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Performance, Healing and Community Action

In traditional African societies, the griot or djeli is the community storyteller, historian, and living archive of communal knowledge. In this workshop, participants are asked to consider what it would mean for them to see themselves as the griots of their own cultures and communities. What would be their relationship to the words they speak, their daily actions, their connection with others?


In We the Griot, Daniel Banks and Adam McKinney, founders of DNAWORKS, guide participants through the progression they use in their work to think about the role and function of the griot. Using movement, storytelling, improvisation, writing, group dialogue, song, and games, participants explore the power of their own experiences and stories as they relate to important issues in their communities. They then consider how these stories interrelate and, finally, begin to think about composition and staging the community’s voices.

Out of this workshop comes an understanding of devising theatre from one’s own personal source material. Participants will also learn a model for generating community dialogue and storycircles in order to explore the relationship between art-making and community building.

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