Elaine Muray

Muray

Elaine Muray

Using movement and narration as the foundation of her work, Elaine Muray’s Embodied Voice StoryArts explores the use of a synthesis of art forms in storytelling, including music and magic. Her selections of material are adaptations of folktales from around the world as well as original material, suitable for both children and adults. Elaine has studied with the masters of physical theater including Tony Montanaro. Since 2003, Elaine has been under the personal direction of Paata Tsikurishvili, artistic director of Washington D.C’s Synetic Theater, winner of multiple awards for direction and choreography. Elaine has performed at the Australian Storytelling Festival, Northlands Storytelling Conference, and Jemez Storytelling Festival.  In 2008, Elaine was chosen by her then Pacific peers to represent the 5-state region at the National Storytelling Network’s All Regions concert. She served on the Board of the National Storytelling Network from 2011-13. Elaine has a degree in Social Work and is a certified ESL instructor.

PROGRAMS OFFERED

Elementary School

Performances

Animal Stories: A to Zoo For the young at heart, watch and listen to animal characters brought to life in tales with meaningful morals.

Mandarins, Maoris, Moons and Monkeys:  A collection of stories from Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Ugh! Bugs! The children won’t be screaming; they’ll be beaming, as they learn, through story, the very special attributes of the insect world. Great addition for science classes!

A Trip on the 4 Winds :  An ever-growing body of work that provides a view into the richness of stories from cultures around the world.

Workshops and Residences

Bullying Prevention:  A Story Is Told Addressing bullying through the positive lens of character development, this program, delivered through story and post-performance discussion will cover such qualities as Respect, Diversity, Empathy, Courage, Self-Mastery, Leadership, Responsibility, Honesty, and Cooperation.  Based on research on effective change, the program will specifically review the characters in a bullying scenario, tattling versus reporting bullying behavior, and silent onlooker and bystander responsibility. Program will be customized to budget, audience, classroom size, and specific qualities requiring review.

Storytelling for Literacy

Research has shown that we are wired for story and that information is better retained when learned through narrative structures. Our first experiences are that of listening and then speaking. Our acquisition of oral language precedes that of reading and written language. For literacy learners, the spoken word and the use of aural language, when couched in a nonthreatening and engaging environment, is an unparralled springboard for literacy acquisition. This artist-in-residency will utilize the current status of students in their acquisition to catapult them to reach for higher levels in not only listening and speaking, but also reading and writing.

Because of the varying levels of grades as well as skill acquisition, the artist will work in close collaboration with the classroom instructor to deliver a targeted residency appropriate in content and duration. Possibilities can range from a one-hour workshop to a full month residency, dependent on needs and funds available. The artist will then submit detailed lesson plans to meet learner objectives.

Digitial Storytelling Residency

A Light in the Dark: Stories on Keeping Safe
A performance and post-performance exploration of stories that teach children how to identify unsafe environments and situations and provide them with tools and skills to keep them out of harm’s way.

Middle School

Performances

Animal Stories: A to Zoo For the young at heart, watch and listen to animal characters brought to life in tales with meaningful morals.

ARTSpark: Stories to Ignite the Imagination
Have you ever wondered where great artists get their ideas? What did an African mask have to do with Picasso, a Yiddish folktale with Chagall, or the ballet with Degas? Through story and selected artwork, Elaine demonstrates how the different art forms influence each other. Optional art project follows performance.

Mandarins, Maoris, Moons and Monkeys :   A collection of stories from Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Stories in Stone, Bone and Soil :  A collection of stories that have been found or referenced in findings from archeological digs and other unearthings. A great launching point for history and science lessons.

A Trip on the 4 Winds :  An ever-growing body of work that provides a view into the richness of stories from cultures around the world.

Workshops and Residencies

Bullying Prevention:  A Story Is Told Addressing bullying through the positive lens of character development, this program, delivered through story and post-performance discussion will cover such qualities as Respect, Diversity, Empathy, Courage, Self-Mastery, Leadership, Responsibility, Honesty, and Cooperation.  Based on research on effective change, the program will specifically review the characters in a bullying scenario, tattling versus reporting bullying behavior, and silent onlooker and bystander responsibility. Program will be customized to budget, audience, classroom size, and specific qualities requiring review.

 

Storytelling for Literacy : Research has shown that we are wired for story and that information is better retained when learned through narrative structures. Our first experiences are that of listening and then speaking. Our acquisition of oral language precedes that of reading and written language. For literacy learners, the spoken word and the use of aural language, when couched in a nonthreatening and engaging environment, is an unparalleled springboard for literacy acquisition. This artist-in-residency will utilize the current status of students in their acquisition to catapult them to reach for higher levels in not only listening and speaking, but also reading and writing.

Because of the varying levels of grades as well as skill acquisition, the artist will work in close collaboration with the classroom instructor to deliver a targeted residency appropriate in content and duration. Possibilities can range from a one-hour workshop to a full month residency, dependent on needs and funds available. The artist will then submit detailed lesson plans to meet learner objectives.

Cinematic Storytelling: You Got to Move It, Move It!
A streamlined hands-on offering of physical theater basics including combining narration with movement, use of space, character development and basic mime techniques. This program can be expanded to include work with selected text for solo or ensemble school performances. For grades 4-8 in drama, physical education or English classes.

High School

Performances

Stories in Stone, Bone and Soil:  A collection of stories that have been found or referenced in findings from archeological digs and other unearthings. A great launching point for history and science lessons.

Teen Warriors and Goddesses: Our Youth at Risk –  A carefully selected montage of stories that address conflict resolution, issues of self-esteem and even young love!

A Trip on the 4 Winds:  An ever-growing body of work that provides a view into the richness of stories from cultures around the world.

Workshops and Residencies

Writing to Move Mountains: We write best about that which we know best.  Drawing upon the student’s own experiences, the course will ignite the student to write from their own experiences, while enforcing the foundations of good writing, to prepare them for collegiate and business environments and requirements.

Tell Me A Story/Public Speaking Through Personal Experience:   Drawing from student personal experience, students will learn how to make segues to important messages, while creating a professional persona and stage presence in which they will be heard.

Cinematic Storytelling: You Got to Move It, Move It! A streamlined hands-on offering of physical theater basics including combining narration with movement, use of space, character development and basic mime techniques. This program can be expanded to include work with selected text for solo or ensemble school performances. For grades 6-12 in drama, physical education or English classes.

Adults

Performances

Elaine’s ever growing selection of adult material ranges from classic folktales especially crafted for adult audiences, twists on best-loved stories and edgy fringe-like performances.

Workshops

Writing That Moves:   We write best about that which we know best..  Drawing upon the participant experiences, this course will help to move a story forward from a spark of an idea to a work of art.  Workshops 6-8 weeks in length with 2 hour minimums per gathering. Limited to 20 participants.

Storytelling for Performance:  A six to 8 week course (minimum 2-3 hours per gathering) or 2 day intensive in which participants will learn the foundation of storycrafting, command of the stage, and  production basics.  Limited to 12 participants.

Business Community

Elaine is available to lead workshops on the application of storytelling to business, including leadership and vision, communication, and collaboration. Suitable for executives and organizational teams looking to change messaging, and communicate and influence within and outside the organization. Also available for coaching.

Family

Consultation and Performance

Looking for a unique way to celebrate a life milestone? Stories connect us to each other in our communities of friends, family, and work and play. It is through narrative that we learn about the defining moments that led a person down his or life path. It is said you never truly know somebody until you know their story.

Through consultation with those in the honoree’s circles of influence, Storyteller Elaine Muray will uncover those defining moments, craft them into a meaningful script and perform the material at your event.

Workshops

Gathering for a family event?  Hearing family stories helps us to lift up what we share and honor our differences.  In this workshop, Elaine will prompt participants to find their own personal stories and shared oral histories. Participants will learn to discover common themes in their stories and how to take an anecdotes and turn them into fully developed material.

CLIENTS

  • Arlington County School System, VA
  • Fairfax County Schools System, VA
  • State of Maryland/Various school systems
  • Ventura County Schools, CA
  • Santa Barbara County Schools, CA
  • Mountain View Area Schools, CA
  • Arlington County Library System, VA
  • Fairfax County Library System, VA
  • Rochester Public Library, MN
  • Ventura County Libraries, CA
  • Santa Barbara County Libraries, CA
  • San Luis Obispo Libraries, CA
  • Mountain View Public Library, CA
  • Palo Alto Public Library, CA
  • San Jose Public Library, CA
  • Sunnyvale Public Library, CA
  • DC Children’ Hospital
  • The National Theatre, DC
  • Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority
  • Children’s Theater Association, Baltimore
  • City of Annapolis, MD
  • Vienna Community Center, VA
  • Reston Community Center, VA
  • Boston Court Theatre, Pasadena, CA
  • City of Buenaventura, CA
  • Albuquerque School  District, NM

TESTIMONIALS

“The project focus was on creative movement and the retelling of stories, which Elaine brought to the forefront by engaging students to think and physically express character personality, as well as story sequencing. I found the four day residency with Elaine Muray to be exciting, insightful, creative and productive.” — Renee Seay, Claremont Immersion Elementary, Arlington, VA

“…Ms. Muray’s performance is stunning, exciting and boundlessly entertaining. I highly recommend it.” —Kevin Daly, Executive Director, Children’s Theater Association

“Excellent presentation!  Very engaging for the students. —Elementary school teacher, Fairhill Elementary School, Fairfax, VA

“Elaine Muray’s stories are fit for the eye as well as the ear. Her audio-kinetic tapestries weave energetic mime and movement with lively speech, holding the children’s attention through sight as well as hearing.” — Donn Murphy, National Theatre, Washington DC

“…she has captivated young and old and has helped make our park’s programming a success.” — Martin Ogle, Chief Naturalist, Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA