International Storytelling Festival Singapore 2019

Message from the Creative Producer


Kamini Ramachandran

There’s no time like the present to open our hearts and minds to understanding the people and cultures around us through their stories. Storytelling is the oldest form of communication that speaks directly to the hearts and minds of all people. Fly away on the wings of ‘Make Believe’ and see the world through stories.

In its third year now, StoryFest has grown from just ten programmes in the inaugural edition to seventeen in the second and now presenting twenty two programmes. The application of storytelling has travelled beyond the stage into diverse sectors like pedagogy, communication, therapy, history and more. 

As we reflect upon the commemoration of The Singapore Bicentennial and the role of regional stories, The Singapore Showcase takes patrons on a nomadic journey of Make Believe traversing the seas that surround our island.

The third edition of The Young Storytellers Showcase continues to be a platform for showcasing the storytelling skills of new talents. The Wings of Love promises to reveal love in its many guises through the experiences of the various characters from Asian folklore.

The festival honours one of the earliest literary stories with David Novak’s riveting one-man performance of the epic of Gilgamesh. Relive the trials, tribulations and passions of Frida Kahlo in a sensitive solo performance by Ana Maria Lines that draws us deeper into the artist’s personal life. The festival closes with A Night of Magical Myths, a special showcase celebrating the diversity of the oral tradition. 

Children and families will experience a whirlwind of storytelling programmes and related activities to guide them into the world of Make Believe and play with their imaginations. Step into the jungle and sail away on a canoe of animal tales; gather around an imaginary fire and help the storyteller with his stories; immerse yourself in a musical storytelling experience with Daniel Allison’s didgeridoo tunes and wacky tales.

For the first time the festival presents a visual storytelling exhibition by Zarina Muhammad, closely linked to mythology and symbolism in narratives. Continuing with the theme of expanding upon the visual art and storytelling, we have workshops on The Doll Maker’s Narrative and effigy making that focus on the process of crafting narratives through a secondary medium.

Our ever popular professional development programmes will cater for businesses and organisations with topics on Leadership & Storytelling to impart communication skills in the workforce. We also take a look at Singapore’s history and discover new ways of sharing her stories through the medium of digital media.

Discover techniques on adapting old texts into performance, learn how to access past memories through photographs and engage in a sharing session by Martina Pisciali that traces her development as an emerging storyteller.

The festival’s masterclasses will equip you to become a creative communicator by applying specific storytelling methods to your daily life; and help you to identify new ways of teaching and learning by employing storytelling strategies in the classroom.

To complement the spirit of ‘Make Believe’ we have free community engagement activities to inspire conversation, the sharing of spoken stories and creation of visual stories – all programmed to get audiences off their digital devices. 

In today’s world of instant moments #MakeBelieveSG is an invitation to slow down and consume tales of the past, told by the present, to understand our future.

“For most of human history, 'literature,' both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written — heard, not read. So fairy tales, folk tales, stories from the oral tradition, are all of them the most vital connection we have with the imaginations of the ordinary men and women whose labour created our world.” – Angela Carter

Kamini Ramachandran


2018 Creative Producer’s Message 2017 Creative Producer’s Message