Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Workshops & Residencies

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The storyteller's words sizzle with depth. Layers of truth emerge as the story swells beyond sound to include a visual canvas of gestures and movements. Not only is the storyteller transformed, so are the listeners.

"One of the best of Oregon's storytellers!"

"A cultural treasure." – "A master of his art."

Since 1981, Thomas Doty has been performing and teaching native stories and storytelling. He spent a couple of decades as a master teacher in the Arts in Education program, where he was known for creating actively innovative experiences for his students. Today, he continues discovering new ways to explore and communicate the depths of his art.

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Thomas Doty teaches two levels of workshops: Basic Classes and Master Classes. All classes offer vigorous and intensive experiences for participants. Topics range from introductory to advanced storytelling and performance skills to explorations of traditional native culture, including rock writings (carvings and paintings). Voice, movement, gestures, silence, sacred sharing, and more....

Workshops are great for actors in community and professional theatres, for storytellers, for K-12 students, for college and university students, for park rangers and public speakers ... for folks who wish to hone their skills and learn to connect deeply with their audience.

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Workshops and performances are combined to create residencies that last from a few days to several weeks. Thomas Doty has been Storyteller in Residence in communities throughout the West, including schools and universities, museums, and theatres.... Residencies include staff in-services where Doty teaches the teachers, and offers ideas for follow-up activities.

There are no limits within the heart of the ancient tradition of storytelling. Contact Thomas Doty to discuss the possibilities!

In Schools


Here are descriptions of a few of Thomas Doty's workshops available for grades K-12. All workshops are for groups of 40 or less.

  • Stories & Songs (Grades K-2. Length is 30-45 minutes.) Doty uses hands-on activities to give young students rich experiences of Old Time stories and songs.
  • The Importance of Stories (Grades 3-12. Length is 45-60 minutes.) Students learn how stories are the heart of native cultures. Stories entertain, they teach, they heal. Even during the dark years in their histories, native people have kept their stories alive. Students experience oral tradition by telling a traditional story with Doty that is passed along to them orally.
  • The Art of Storytelling – Basic Skills (Grades 3-12. Length is 45-60 minutes per session.) Students actively learn the skills of storytelling and oral presentation, including voice, movement, gestures.... Emphasis is placed on sharing, connecting to your audience, inviting them into your story. In multiple sessions -- great for residencies -- students expand their skills and create their own stories as a path to discovering their unique performance styles ... journeying yet deeper into this ancient art.
  • The Art of Storytelling – Advanced Skills (Grades 6-12. Length is 45-60 minutes per session.) This is a vigorous and intensive storytelling experience for middle and high school students who have expressed interest or demonstrated skill in the performance arts. Great for theatre arts students. Available as a single session or a sequence of sessions.
  • Reading the Rock Writings (Grades 3-12. Length is 60 minutes.) Stories and messages carved and painted on the rocks are simply another form of storytelling and native literature. Doty has participants act out short stories with gestures and movements based on rock writing symbols. A fun and active way to learn the concepts of the images.
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"Thomas Doty is a rarity -- a scholar whose work does not smack of lampblack or the dust of archaeology, a poet who brings the power of aptly chosen words to every facet of life, a teacher whose skills delight the young and the old."

Robert Casebeer, Poet and Emeritus Professor, Department of English, Southern Oregon University

Contact Thomas Doty