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Myth and Voice: storytelling for communities

Myth and Voice: storytelling for communities

Exploring Community with Classical Myth!

The Myth and Voice: Storytelling for Communities is a global citizenship project run collaboratively by Classics and Drama students and staff at Royal Holloway University of London and led by Dr Efi Spentzou. The project comprises of a series of informal and fun participatory workshops based on role play and select Greek myths. Through fostering collective re-imaginings of ancient mythical narratives, the program creates a safe space for experimentation, active citizenship and community-building. The experience and activities are diverse, flexible and adaptable to a diversity of groups, their needs and style. The program is aimed at schools, youth environments, community centres, local council hubs and other interested voluntary settings. It operates as an ally to organisations aspiring to support their programs as they strive to empower those with whom they engage.

For more on the programme and for information about the individual Workshops on offer please visit For more information on the practicalities of delivery, see this PowerPoint.

And if you would like to be involved in this community of storytellers, please contact Efi at

The advantage of using Greek myths is that these stories are distant, but still relatable. In their distance, the stories provide supported spaces for experimentation, reimagining and role play. They provide a scaffolded environment and yet one which is free from set expectations and open to the imagination and in which young people can cultivate empathy with the many ‘Others’ within their myth through the processes of retelling. By ‘digging into’ the evidently fictional environments of the myths, participants are gently nudged to also engage with dilemmas and challenges with contemporary resonance.

We aspire to have a little something for all tastes and all characters in our workshops, for those, for example, who might like a flight of imagination, and those who like to dig into things and follow them through, and those who prefer to draw or project a more embodied expression. ‘Helping hands’ are there  throughout the experience to make sure everyone is comfortable. Listening is as much important in Myth and Voice as speaking as participants are invited to support each others’ voice in a fun community of storytelling.

Storytelling is social capital. The myths provide motivation for young people to articulate a voice which, without being confessional, can bring to the fore their tacit knowledge and legitimate their views and experiences in the eyes of their peers. Exploring and questioning powerful figures from a distant world, young people develop impactful practices and a readiness to challenge the status quo. The workshops offer young people opportunities to build relationships of trust and mutual respect as they curate and develop each other’s voices in a process of collective storytelling.


Dr Spentzou and the volunteer students in the first ever co-creation meeting of Myth and Voice.

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