Personal Storytelling Bridges the Global Divide: Changing the World One Story at a Time
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
Professor Eric Trules
Lecturer, School of Theatre, University of Southern California (USC)