collage EHS  SL®III 2013.jpg


You lived it, now...

you can tell it.


A unique and time tested curriculum based, high school storytelling program and regional contest. 

Over 8,000 Greater Boston high school students have learned to tell compelling personal narratives, live, without notes or props using the StoriesLive® curriculum.  Starting this fall, StoriesLive® will be administered as a project independent from massmouth,inc. 

For more information please contact: Norah Dooley

project director, Norah Dooley at:

For bookings: Leah Hamilton French at: Young Audiences of Massachusetts

Students perform for the entire senior class at Lynn Classical High School

Students perform for the entire senior class at Lynn Classical High School

“Listen to the stories of kids in this struggling school and you realize how very little numbers like test scores and turnaround statistics capture. These students carry around stuff so heavy it’s a wonder they make it to school at all, let alone talk about it.
And yet... “
— Yvonne Abraham - Boston Globe
Class exercise at Chelsea High, 2013

Class exercise at Chelsea High, 2013

“...the organization’s credo is simple but powerful:
“We believe everyone has a story to tell, and that the greater community will be more honest and compassionate through the listening to and sharing of stories.”
— Susan Miron, Arts Fuse
Kaleel Campbell said the toughest thing about getting up in front of an audience and talking about his middle school crush was dealing with the nerves. “I had to get myself out of the way - the negative voice inside me saying, ‘Sit back down, bro,” he said. “That was the very first time I got onstage and told a story in front of people, but I wanted to tell the story. I wanted to get it off my chest.”

— Kait Taylor - Lynn Item
“ Many of the stories people bring to the slams prove the algorithm, ‘Time plus tragedy equals comedy,’” Dooley said. “The stories are dramatic, hilarious, serious, and even cathartic but unlike their ‘cousins’ - stand-up comedy - or a poetry slam, a story slam is a competition to see who can bring the best story related to the published theme.”
— Watertown Patch


In 2015-2016 we will be booking in Massachusetts high schools and middle school with an exclusive arrangement with Young Audiences of Massachusetts. Find out more about their work here:   Gail Zarren (617) 629-9262 x 304 | or Like us at Facebook:  Follow on Twitter at: StoriesLive

Now in our sixth year, the StoriesLive® program has introduced over 7,000 high school students from 15 Massachusetts high schools to the art of 21st century storytelling and awarded over $29,000 in scholarship prizes. Our program is supported by generous private donors,three project grants from,  local cultural councils, the MassCultural Council, and the donation of countless hours of administrative work, teaching and performances by massmouth,inc. administration and storytellers.  Special thanks  to Three Apples Storytelling Festival for a significant gift in for StoriesLive® III and MassCultural Council for STARs Grants for support of StoriesLive® IV and 5 and the for StoriesLive® 5.

This year we will be booking in Massachusetts high schools with an exclusive arrangement with Young Audiences of Massachusetts. Find out more about their work here:   Gail Zarren (617) 629-9262 x 304 | or Like us at Facebook:

For bookings outside of MA please contact:  Norah Dooley, project director at  (617) 460-3544

Here is an outline of the essential elements and lessons in the StoriesLive® program.

StoriesLive® is a curriculum based program that has 5 steps - schools may opt for a customized program*
1) Professional Development Workshop
2) Assembly
3) 4 In-Class Lesson Plans
4) A school wide slam
5) StoriesLive® Scholarship Slam in Boston venue TBA

Participating students tell a 2-4 minute personal story by the end of the unit.

Assembly: short introduction to the art of storytelling, story concert modeling the art,  followed by an interactive workshop which is a short version of Lesson 1

Lesson 1 Recap of Assembly, Overview and Story Prompts and Basic elements of an effective narrative including:Sensory details; 5 Questions; beginning and end; and main take away or point of change they want their listeners to have.Provide examples of stories Assignment #1 – tell your story 3 times and record “take away”

Lesson 2 Recognize story arc – Context, meaning and “main take away” in a story Visual representation of storiesReview of feedback format Q&AQuestions and Appreciations All Students tell part of a story as part of a group Assignment #2 - tell your story 3 times and notice what changes

Lesson 3 The nonverbal 'tools' of storyteller: voice, facial expression and movement Exercises in performance skillsStudents tell stories to each other using new skills Assignment #3 - tell your story 3 times , note nonverbal elements you will use and fill out Performer's Check-list to be ready for in-class slam

Lesson 4 Review or fill out Performer's Check list: in class Story Slam! Introduce rubric and scoring sheets for audience.Slam - students tell, evaluate and listen to each other's stories. They may vote on which stories will be sent to the school wide slam or teacher can decide.

Themes are aligned to the Common App essay prompts!

Up the Family Tree ♦ Where I am From ♦ Learned the Hard Way ♦ First Time ♦ Lost & Found ♦ and more.

* We will work with all schools that are interested in the program and actively seek funding for partner schools.


The Professional Development Workshop(PDW) is led by StoriesLive artist/educators from The program, lesson plans and workshop activities will be posted on line for participating educators. The Assembly showcases massmouth storytellers who tell a 4 minute personal narrative based on the 5 themes. The Assembly includes hands-on storytelling activities preparing students for their first class. The 4 Lesson Plans are held during class time and implemented as a unit. Storytelling activities comprise the first three lessons; the fourth lesson is an in-class “story slam”. Every student will tell their story. Each high school will have a Schoolwide Slam. The school will promote it. It can be a big or modest event: from a ticketed night or weekend event as a school fundraiser or during the day for as an assembly for a few classes.

Schools may opt to allow sophomore, junior and senior students from Theater, Speech, district homeschoolers and students in After School Story or Drama Classes, who have a story, but have not taken any StoriesLive instruction to participate in their school wide slam.

Inquire about participation guidelines for the 2015-2016 school year at: