East Palo Alto Storytelling, Part 17

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.

Class 17:

“Damn, this class was fun…for once…”

A collage of the EPA students work.

It’s the final countdown: the class has a week to before the final performance, but I don’t want them to forget that this is about them. I’ve stayed up into the wee hours of the night working on their script, putting together a program with all of their names on it, and gathering images of their writings/drawings. I don’t want them to be worried or unfocused, and the same goes for me. Basically, we all needed a little break before we really get into the project next week.

When it doubt, turn to arts and crafts. Since I do not have the resources of digital recording devices, microphones, and other multimedia equipment, I had to resort to glue sticks, scissors, and old magazines. Visual storytelling by way of collage has always been a favorite past-time of mine and today, I decided to share it with the East Palo Alto storytelling class.

Today’s assignment was simple: build a character with images and a few words. The character was supposed to be the EPA storyteller and that made it easier for them. Common threads of make-up brands, the Kardashians, and alcohol-labels were prevalent throughout, but a few people got personal (one girl even put the phrase “teen mom” on her collage because she is to be one in the next 7-8 months…) and really made statements about themselves.

But I’m not doing them justice. I present to you, the visual character constructions of the East Palo Alto storytellers: