Rona's Storytelling Institute is on Sabattical.                     Rona is available to do workshops on-site. Give her a call to make arrangements!


7th Annual
Summer Storytelling Institute 
in the Rolling Hills of Western Massachusetts!!

The Institute is held at the charming Angel’s Rest Retreat and Conference Center in Leyden, MA. Beautiful, spacious, light-filled workshop space with sweeping views

Clean, pleasant and welcoming accommodations

With International Storyteller,
Rona Leventhal
Celebrating 25 years of teaching, telling, coaching and inspiring!

Friday Morning, August 7 to Sunday Afternoon, August 9, 2015

Each year is so splendid, it's palpable!  Please join us......

First Early Bird Deadline
March 15 - Check It Out!

Immerse yourself in the power of storytelling…..then immerse yourself in the warm waters of a hot tub, the refreshing waters of a pool or the soothing energy of the New England forests and hills!

"Your workshop was a mind expanding experience of creativity and free expression! You invited us to take risks and provided a safe place in which to do that, creating a community amongst us. This has been a fantastic experience that has influenced and changed the lives of all of us who attended. Now we're telling our stories, full of vivid imagery. You are a gifted teacher!"

"Great way to engage kids in storytelling activities, to unlock imagination, creativity, enhance writing and oral presentation skills." 

"People would be crazy not to attend - the opportunity to get taught and coached by Rona Leventhal in a place of beauty - it's a no-brainer!"



Institute Participants in group exercise

What can I Expect During The Institute?

  • Learning a story "from the inside out"
  • Storytelling technique
  • Movement, Vocal Exploration and Character Study Warm-ups
  • Physicality in Stories based on improv theatre and movement exercises
  • Refining Communition Tools
  • Finding your own voice
  • Taking risks in a safe environment
  • Tapping your Imagining Mind
  • Individual and group coaching
  • Applications for the workplace (breif discussions)

Who Should Take this Institute?

Small group experience and individual attention..... Register early!!

Woman storytelling
Past participant practices her story

"I have taken part in many workshops over my thirty years as a teller, some of these workshops have helped me develop skills and techniques while others helped to build confidence in my telling. Rona's workshops do this and much more. She cares for people and she cares for the art of storytelling and knows its importance in today's world. She creates a safe and fun environment for ones imagination to soar."

Len Cabral, Storyteller, Recipient of the Circle Of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network


A long time ago in a faraway land, a boy went to learn at the feet of a wise man. Day after day the wise man told the boy stories. One day, the boy asked “Master, why do you always teach through stories? Would it not be faster to tell me directly?”
The wise man answered “Please bring me some tea.”
The boy rose and prepared a cup of tea. He held the small cup gently in his hands as he carried it to the teacher. The wise man took the cup from the boy and sipped it, then asked, “Why did you bring me a cup when I only asked for the tea?”

When you hear a story together each member enters into a collective engagement of that story, of a journey, of community.  The tales are universal, with their ability to touch people by expressing the whole range of human experience and emotion. At the same time, the experience is personal, engaging the imagination and allowing people to understand underlying truths in a way that has staying power.  Sometimes stories and their messages are familiar; other times it allows us to see the world through a different lens. Although every listener creates their own images, there is a shared collective experience. In this way, a storyteller binds an audience together, weaving the thread of the tale through each listener.

Storytelling is an ancient art form that has been used for centuries - long before the written word was created. It has been used as a teaching tool, as a source of cultural and local history and politics, as a form of persuasive argument, for knowledge sharing, to explain the natural world, in lieu of punishment, and of course, for entertainment. Stories are powerful, and effective tools for getting a message across or eliciting an emotional response....without preaching! Some of the best orators and educators are storytellers!
Woman dancing
Past Participant practices her story


"Improv theater, you say?!  Movement?!  I thought this was a storytelling workshop!”  Most people are surprised to discover that storytelling is much more than simply getting up and talking.  Certainly, that is part of it!  But there is much more… is an art form.  Storytelling can encompass both large and subtle body, facial and vocal communications, as well as choices about how to engage the listeners from the first word to the last image.

On the surface, this workshop will introduce you to some ideas and techniques for learning and refining a story for telling.  But on a deeper level, it will tap your imagining mind, help you to discover your voice, and encourage you to move your body in new ways. Emphasis will be on finding your own style and strengths as a storyteller by learning a story "from the inside out".  Working as a group and in pairs, Rona will guide the us in exercises that will help inform our stories and how we tell them.

Whether you're a teacher, parent, business person, group leader, lawyer, therapist, public speaker, religious leader, theatre artist, storyteller or someone who wants to encourage your creativity, this workshop will help you to develop an ease with communication and expression.  Come ready to grunt, laugh, and take risks in a safe environment. By moving our bodies and rousing our imaginations, we will hear our story voices!

Telling a story is like giving a gift. Learn how to unleash that gift and share it in your work or life.

Some time will be scheduled to enjoy biking, walking in the woods, soaking in the hot tub, lounging in the pool or simply taking some time for reflection and relaxation.

Comments from previous Participants of Rona's Workshops:

“This workshop was absolutely a 10!!!!! You are a marvelous storyteller and workshop leader. The way you teach and coach is inspiring." 

“I learned so much, not only about storytelling, but about myself. I gained self-confidence, self-knowledge and was intellectually challenged.”

"Rona... my very being was opened during those few days... I have a story to tell...... you can’t stop me now!”

“Through your workshop I can better listen to others’ stories.”

"I have a hard time bringing a new story to life, but your coaching was so effective! I had a blast telling my story. What a gift!"

"My listening and communication skills will be improved because of your workshop.  It made me more aware of body, language, voice and imagery...... I have a new way of seeing!  The focus on imagination was *very useful."
"Rona knows her art form and is a pro at teaching process and coaching.  I could go on and on about all the positive ways this workshop will affect my life.  It was amazing! "  
“As a school Librarian I can now *tell instead of always *reading stories.  And I can now teach kids how to tell stories, too! 

"I loved every minute!  It was challenging, but positive - a real adventure!"  

"Many of the exercises will be springboards for descriptive language and cooperative learning across the curriculum. I will LOVE having this skill and perspective in my teaching work!"

"Rona Rocks! Her energy is inspiring and her enthusiasm is contagious."

"I laughed so much - had a blast! Excellent instruction, and great personality of instructor - she's knowledgeable, fun, generous, flexible, and warm.  She gave individual attention within the group setting, yet she's very aware of the group energy."

"I pushed some serious edges! I came in with a fear of speaking in front of groups. I ended by performing a story in front of an audience! Now I have tools to take with me."
“Amazingly Awesome, Superbly Super! This is a beginning - I WILL continue to learn and grow and share and blossom. Thank You!

Rona Leventhal


Rona Leventhal is an international Storyteller, Improv Theatre and Movement Specialist, Team Building Facilitator and certified Teacher. For twenty-five years she has used her passion for story, teaching, literacy development, movement, spoken word and communications to inspire and help others to free their body/mind, find their own voice and help them in their work and life in a fun, interactive and safe environment. She is applauded for her warm & enthusiastic spirit, supportive nature and inspiring talent. She has taught with the Education Departments at Columbia University, Lesley University and the University of Massachusetts.

As an educator she is also passionate about developing what she calls "the imagination muscle"© and bringing literacy and learning to students in an exciting, motivational, and accessible way. Rona is an approved PDP provider by the Massachusetts Department of Education.

Rona has performed at the National Storyelling conference, at international venues and at local schools and libraries throughout the country.  In addition to telling stories, she facilitates school residencies, workshops for children and adults, gives keynote addresses at professional conferences and provides coaching to small groups and individuals. She is an approved Artist and Teaching Artist with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Alaskan Arts Council, New York BOCES, New England Foundations for the Arts and the New England Touring Roster (funding available).

Rona is Co-Editor of the book Spinning tales, Weaving Hope: Stories, Storytelling, and Activities of Peace, Justice, and the Environment (New Society Publishers). It contains an article co-authored by Rona, "Ten Reasons to Use Storytelling in the Classroom". The book received 2003 Honors Award from Storytelling World Magazine. An inspiring collection of stories, it has follow-up activities and is age/subject indexed.

Her first CD, Raps Rhythms and Rhymes: Stories to Tap, Rap, Shake and Sing!  will be out soon.  She is also working on a book for educators, The Power of Imagination: Teaching to Creative Minds.

Retreat Details

Woman dancing
A Delicious Lunch on the Deck!
“Awesome food, comfortable setting, peaceful neighborhood, good amenities, reasonable price!” Past Storytelling Institute Participant

When: Friday Morning, August 7 to Sunday Afternoon, August 8, 2015
We will begin by 9:30 AM Friday and end by Sunday at 4:00 PM

Where: Angel’s Rest Retreat and Conference Center, Leyden, MA (

Food: Chicken, fish, vegetables, always tasty and prepared with a personal touch, served in the center’s comfortable dining area, on the deck or by the pool! Local foods are used whenever possible.  Participants always love the food at Angel's Rest!


* A massage therapist is be available with advanced notice... on site massage without going anywhere! Not included in cost of workshop.

* Two outdoor hot tubs

* Heated outdoor swimming pool

Cost: The Institute fee is $620, $695 or $760 with Early Bird Discounts;
otherwise  $670, $745 or $810 depending on room selection. First come, first served basis. Commuter rate available (see registration form.) Register early for your preferred accommodation choice!

Three Early Bird Specials! Lots of Ways to Save!

Register by March 15 and recieve a $50 discount, TWO hours of free coaching
(a $190 value)
Register by April 30 and recieve a $50 discount and ONE hour of free coaching (a $95 value!)
Register by May 30 and recieve either a
$50 discount or one hour of free coaching (a $95 value)!

Do you have a partner who wants to come along for some R&R? They can for only $220!

Transportation: Angel's Rest (AR) is most easily accessed by car.  However, for a $15 fee the AR staff will pick you up at the bus station in Greenfield.  If possible, ride-sharing arrangements will be made with other Institute participants to help those without access to a car.

Fee includes: The three day workshop, delicious meals from Friday lunch through Sunday lunch, snacks, pleasant, comfortable lodging, use of hot tubs and swimming pool and 20 PDPs for Massachusetts teachers (Certificate of Complettion available for teachers in other states).

Small group experience and individual attention.

The Institute often fills, so please, sign up early!

Questions?: or 413-586-0624

Registration Form

Print out the registration form and mail it in as soon as possible to reserve your place.

"Storytelling for work, Storytelling for life!"