Mara Menzies is a Kenyan/Scottish storyteller who draws from her rich and diverse cultural heritage. She has performed and led storytelling workshops around the world including Kenya, Singapore, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Cuba, USA and across the UK. Her repertoire is substantial and her children are her two harshest critics. She is passionate in how stories have the power to challenge perceptions, to transform and heal. Mara firmly believes that stories will change our world for the better.
Mara Menzies has toured internationally sharing her particular style of storytelling at schools, festivals and conferences around the world for the last 10 years. She is Storyteller in Residence at Craigroyston Primary School, performs regularly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and is founder of the Kwale Heritage Trail, a unique platform for sharing and celebrating Kenyan stories through art and performance.
Maimouna is a Nairobi-based storyteller, journalist and communications consultant. She is co-founder and director of Positively African, an organisation that brings together a Pan-African network of activists, artists and academics working at the intersection between art and social justice. In 2015, Positively African launched The Nairobi Storytelling Festival.
Most recently, Maimouna has adapted and performed novels by African women for the stage as part of a series called ‘Re-Imagined’. She has performed her adaptation of Lola Shoneyin’s acclaimed novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives on several stages: Storymoja Festival (Ghana); the Writivism Festival (Uganda); Stories of the Anthropocene Festival (Sweden); Africa Writes (UK); the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary & Experimental Theatre (Egypt); The Scottish International Storytelling Festival and at the Ake Arts and Book Festival (Nigeria).
She is currently a fellow of the inaugural Ford Foundation African No Filter initiative, and is working on the ‘Re-Imagined Folktales’ children’s book with writers from across Africa and the diaspora. Her work has been featured on the BBC, Forbes Woman Africa, and The East African, amongst others.
Jesper la Cour Andersen
One of Denmark’s renowned storytellers Jesper has been awarded several times internationally for his interactive style and unique social focus in storytelling. As founder of The Telling Theatre he is a leading figure in the development of contemporary storytelling and has devised a model for creative storytelling called ‘Story Play’. A trained actor, mime and storyteller he is a recipient of government arts funding since 1996 for his professional work. Jesper has performed in 20 countries across four continents inspiring audiences of all ages.
He received ‘The Children Theatre Award 2006’, Denmark, the ‘Tall Tale Competition International Award’, St. John’s Storytelling Festival 2007, Canada and in 2014 he was awarded for ‘Craftsmanship in Creating Characters in Mythology’ at the 15th International Festival of Children’s Performances, Bulgaria. Beowulf received ‘The Best Storytelling and Interaction Production’ award at the Kingfestival 2009 in Russia.
Troels Kirk Ejsing
Troels Ejsing is a skilled storyteller, actor and musician. He runs his own company Dunkelblaa which produces storytelling theatre performances for children, youth and adults touring in Denmark and abroad. He has performed in UK, USA, Russia, Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Canada and also in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Comfortable with myths, folktales and legends he is also adept at self-created and self-lived stories. He is a regular performer at ‘Storytelling Raids’ and ‘Compulsive Liars Night’ in Denmark.
A talented musician he has composed unplugged soundtracks for The Telling Theatre and Dunkelblaa using various unusual instruments such as a watering can, washtub bass, body percussion and Jew’s harp. Troels is also a composer, arranger, singer, bass and guitar player for the rock band de LYSLEVENDE.
Dr. Nicola Grove
Nicola Grove trained as a teacher and speech therapist, specialising in intellectual disability, special educational needs, and sign language. Her doctoral research explored the linguistic and creative status of the manual signing of children with disabilities. She pioneered the use of literature and story in special schools, winning an award for her book on the topic. She has worked as a consultant on curriculum, narrative and communication, most recently for the Story Museum in Oxford. Currently she holds an honorary lectureship at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent.
She left her university post in London to set up Openstorytellers, an award winning charity which promotes voice and community empowerment for people with intellectual and communication difficulties.Working in partnership, the members tell legends, historical and personal stories, in schools and day services, at conferences and festivals and at training courses. Story is also used to support self-advocacy and citizenship, using an innovative collaborative approach which has transformed the ability of young people to speak up for themselves.
Nicola has given presentations and workshops all over the world. She has researched the representation of people with disabilities in myth and legend, collecting stories in South Africa, Canada, Australia and Japan, where she developed a project to challenge stigma through celebrating ‘Heroes with a Difference’. Her books include: Odyssey Now (1996); Ways into Literature (2005); Learning to Tell (2009), Using Storytelling to Support Children and Adults with Special Needs (2013) and The Big Book of Storysharing (2014).
Paul is the founder of Safe Space Stories, a space dedicated to uncovering one’s true creative voice. He co-founded the Singapore Literature Festival and the Second Saturdays literary reading series in New York, both of which are in their fourth year. He has written and co-written eight books of fiction, the last being ‘Zheng He & the Treasure Fleet, 1405-1433: A modern-day traveller's guide from antiquity to the present’. A linguist, an avid traveller and absorber of stories, Paul has degrees from Oxford, London and New York in law, religious anthropology and publishing, respectively. He is a certified facilitator of the Amherst Writers & Artists method.
Paul created Safe Space Stories to help people tap into their innate creativity. Safe Space Stories uses the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method, developed by writer Pat Schneider. In 2014 he attended AWA workshops in Brooklyn, organised by the New York Writers Coalition. Inspired by the method and the community growing around it, he continued taking part in the public workshops organised by NYWC. In 2016 he trained as a volunteer leader with NYWC and led his first workshop for a few months at The Lighthouse, a transitional housing facility for young men in the Bronx. He continues to lead NYWC workshops at libraries, schools, and community centres in the various neighbourhoods of New York City.
In 2017, Paul received certification from the AWA Foundation. It is a method he fully believes in, a method with positive effects he witnesses at every workshop he attends or leads. He is grateful to introduce people to this method and to journey with them as they find their true, creative selves through writing.
Emylia is an art therapist and art therapy educator with specialist training in stress, trauma, and loss. Her practice gravitates towards mind/body sciences and integrates physiology with psychology for an encompassing approach in capitalising human development. Since 2007, she has been in partnership with educational institutions, voluntary welfare organisations, government agencies, and NGOs within Southeast Asia, working with persons of all ages in situational and developmental crisis within different communities. Emylia is also informed by science of yoga and expressive arts therapies. She is passionate in reconnecting children and adults alike with the essential joie de vivre through play, creativity, warmth, compassion, and sensitivity, and to bring joy to the mind, body, and spirit.
Emylia has a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Supervision (University of Derby), MA Art Therapy (LASALLE), BA Psychology & Humanities (Monash University) and Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education (Temasek Polytechnic).
Young Storytellers Mentorship Project
A graduate from the Diploma in Performance course and a current student of the BA (hons) Musical Theatre course at LASALLE College of the Arts, Andrea has been pursuing her dreams to become a triple-threat performer for almost five years now. She has performed in Shakespeare’s Henry V and played the role of Senator Fipp in her most recent musical, Urinetown. Andrea has acted for television in Zero Calling, Rojak, and the telemovie RISE. She loves sharing the arts with children and has worked with The Amazing Toy Box and she enjoys teaching music and movement at Kindermusik.
Daisy has always had a knack for theatre. She studied in the School Of The Arts (SOTA) for four years, where she majored in Theatre. A recent graduate from the Diploma in Performance course at LASALLE College of the Arts, Daisy is also an Associate Young Storyteller at The Storytelling Centre Ltd. Her storytelling credits include The Hidden (dir. Kamini Ramachandran) for SIFA 2018, Terrific Tales at The Artground, and House Party at The Arts House. Some of her performing credits include Zhu Di in Furthest North Deepest South, Rachel Corrie in Let Me Stand Alone and Casca in Julius Caesar.
At the age of nine Fahim discovered he could save himself from his mother’s beatings by making her laugh instead. It was at this moment he set his heart on becoming a performer. He found his passion for theatre doing improvisation and moved onto plays and musicals in secondary school. Fahim has been part of many productions, from drama productions at Anglo Chinese School to an amateur theatre collective called The Callbacks. He is currently pursuing his studies in performance at LASALLE. He looks forward to working with all the creative people he admired while growing up.
A graduate from LASALLE College of the Arts, Jeremy is a trained actor, storyteller and puppeteer. Jeremy’s storytelling credits include SIFA 2018 commission The Hidden (dir. Kamini Ramachandran), and Terrific Tales, a weekly storytelling performance held at The Artground. His stage credits include The Greatest Treasure in the World (dir. Peggy Ferroa), a National Museum Singapore commission as part of the British Museum exhibition and WonderWords (dir. Daniel Jenkins), a children’s school touring show. Jeremy Leong is also an Associate Young Storyteller at The Storytelling Centre Limited.
Khyan is an aspiring performing artist, currently in the process of completing his Diploma in Performance at LASALLE College of the Arts. He wrote and directed his first amateur play at the age of fourteen based on a family drama set during World War 1. He is a skilled pianist, trained at the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in India headed by Zubin Mehta, the music director of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. His recent storytelling performance was for Senses, a musical theatre dinner event as part of ARTWALK Little India 2018.
Liau Yun Qing
Yun Qing has been performing improv on stage since 2015. She currently stages shows regularly with Singapore’s longest-running improv team Modern Schemers and musical improv team Les Musicables. Alongside her teams, she has performed internationally in Shanghai and Manila. Off stage, she runs Improv Asia with her two partners. Their goal is to bring the joy of improv into the corporate space and everyday life.
Story Slam SG
Artur is Singapore’s only Russian comedian. He was named one of the top open mic comedians at Singapore Comedy Fringe 2017, and has opened for the likes of Brandon Burns, Wil Sylvince, Joe Machi, Ro Campbell, and Aidan Killian. He mixes personal storytelling with smart and surreal jokes.
Described as “a right-on wordsmith and master of comic poignancy” by Sabotage Reviews, Stephanie is an award-winning writer, performer, educator and qualified lawyer. Co-organizer of Story Slam SG and founder of poetry open mic night, Spoke and Bird, she also performs stand-up comedy and burlesque. Her first solo spoken word show, Foreigner Go Home (With Me!) premiered at the Edinburgh Free Fringe Festival in 2012.
Storytelling Association (Singapore)
Nandini is a passionate storyteller who performs a broad range of stories for adults, teenagers and children. She uses storytelling extensively in her mindfulness program, Just-B. She is also a certified psychometric coach for executives. She has completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and the educator program with Mindful Schools.
Helen has a love for music, drama and dance. She spent 42 years in education and has a Masters in Counselling and is currently a school counsellor. In her counselling sessions, she uses stories to heal, inspire and motivate her clients. She has told stories at school assemblies and enjoys telling stories to all ages, from pre-schoolers to adults.
Rayanna is a British actress currently working in Singapore. Most recently she appeared in That’s the Story of My Life by Method Productions. She has previously played leading stage roles in London, Edinburgh Fringe, and the U.S. Her recent film credits include Kelvin Tong’s latest feature, and the award winning films Our Little Haven, Father, Orchid and Between The Divide.
An educator, Laura is also a theatre and dance enthusiast. A certified Laban Movement Analyst she teaches at the Singapore American School. An acting member of Tapestry Playback Theatre she also hosts a monthly play reading group. Laura lived in Indonesia for twenty two years and has been in Singapore for the last twelve. She has been out of the US longer than she has been in it and considers that an adventure and a blessing.
Kamil is the artistic director of Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity, Singapore’s first professional acting studio and of Method Productions, a presenting production house. He has coached actors appearing in Hollywood films, as well as international and local TV. An award-winning actor, his theatre credits include Story Slam Singapore Grand Slam, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and Asleep & Him. His film credits Ketetapan, That Loving Feeling and A Better Place Than This, have all appeared in international film festivals.
Joy is an artist and illustrator who enjoys exploring creative applications for her drawing and acquires inspiration through sharing with others. Her previous work experiences include working as a graphic designer and an art educator in secondary level. She has worked on projects, specially commissioned by Food Republic, All Things N'ice, Passion Arts, and Community Clubs to produce artworks and murals.
Her recent graduation from LASALLE’s Fine Arts Faculty provided her with an artistic edge over her former Visual Communication Diploma from Temasek Polytechnic, which formulates her multi-disciplinary approach in her creative sensibilities. An honest simple aesthetic with a tinge of delightful sunshine is what she appreciates the most.