaborated with more universities, mostly in the South and Northeast of Thailand, to present a English Storytelling Camp & Workshop for Teachers and Students, facilitated by international storytellers. They have also participated in a number of international storytelling festivals such as “Once Upon a Time” (2013), “Earthcare” (2014), Mama Good Food (2015), “Rice is Life” (2016) and “Happily Ever After” (2017), which was a celebration of multiculturalism.
“Apart from the business side, storytelling can be used as an effective medium for touching people’s hearts; it’s used to establish a connection with people on a personal and emotional level. Therefore, stories are a natural part of life, giving meaning to our activities, legitimising our decisions and summoning our sentiments,” adds Khun Lek.
A recent Bangkok production included “Magical Roosters & Annoying Fairies”. Audiences (families with children ages 5+) enjoyed a fun afternoon comprised of stories and a storytelling workshop with an award winning author and professional storyteller from the US, Dr. Margaret Read Macdonald, who has authored over 60 books. Participants left ready to retell the stories; parents learned how to talk with and teach kids through stories, making the reading experience more interactive and engaging. There was also face painting, food and drinks.
Also, a storytelling & board game event, “The Medici and the Story of Pizza”, brought to life stories of The Medici family who had a major influence on the growth of the Italian Renaissance and the legend of pizza. Participants also played related board games.