Norah Dooley is a storyteller, educator, critically acclaimed children’s author and creator of StoriesLive®, a high school storytelling curriculum and story slam program. She is the co-founder of massmouth.org and the Greater Boston Story Slam series.
As project director of StoriesLive® she created and implements a curriculum used to teach over 7,000 Greater Boston high school students to tell compelling first person narratives. As an adjunct faculty she teaches storytelling to undergraduates at Tufts and runs a Junior Seminar at Lesley University. In January of 2014, she returned to lecture on storytelling and language acquisition in Tokyo, Japan as part of a multi-year grant funded by the Japanese government.
Norah has an MEd in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University and a BFA in Painting from Tufts University/Museum School. Described as an “… entrancing storyteller” by the Boston Globe Norah is sought after as a keynote speaker on literacy and storytelling. She’s been a featured storyteller in regional festivals; Cambridge River Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Albany River Festival, 3 Apples Storytelling Festival, MA and at the Clearwater Festival, NY. In 2013 she was invited to perform at the Exchange Place of the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough,TN.
She has been a classroom teacher, a middle school performing arts teacher, workshop and training leader, currently teaches storytelling as an adjunct faculty at Lesley and Tufts University and teaches in several adult and community education settings. She is booked through Young Audiences ofMassachusetts and lives in Brookline, MA with her husband and a revolving subset of their 4 daughters.
2014 Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Suffolk University • Boston MA
2013 Creative Leadership Award • puppetshowplace.org • Brookline MA
2012 National Storytelling Networks•Oracle Award•storynet.org
2010 Recipient of the Brother Blue & Ruth Hill Award • LANES.org
Where I am coming from:
I grew up in NYC on Staten Island. We lived in a relatively rural area and the lady next door raised chickens– hundreds of them. My sister and brother and I spent all our free time playing in the woods at Robin Hood,W.W.II combat and Knights of the Round Table, making bows,arrows,swords and scenarios. We were über geeks before there even were geeks.
When I was thirteen our family moved to the Boston area and I went to public school for the first time. Catholic parochial school had been the bane of my existence. There were sometimes as many as 60 students in a class and the teachers were harsh disciplinarians. Brookline public schools were a release and revelation.
After high school, I went to art school and worked at many jobs to support my “brilliant career” as a painter. I have been a cab driver, breakfast cook, bicycle courier, burglar alarm monitor, copy machine operator and waitress. But my favorite part time job was as a substitute teacher. While our children were young I went back to school and got a degree in education. It was in graduate school that I learned about storytelling as a vocation.