The Art of Oral Storytelling

Instructor: Sally Perkins
Date: 3 Wednesdays: May 22, 29; June 5
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: IWC
Cost: $150 nonmembers, $96 members, $84 student members/teacher members/senior members/military members/librarian members

Storytelling: An ancient art form with modern relevance!  Whether you’re interested in personal stories like you hear on The Moth Radio Hour, historical stories like you might hear at Storytelling Arts of Indiana events, or professional stories like you might hear in a business setting, the more you’re aware of what you’re doing, the more compelling your stories will be.  This three-session course will expose you to the fundamentals of crafting and telling a compelling story. 

In the first session you’ll learn research bases for why oral stories matter.  You’ll then learn and practice basic story elements and typical oral story structure. In the second session, you’ll practice telling stories, receive feedback, and learn methods for refining and deepening your story as well as techniques for using voice and body to effectively convey stories. In the third session, you’ll present polished stories, receive feedback, and explore ways to further use and develop your storytelling skills.

As a performer, Sally Perkins tells stories of all sorts—historical, wisdom, personal, and ghoulish--to audiences of all ages.  She’s been commissioned multiple times by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and partnering organizations to create and perform historical stories on Hoosier characters like John Dillinger, as well as Hoosier locations like Butler University’s famous Hinkle Fieldhouse.  She performed at the 2018 Indianapolis Spirit & Place Festival and was a featured ghost story performer in the 2018 Tennessee Haunting in the Hills Festival and the Festival of Ghost Stories at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.  Sally has performed comedic personal stories at the 2014 and 2015 Indy Fringe Theatre Festivals. Her latest piece Digging In Their Heels: An Eye-opening, Energized Story of Women’s Battle for the Vote was a top-selling show at the 2018 Indy Fringe Theatre Festival.   She has produced three albums of her work. 

As a storytelling trainer, Sally helps clients discover, craft, and effectively tell their stories in ways that are compelling to their target audiences.

Holding a Ph.D. in rhetorical studies, Sally has taught public speaking for nearly 30 years at the collegiate level. She currently teaches as an adjunct faculty member at Butler University, but on her best days she can be found telling stories at the bedside of kids at Riley’s Hospital for Children.  Check out her work at

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