Jake Arky is the co-founder of So Say We All. At the time that this article was published, he is completing a playwriting residency with TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley. The Young Playwrights Project involves writing new, original works for the stage and teaching performance/writing classes in local high schools.
Can you story map East Palo Alto? That was the question for the students today. The assignment was fairly easy: write down a specific location and put a one-two line story to that location. Most of the students informed me that there are a limited number of memorable destinations in East Palo Alto and most of the time you must go outside the city limits to do something interesting.
So I asked them to dig deeper. At So Say We All,we have been interested in story mapping locations around San Diego, ones people do not think are anything special, but which are actually rich with fertile stories ready to grow.
Where did you see someone get into a fight? Where did you fall in love? Where did you have the best time of your life? Where did you have the last conversation with your uncle before he died in Afghanistan?
With these types of questions in mind, the East Palo Alto students came up with some locations and we did a rough outline of what our story map might look like:
Put that into a very rough digital-age format and you get something that looks like: