Everyone has a story to tell, and we want to help you share yours! At Ex Fabula Storytelling Workshops, experienced storytelling coaches guide you through hands-on, small group exercises on the following topics:
- Finding your story: Why storytelling is important and powerful and how to select a great story to tell
- Crafting your story: How to structure your story for maximum impact
- Telling your story: Tips to practice before you take the stage
One-on-One Storytelling Coaching
Working on an especially important story? Whether you need help finding the narrative through line or just want to gain confidence in sharing your story, Ex Fabula storytelling coaches can help you reach your goals through private, one-on-one storytelling coaching
The basic coaching package includes:
- a conversation to identify your goals for coaching
- us matching you with a suitable storytelling coach.
- a pre-session phone call with the coach to go over your goals for the session
- a one-hour in person coaching session at a mutually agreeable location in the City of Milwaukee (could be a coffee shop, library, office, private residence, etc); coaches can travel for additional cost.
- a follow up phone call where the coach can hear your story after you’ve had time to reflect on it.
Meet some of our Storytelling coaches
Megan McGee, co-founder and Executive Director of Ex Fabula, has sought out story slams from San Francisco to Philadelphia and bared her soul onstage at several. She has planned and coordinated events for Ex Fabula’s regular season as well as the Terminal Milwaukee project, the 2012 residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the Puente Project, the Ex Fabula Fellowship, and Equal Access.
Megan is bilingual and has an MA in Literature in Spanish. Spending a year living in Mexico inspired countless stories. She also has a degree in Theatre, which she uses frequently while writing, performing and directing in the all female sketch comedy group broadminded. Megan’s varied teaching experience includes improvisation and movement workshops for elementary school students, a sketch comedy master class for an all girls high school, leading a senior theatre group as well as teaching Spanish at the middle, high school, and college levels.
Karen Kolberg was instrumental in the creation of the curriculum for the very first Ex Fabula workshop; most recently, she has become one of the coaches for the Ex Fabula Fellowship. In addition to coaching, she volunteers on the Programming Committee.
Karen earned a Professional Training and Development Certificate from the University of Minnesota and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Education. Karen is a co-founder of ComedySportz and has been an artist-in-residence for Milwaukee Public Schools. Formerly the Associate Director of FMT (now called Milwaukee Public Theater) Karen created and performed a one-woman comedy show, plus wrote over forty original productions, including a full-length musical, “BLT: Bag Lady Tendencies.” She has performed spiritual poetry (Ladinsky’s renditions of Hafiz) throughout Milwaukee. As president of her own company, KJK Enterprises, she has brought her workshops on creativity, communication, leadership and stress management to universities and Fortune 500 companies throughout the country, reaching over 100,000 people. She has been called a “dynamic enter-trainer”. To learn more about Karen, please visit www.off-kiltercreativestudio.com.
Rochelle Fritsch has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Communications, but most of her storytelling training was more informal. Her storytelling experience started with blogging on several sites including her personal blog, www.thelatearrival.blogspot.com. In 2015, when she was named one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year, she was asked to read that story at an event. Later, she read other written stories through Milwaukee’s annual Listen To Your Mother Show, and then she made the transition to telling stories without notes as an Ex Fabula Fellow. Building on that experience, she is now a coach for the 2016-17 cohort of Fellows.
Speaking about her strengths as a storytelling coach, Rochelle says, “I think listening is a part of storytelling, and I’m a good listener. I can tell where more is needed to “fill in the blanks” of a story and help people discover what can be filled in. I’m also able to put myself in the place of a nervous storyteller because I still get “butterflies” any time I tell a story. But I think what qualifies me most is that I’m a natural encourager – I want people to understand their voice, their story, the viewpoint is important – and can touch people and change them.”
Blanche Brown, a native of Chicago, is a multi-media artist. As an art activist, Brown’s work addresses social injustices and the psychological and psychosocial impact these issues have on undeserved and underrepresented groups. She is a mentor at Redline Milwaukee, where she is involved in the professional development of artists and exhibition programs with a focus on socially relevant
Blanche has been a guest artist and artist-in-residence at several schools and community programs working with youth including those suffering from autism and mental illness. Brown also serves as facilitator where she uses reflective structured techniques to help foster civil dialogue and trust while working through difficult issues. She is also trained in First Aid Arts, a program designed to equip trauma care providers with arts-based tools and training. Brown also writes poetry and is a spoken word and performance artist and conducts art workshops for both adults and youth. You can learn more about Blanche at her personal website www.artbybb.com
Nakia Hood has had prior experience in storytelling through being a youth pastor and an emcee at local youth functions. His first time on a stage was when he performed the hokie-pokie in kindergarten, which he says was monumental!
Nakia’s journey with Ex Fabula started by participating in story slams, volunteering, emceeing at Slams, to now being a workshop facilitator and coach. Hood was also a part of the first Ex Fabula fellowship, along with a group of wonderful and amazing souls. That is where his storytelling training began and progressed thus far. Hood says, “none of that means I’ve arrived, so to speak, but it gives an indication to my love for stories and willingness to grow within all things that have to do with storytelling and community in its rich fullness”.
Being a graduate of Phoenix University with a degree in psychology plays a huge part to an initial rocky past in terms of formal education, and a lack there of, but with a bright outlook towards getting his masters just means the saga still continues. Stay tuned!
Destinny Fletcher, also known as Deolinda Abstrac: A woman with the power to create peace within her community and culture through the phenomenon in her voice. With Milwaukee, WI as her hometown, art becomes her sound and her greatest enigma. Working with the youth, Destinny experiences cultural differences and graphic stories. She relates to them heavily and even writes stories, inspired by her students’ presence as a HS Slam League Coach for Still Waters Collective and Mentor (2012-2016). She was a 2012 State Poetry Slam Finalist and competed in 2013 LTAB (Louder Than A Bomb) College Team Slam. She self-published her first chapbook: “Fireflies & Peroxide” in March of 2014 and her new release “Black Girl Be Storm” in May 2016. She has also performed in “Yetta Young’s Butterfly Confessions” stage play in Milwaukee in November 2015 as the first community production to ever present this play without reader’s theater. She has participated as a storytelling Coach for Ex Fabula, an Actress in UWM Women’s Resource Center Presents: The Vagina Monologues in February 2016, and returned as an actress in MPower Theater in the play, “UNTAMED” July 2016. From Turner Hall Ballroom to the Broadway Theatre Center, She has been performing all over Wisconsin and soon… the country!
Nelson Lopez Rojas (San Salvador, 1977) resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he is a professor of Latin American studies at UWM, as well as an Ex Fabula participant. He was also a professor of literature at Don Bosco University in El Salvador. He has a doctorates degree in translation from Binghamton University. Nelson translated the complete version of Cuentos de barro De Salarrué, which has been praised by the L.A. Times, into English. Other translational works include Loas Guatemaltecas by Florencio Valey, the Brazilian Machado de Assis, and the Poema de Amor by Roque Dalton as well as numerous other works. His newest poetry, Agua Cero, es a multi-lingual edition that comes out late 2016. Various digital and print works have been translated in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Leah Leone told her first story in December 2010 and won one of Ex Fabula’s very first story slams. Since then, she has volunteered at multiple levels. On the Programming Committee, she planned
themes, events and locations, and worked as Stage Manager. She has also lead UltraShorts, wrangled storytellers and otherwise mingled with tellers and crowd alike. Leah coached stories for big events like the All-Stars and Spectacular, as well as for a number of Ex Fabula Fellows.
Together with Director Megan McGee, Leah developed the Puente Project, which sought to bring Milwaukee’s Spanish and English speakers together through stories. Winning multiple grants, Leah and Megan were able to put on a number of workshops, involve UWM students in interpreting, and put on a bilingual story slam.