Priyanka Chatterjee

Healing The World With Stories

An international storyteller Priyanka Chatterjee started exploring, creating and telling stories about products or services as a product manager. Priyanka now believes that the simplest and most compelling way to change our planet's mindset is via storytelling.

Priyanka Chatterjee is an international performance storyteller, an art explorer and a theatre practitioner, with a special interest in Theatre for Young Audience (TYA), Theatre in Education (TIE) and Theatre for Social Change.

She primarily was an electronics and instrumentation engineer, spending a long tenure of her career in Fortune 500 & CMM5 MNC's and no way was related to performing arts after becoming a 1st class gold medallist MBA. She shifted her career track to product manager cum business analyst, where she started exploring, creating and telling stories about products/services. That is when she realised the power of storytelling- if stories of inanimate products/services can decide their fate, how useful stories of animates will be!

She started finding Indian folktales and mythology of nature and its elements, human and their bindings. Gradually beside the stories of kings & queens, donkeys & monkeys, dragons & fairies, untold stories of rich & poor, black & white, religion X & religion Y, male & female, etc. started coming up.

On her way to remove social injustice through stories and propagate healing through stories, she found that she is not alone. Storytellers across the globe are ready with their bagful of stories - to heal and change the world. This exchange is grossly happening across the globe but really few in India. Why so? That is when she became a certified ‘storyteller’ and started cross-cultural learning from tellers around the world. They shared their folk tales & myths, and she shared traditional stories from India. Each time it was fascinating to see that there were similarities in the structure, content, moral and style of the stories from different cultures.
She started Global Stories, a shared local project where international storytellers visit India to share their traditional culture and stories by enhancing cross-cultural communication. She coaches professional storytellers, teachers and parents, on how to use storytelling as effective communication tool, as she believes tickling the curious minds of children through stories is a cakewalk but the mammoth task is to train the trainers at school or at home to take the child away from the rote education pattern and enable penetration and retainment through stories in education (NCERT has also emphasized to use stories in education).

To stretch creativity and imagination, she teaches how to make up one’s own stories from daily nuances or how to tell a more engaging story using dramatised storytelling techniques or how to re-tell the same story from a different perspective. Telling stories to physically and mentally disabled children and patients with terminal illness in hospitals has taught her how healing a story can be!

She also takes interest in recording and archival of storytelling practices of those communities, who themselves or their respective traditions are on the verge of extinction. She helps a community to indirectly begin a conversation around issues being faced as an individual or as a community. Through stories raising and resolving conflicts, and Augusto Boal's "Theatre for the Oppressed" techniques, explore the problems themselves and start looking out for the solution, as part of a participatory process.

Some of her latest endeavours are-
She has been instrumental in fundraising initiative through storytelling for Penang International Kids Storytelling Festival, Malaysia. Her paper on social change: “I promise to make the world a liveable place for the unborn child” was selected and presented at Cradle Of Creativity, Cape Town, South Africa: 19th Assitej World Congress for Theatre for Young Audience. She has been selected as an ‘International Storyteller’ in the prestigious PINKS Festival, Malaysia. She regularly performs at prestigious venues in Kolkata like Oxford Bookstore, Starmark, etc. as well as in NGOs, hospitals, schools, pre-schools, etc.
She is now devoted to provide storytelling a safe and respected space in India and helps people understand the power of storytelling, in order to utilise it effectively.

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