It can be argued that our intelligence and overall cognitive development are strictly linked to our ability to devise and narrate stories. We are, after all, storytelling animals. Our most basic tools of communication and persuasion are built on our ability to tell stories that are more interesting than those of others. After all, time is a limited asset and so is our ability to pay attention, share ideas, alert others and gain new knowledge.
With this understanding, it is hardly surprising that modern science communication is turning towards theatre and performing arts for creating emotional stories, empowering communicators and scientists with advanced storytelling techniques and therefore reaching and engaging new audiences.
This course will explore these ideas both from a theoretical as well as a practical point of view. Special attention will be devoted to spoken word stories that can be told to a live audience (classroom setting, conference, science show) but can also be applied to the creation of an original science podcast.
The teaching modules will include:
- What is a story and how to construct one
- What are the basic rules to turn a good story into a very exciting one
- Creating a story starting from the given science topic
- Tuning your story to reach different audiences
- Storytelling as a tool to communicate science
- Using storytelling in the classroom
- How not to contaminate our stories with non-scientific or pseudo-scientific attitudes and claims
- Practical tools of storytelling
A segment of the course will be devoted to exploring examples of noticeable science and storytelling podcasts and what is needed to start one, including technical tools, software, hosting, directories, RSS feed, music and copyright issues and more.
Researcher, playwright, director, actor, teacher, science communicator and podcaster, Andrea Brunello works at the boundary between theatre and science.
Andrea is a graduate of the three year program “SAT – SCHOOL AFTER THEATRE advanced training program” led by the Russian director and pedagogue Jurij Alschitz and affiliated with the EATC/Russian Academy of Theatre Arts (GITIS) of Moscow (Russia). On the scientific side, Andrea holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Physics from Stony Brook University (New York).
Andrea teaches science storytelling theory and practice at the University of Trento (Italy). He also teaches science storytelling as an invited professor at several other higher education Institutions.
He is the founder and director of the Portland Theatre in Trento and of Arditodesìo, a company devoted to developing science communication techniques using storytelling and theatrical methods. With Arditodesio Andrea is fully involved in the communication of science and research of the University of Trento. For the University he conducts a permanent storytelling workshop for researchers (Open Mike) and he writes, hosts and produces the podcast “Riflessi di Scienza”.
Since 2012 he curates the Jet Propulsion Theatre Project which aims to connect theatre with science and, starting in 2017 he is the artistic director of Teatro della Meraviglia (Theatre of Wonder), a science theatre festival held annually in Trento.
Andrea is member of the scientific committee of “Theatre about Science – International Conference” (Coimbra, Portugal) and starting May 2023 he has been elected board member of EUSEA – the European Science Engagement Association.