To build community, and foster a safe space for personal reflection and sharing / listening to one another's stories.


Coming out of the Free Southern Theater, this approach allows people to take turns sharing stories in a small circle joined by a common theme. This helps to delve more deeply into a theme across multiple dimensions.



The story circle involves 6-10 people sitting together in a circle, in a space that is comfortable. A facilitator presents a theme around which each person will share a circle.

In the circle participants take turns sharing a story (each taking 3 minutes max). There are absolutely no criticisms, questions, cross-talk or comments while the story is happening.

Between each story, the facilitator thanks the storyteller and the group takes a breath.

At the end, the group takes a few minutes to allow group reflections and questions or themes.


To facilitate easier conversations, it might be good to do a 'warm up' story circle around a very simple question.

Depending on the purpose of the story circles, assess whether it is appropriate to document stories or whether it is better to keep them private.

Step by step instructions are available at this link.


US Department of Arts and Culture: Story Circles: http://usdac.us/storycircles