Norman residents can sign up for an online workshop series instructed by the NAMRON Players Theatre to develop their storytelling and improvisation skills.

Designed to encourage and facilitate storytelling, the NAMRON Players Theatre is hosting the YourStory Workshops 2020 series through multiple Zoom classes starting on Thursday. For the second year of the series, NAMRON Players Theatre has added workshops for kids ages 8 to 13, in addition to the workshops offered to adults.

Norman Hammon, managing director for NAMRON, said the new world created by the pandemic has forced the theatre to adapt and change not only how theatre is presented to people, but how workshops are taught.

“We are very fortunate to have Sheryl Martin, artistic and executive director of NAMRON, who immediately saw that we had to make a complete changeover to both digital and streaming format for almost everything we did,” Hammon said.

Hammon said Martin has been instrumental in changing the format for storytelling and instruction. She has spent the last several months developing this, getting people together, and finding workshop leaders, things she usually does, but through an online format this year.

The first workshop  will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday for ages 18 and older, with a maximum of 15 participants. Instructed by Sue Ellen Reiman, the workshop will focus on the basics of improvisation through games and exercises. She has taught improvisation classes for 20 years through the University of Central Oklahoma and has 30 years of performance experience, according to a news release.

A second class for adults starting Nov. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m., with a maximum of six participants. This workshop is designed for those who already have plays in development. The workshop, taught by Sara King Bartell will focus on script analysis. Bartell co-founded NPT and previously served as the executive director for the theatre. She writes plays and performs in the Oklahoma City metro area, according to a news release.

Bartell will also lead the playwriting for kids beginners workshop on Oct. 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. With a maximum of eight participants, this workshop will focus on the basics, including story structure, character development, conflict and plot resolution. Each participant will create a 10-minute play.

From 1 to 3 p.m. on Oct 31, Al Bostick Jr. will teach a storytelling workshop in which participants will listen to a story by Bostick, engage in discussion and explore the characters by creating their own masks and re-telling the story. With experience acting, directing and playwriting, the New Orleans native has toured Oklahoma as a State Arts Council Artist-in-Residence. He served as artistic director of the Oklahoma City Black Liberated Arts Center for 15 years, according to a news release.

“We want to do original stories and original concepts by Oklahoma artists, and we want to encourage people to tell their stories, not just artists but everyday people,” Hammon said. “That is what each aspect of our workshops are geared toward, whether it be improvisation, learning how to play with things and work things up, or playwriting.”

Hammon said NPT focuses on being a highly participatory theatre, aiming to receive people’s input, which is necessary to write material and operate in the capacity they strive toward.

“We are fortunate to be surrounded by so many talented, dedicated theatre professionals, and to be able to share their expertise with actors and storytellers in Norman and the metro area — and beyond,” Martin said in the release. “That’s the beauty of online workshops!”

All workshops are free and offered through Zoom. Registration is available at the NAMRON Players Theatre Facebook Page or on their website at

Jeff Elkins


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