Talent Support through Tales and Drama

Agnes Streitmann PhD 

Apor Vilmos Catholic College, Vác, Hungary

An article on the International Tale Project Week at Apor Vilmos Catholic College, Vác, Hungary, which was held in 2019 April

The Winchester Tale Project focusing on folk-tale traditions of different cultures is a cooperation between Apor Vilmos Catholic College (Vác, Hungary) and the University of Winchester (UK) launched in 2015. Since the beginnings it has been one of the most popular talent support projects with Hungarian students. At Apor Vilmos Catholic College (AVCC), which is  both a National and a European Talent Point, the project is based on two talent support courses: The Storytelling Course comprises students’ research work shared with the English students on a project website (Weebly), http://folkandfairytaleproject.weebly.com), as well as learning about and applying different storytelling techniques to perform tales. The Art Course includes art and craft activities aiming at preparing puppets, props, scenery illustrations to be used in performances. Besides in-college work both English and Hungarian students do pedagogical work at English and Hungarian primary schools, and participate in project-weeks in Winchester and in Vác: They lead workshops at the partner institution, do school work, and attend cultural events. 

In 2019 the project week at AVCC was organized as an International Week welcoming 14 international students and 5 lecturers from the UK, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. The International Tale Project Week entitled Talent Support through Tales and Drama was supported by the National Talent Programme. The most popular activities of the Week were two student workshops: Belgian students gave Kamishibai (paper theatre) and shadow play performances based on Hungarian folk tales, which were followed by  a story-innovation groupwork. The English and Hungarian students led a workshop based on a local legend from the Southampton region applying exciting storytelling and drama technics.

The presentation of the English colleagues from the University of Winchester entitled Teaching Children’s Literature in English Primary Schools and the enjoyable workshop Body &Voice led by a Belgian drama teacher from Thomas More University also made a hit. The Spanish colleague from the Catholic University of Valencia gave a challenging presentation on the topic Gender Stereotypes in Folk Tales, which was followed by a passionate discussion in groups. 

The presentations of the two Hungarian guest lecturers were inspiring as well. Csilla Fuszek – the Director of the European Talent Centre-Budapest, and the Secretary of the ETSN Network Council – talked about national and international experiences within the framework of the ETSN. The presentation of Eszter Szoboszlay from Kecskemét Film Studio How to Make an Animated Film also contained a lot of interesting information for the audience. The animated cartoon series Gipsy Folktales were a unique experience both for the Hungarian and the international students. 

The international students gained insight into the pedagogical work of two Hungarian primary schools, attended the Budapest History Museum, and visited cultural sights in Vác and in Budapest. 

The beauty of Vác, the closeness of Budapest and last but not least the interesting, inspiring programmes proved to be greatly attractive for the international participants expressing their willingness to gladly return to other international talent support programmes at AVCC. 

At AVCC we are already planning the talent support programmes of the Tale Project for the next academic year. Hopefully they will also be successful, attracting quite a few international students and colleagues.

Link to the talent support Tale Project and the previous International Weeks at AVCC: