The Story Only I Can Tell

Last week, a small number of students were given the opportunity to work with the amazing William Yang and learn his unique and beautiful style of creating theatre and performance through workshops, discussions and rehearsals

Jaime Domer, Jesse Chrisan, Beth Raywood Cross, Alison Ingram, Harley McDonald-Eckersall and Roxana worked with William on their own stories and then were given the opportunity to present them at the end of the workshop process.

At the end of the process, we chatted with Beth Raywood Cross, one of the participants and asked her a few questions about her experience…..

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So tell us about William Yang – what is he like?
He was lovely! Very generous with his work and how much he was willing to guide us.

What were you doing with him last week?
Last week I was part of a small group of students who were writing our own “family stories” in William’s style of performance. Prior to starting the workshop we were told to collect photos that we would want to present as part of our story. We spent the first day of the workshop pinpointing our stories and the photos that would “bring them to life.” The second day we were able to bring our stories together and start rehearsing them for our performance last Thursday.

How did you find his style of creating?
His creating style was quite emotional – you had to really get deep into the details of your own story. William spoke about how telling stories of this kind (and in the way that he tells them) acts as a form of catharsis/self-therapy, and I think that was something that translated into my experience of his style.

What was the best thing about working with William?
I think just being able to learn how to tell my own story in a way that will allow other people to feel empathy for it. Also just being able to condense the story itself without taking away from anything. And the relationships that came out of working this closely with other people’s personal stories!! We became a little workshop family.

What was the most challenging?
I think the most challenging part was the emotional intensity of the work.

What was it like to see your work on stage as part of this experience? 
Really great! Being able to perform our stories at the end of the workshop brought a lot of purpose to our process. It was a very powerful experience to be able to share it all with a wider audience.

What did you learn during this process? 
I think the most important things I learned were: how to find your story and how to tell your story; learning how to ask yourself “what has been meaningful in my life, what should be shared?” and having an answer to that.

What ONE word would you use to describe the experience? 
Emotional.