Personal Storytelling Bridges the Global Divide: Changing the World One Story at a Time

Professor Eric Trules
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We divide our world into nations, cultures, religions, languages; each separating one group from another. We define ourselves by identifying with one group and not with another. Americans: Democrats-Republicans. Iraquis: Sunni-Shiite-Kurd. East Malaysians: Muslim-Chinese-Malay. Indian, Chinese, Irish, Catholic, Buddhist, etc. etc. Yet we all have one thing in common. We are all human beings — who all yearn for the same comforts, freedoms, gods, friends, security, self-expression, fulfillment, transcendence — as one another. What is a way we can communicate with each other, break down the barriers between us, feel we have things in common? Stories are the answer. Personal stories — that can be taught in writing and drama classes — in school, in the community. No matter what the language, nationality, political persuasion, or culture, writing and performing personal stories can touch us all. Professor Eric Trules, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, is a 2002 Fulbright Scholar to Malaysia where he taught "Solo Performance" to Chinese, Muslim, and Malay college age students — in English and in their native language. Trules believes that uncovering the personal story within and finding one's own "personal voice" is an empowering and freeing art form and kind of self expression — that connects human beings across cultures. He is on a crusade as an artist-educator to take this storytelling/monologue work around the world, changing it 1 story at a time.

Keywords: Arts, Drama, Theatre, Creative Writing, Monologue, Solo Performance, Storytelling, International, Bridges, Performance
Stream: Arts, Drama and Design
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Personal Storytelling Bridges the Global Divide

Professor Eric Trules

Lecturer, School of Theatre, University of Southern California (USC)

Professor Eric Trules, Lecturer at the University of Southern California (USC)in Los Angeles for 19 years, is an artist-educator who has been active in the literary and performing arts for over 30 years. Beginning as a modern dancer and choreographer in Chicago, he was founder and director of New York City's resident clown troupe, which was funded by the American government and traveled to Holland, Switzerland, and France in 1979. Since moving to LA in 1982, Trules has been a professional actor, director, screenwriter, poet, documentary filmmaker, and academic. He premiered his feature length documentary film, "The Poet and the Con", in Nyon, Switzerland in 1998, and he was a Fulbright Scholar in Malaysia in 2002. His specialty is "solo performance", or the writing and performing of personal, autobiographical monologues, and he has twice taken his own one-man shows to the Edinburgh Arts Festival, where he was "Short-listed" for best show of the Fringe. Trules has been at USC since 1986 where he has had a distinguished career, being one of the most popular teachers on campus and winning many prestigious awards including the Phi kappa Phi "Faculty Recognition Award" in 1999. In 2004 Trules was invited to present the distinguished "What Matters to Me and Why" lecture at USC.

Ref: L05P0560