Workshops

Nothing Informs Your Story Like Hearing Someone Else Perform Your Story!

No, YOU Tell It! is a “switched-up” storytelling series dedicated to performing true-life tales with a twist: Each participant develops their own story on the page and then flip scripts with a partner to present each other’s story on stage.

Producing the live shows in various venues around New York City, we have found that our page to stage process is beneficial to writers, performers, or anyone interested in trying their hand at writing and storytelling. Hearing their words read out loud by someone else allows writers to gain a new perspective on the story they want to tell, performers get a chance to connect with personal material, and everyone comes out of the experience a little bit stronger.

Interested in taking a No, YOU Tell It! workshop? Contact us at [email protected] to receive notification about additional workshops as they become available.

Want to host a “switched-up” storytelling workshop at your school, office, or organization? Book us!

No, YOU Tell It! collaborative workshops focus on true-life stories built around a specific theme, and we can work with students, professionals, community organizations, groups of family, or friends. Our specialized format of pairing and partnering promotes trust in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere and offers participants the chance to build listening skills and express themselves without pressure. The result is a camaraderie-building experience like no other. See below for workshop formats and pricing.

If you have something unique or special in mind, we can adapt our switched-up storytelling structure to suit your individual needs.

Book A Workshop

(Six hours, including a one-hour lunch break. 6-8 participants)

Each participant brings in a brief true-life tale (around 1,000 words) inspired by a chosen theme and swaps stories with a partner. We can supply the theme, or work with you to pick one designed to meet a specific goal of the workshop. Splitting into two groups, participants spend the morning working with the NYTI team on presenting their partner’s story. After lunch, participants come back together to present each other’s stories for the group, followed by a brief talkback.

(Two four-hour sessions. 6-8 participants):

Held two consecutive Saturdays or Sundays (or weekdays with a couple of days in between) and participants use the time in between to refine their draft. Then, working with the NYTI team, they will present each other’s stories to the group at the end of the second session.

(Four two-hour sessions, an individual one-hour rehearsals for each participant, plus a workshop showcase. 4-6 participants):

  • Session 1 – Discussion and writing exercises designed to kickstart participants’ stories.
  • Session 2 – First story session, workshop the group’s first drafts.
  • Session 3 – Second story session, workshop the group’s revisions.
  • Session 4 – Each participant receives an individual one-hour rehearsal with a NYTI director.
  • Workshop Showcase – flipping scripts, participants present each other’s stories on stage.
  • Session 5 – Talkback, plus tips and tools for revision.

(One three-hour session and two six-hour sessions. 4-6 participants):

An opening session Friday evening (three-hours), then two sessions (six hours each, including a one-hour lunch break) on Saturday and Sunday. Participants will present their partner’s story to the group near the end of Sunday’s session, followed by a brief talkback.

 

The No, YOU Tell It! Team

Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons is a writer, teacher, and storyteller. Her recent work has appeared in the Black Fox Literary Magazine, Newtown Literary, Hippocampus Magazine, Crack the Spine, Hypertext Magazine, and TLR Share. She is an Adjunct Instructor at York College and teaches creative writing workshops at The Astoria Bookshop and co-hosts a monthly Sip-N-Scribe at Q.E.D. – A Place to Show & Tell. Earning her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Fairleigh Dickinson University, she combined her love for theater and writing to create No, YOU Tell It! Follow Kelly Jean on Twitter @KJ_Fitzsimmons

Writers: Does the idea of reading your work aloud make you cringe? Are you about to embark on a book tour and want to improve your voice, poise, and stage presence? The NYTI Team also offers private coaching services for authors that will turn you into a superstar at presenting your work in a public setting. Contact Kelly Jean for rates and additional information.

  • Email Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

Erika Iverson

Erika Iverson is proud to be a part of the three-headed dog that is NYTI. She has also directed Elizabeth Murray’s Woman in the Dark and a workshop of Liz Maurer’s Inside the Cyclone. She recently appeared as Picasso’s companion Fernande Oliver in A Serious Banquet. A founding member of the Magis Theater Company, she was last seen in Occupy Olympus. Her solo performance work with the Cosmic Joke Collective has been seen at the Knitting Factory and the Cornelia Street Cafe. She is certified in the Alexander Technique by Master Teacher Chloe Wing (and is accepting clients), so if you need alignment advice or a director for your one-person show, she’s your woman.

  • Email Erika Iverson

Mike Dressel

Mike Dressel is a writer and educator. His work has appeared in print and online at Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Metazen, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, Promethean, and Chelsea Station, among other places. He is an adjunct lecturer at The City College of New York and the recipient of the 2013 Norman Levine Outstanding Teaching Award.

Workshop Testimonials

Kelly Jean and Erika led a fabulous custom workshop for a group at my church. Not only did my friends and I have a wonderful time, we also learned so much about each other. The workshop was very well-organized and facilitated, and I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a fun alternative to a team-building activity, or just for something different to do with friends!

Brooke White Project Manager NYTI workshop at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester

Participating in the No, YOU Tell It! workshops has been one of the most artistically satisfying endeavors I have ever experienced.  (So much so, that I continue to sign up time and time again.)

As a former performer, I was searching for a new creative outlet.  I never considered myself to be a “writer” though I secretly enjoyed it and felt I had something to say.  The idea of putting my writing out into the world was exciting and terrifying at the same time. The NYTI workshops created a safe, supportive and fun space to create. Writing prompts and exercises helped to inspire stories that I never suspected were wanting, desperately to be told. Collaborating with a community of artists helped me to find and hone my own voice.  I left every class feeling confident, and completely respected and stimulated creatively.

Knowing that someone else would be reading my work challenged me to craft new skills as a writer as I did not have the luxury of relying on my old verbal story-telling “tricks.”  Reading someone else’s story allowed me the chance to tap into my first love of performing and bringing someone else’s words to life.

Katie Johnston Integrative Nutrition Health Coach NYTI: "Revelation" & NYTI: "Tongue-Tied" workshops at Q.E.D. A Place To Show & Tell

I had no idea how valuable switched-up storytelling would be for my writing and performing. I decided to take the workshop to “shake up” my performing voice and make myself write. As someone who has only ever performed my own stories, I was enlightened by performing a piece with a different sensibility and tone than my usual writing. The vulnerability and immediacy with which I had to perform showed me that, before this workshop, I had been holding back. I would recommend this workshop to anyone interested in writing and/or performing. No, YOU Tell It!'s writing exercises, performance direction, and workshop model have honestly been more helpful to my growth as a performer than any other model I've ever tried. And all by telling another person's story. Who knew?

May Flam Storyteller and Grant Writer NYTI: “Fated” workshop at The Astoria Bookshop

I would recommend No, YOU Tell It! to anyone interested in expressing themselves creatively. I'm not a writer or a performer so I wasn't confident going into it, but everyone was very supportive and encouraging throughout the entire process. The experience was challenging for me, but also fun and very rewarding. I learned a lot about myself and my abilities by stretching myself in a new way. Thanks to the support of the NYTI team and my fellow storytellers, I found the courage to share my story and perform in front of an audience. I originally participated in No, YOU Tell It! to learn how to meet new people and express myself in a new way, but the experience also came with an unexpected benefit. It boosted my self-confidence.

Vicki Cabrera Product/Program Management Professional NYTI: “Glory" workshop at Mark Fisher Fitness