Replay: Storytelling Project

Rehearsal for Replay: Shelter Island  Photo by, Rachel C. Lucas

Rehearsal for Replay: Shelter Island

Photo by, Rachel C. Lucas

Replay: Storytelling Project is ITW’s primary effort toward community collaboration. It is imperative to use the tools of storytelling to amplify the voices of communities everywhere. Replay illuminates the joy and wonder of investigating one’s personal history. It directly transforms participants’ stories into a new play dedicated to the place or space from which it grew. Through this project, ITW empowers Replay participants to hear and see their stories, individually and collectively, as shared experience and captivating live theatre.

Our model for Replay: Storytelling Project consists of three phases: 

1. The ensemble facilitates theatre games and interview session with participants from the community, during which stories are volunteered. Exercises and questions provide opportunities for open and meaningful dialogue around our central theme.  

2. The ensemble utilizes text from the participants’ stories to create a show performed by professional actors. These performances include monologues, scenes with dialogue, or a movement piece with no words.

3. The participants and community attend the performance at the end of the week to see their stories performed.

Replay: Shelter Island

In Spring 2016, ITW traveled to Shelter Island to facilitate the first Replay. The project on what it means to be a Shelter Islander. Volunteer participants used their interviews to reflect on disagreements about the town’s future as well as shared commitment to nature and a strong island family. ITW’s team was able to construct these stories into a series of images, stories and snapshots of Shelter Island. The result was a celebration of the Island’s unique population and experience.  

Replay: Shelter Island was possible by our hosts, the Shelter Island Public Library and the Shelter Island Historical Society.

Ensemble: Charles Coursey Jr, Gillian Durkee, Rebecca Sands, Kristian Sorensen
Director: Jonathan Taylor; Production Stage Manager: Rachel C. Lucas
“You did a tremendous job. The word eluding me earlier was stitcher. A marvelous stitching job which gave a true impression of our sheltered, nurturing paradise...”
       - Roger McKeon, Replay: Shelter Island Participant

Please click here to read an article about Replay: Shelter Island by Annette Hinkle from the Shelter Island Reporter. 

We are eager to offer this experience to other communities! If you are interested in doing Replay in your community, please email us at