Personal Narrative: Crafting Performances from the Material of Your Life

Course Description

In Personal Narrative, students will gain their own rigorous training in storytelling techniques, while both engaging in the New York theater community’s deep and rich reservoir of personal storytellers and exploring the ways in which stories from their own lives can become powerful performances. Seminar discussions inspired by encounters with other artists’ approaches to storytelling will set the stage for guided technical exercises, which will in turn introduce new questions for reading and analysis. In addition to readings, viewings, field trips, and exercise participation, students will be keep a journal reflecting on each day’s work and the process of creating their personal narrative pieces. The Intensive will culminate in 1) a performance showcasing the original, fully crafted personal stories of all the participants, 2) the written text of each student’s piece for future development, and 3) a short essay reflecting on the process of developing a personal narrative performance and critically assessing the different tools, techniques, and influences that helped in that journey.


Greg Taubman 2016 Arts Intensive ProgramGreg Taubman is a director, dramaturg, and educator with a passion for enduring stories. As a freelance theater artist, Greg has worked with regional and national institutions including the Public Theater, Classic Stage Company, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and The Shakespeare Society. He has served as Founding Artistic Director of Extant Arts Company and Associate Artistic Director of Outside the Wire, and is currently Co-Founding Director at FORGE, a service organization/consultancy for independent artists and small companies.

Greg has taught, directed, and learned from students at Stanford University, Columbia University, and LIU Post. He holds a BA in Classics from Princeton and MFA in Directing from Columbia where he studied with Anne Bogart and Andre Serban. Projects in development include Richard II for FORGE; the new play Three Thousand Seizures; and his book Such Stuff: The Essential Value of Art & Dreams.