Why do we tell stories?
We tell stories to distract us from the current state of our lives. We tell stories to emphasize a persuasive point. But most often we tell stories to share our experiences, to learn about one another.
In a recent blog post, Leo Widrich wrote about the effect of storytelling on our brains. Studies have found that when we share stories, our brains synchronize between the listener and the storyteller. This is because, as a listener, our brains will immediately attempt to relate what the storyteller is sharing to something we have already experienced. In stories of struggle, pain, or trauma, even if we cannot find a shared experience, our compassion and empathy for the storyteller will be stirred.
This is what happened when “New Choices, New Beginnings” first debuted in October. A reader’s theater of transformational stories compiled by Sandy Asher allowed the audience to hear the stories of past New Choices/New Beginnings students. The effect was immediate, and we were elated to hear the comments from people who had never heard these stories before, but upon hearing them during the production, were moved to tears.
Storytelling captures the passion and emotion behind a cause like New Choices and brings it out so everyone can experience in one moment what we work with every day. On March 8 at 6 pm, our reader’s theater will be showcased during the International Women’s Day events at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. We hope that you can take some time to attend and experience this amazing event.