Telling Stories


While living in Boston, Mass. in the ’80s & 90s (last century) I made a good full-time living as a storyteller and educator for young and old. I taught teachers in the Creative Arts in Learning master’s degree program at Lesley University and helped to found The Three Apples Storytelling Festival. I performed stories at The National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee and at Pete Seeger’s “Hudson River Revival” festival.

All that time I had a dream of telling stories in a different way – not as a one-night-only performer or even as part of a three-month school residency. I dreamed of telling stories over many years as part of a community.

Today I had the pleasure of sharing 2 stories with a group of 250 K-5th graders at Central Park School for Children (where DFT holds our play rehearsals.) Among the 250 students were many I had known for 3, 4 or 5 years as participants in DFT classes, camps and plays. And a great many others I remembered from telling stories at CPSFC two-years-ago.

Jenny crpWe had great fun together today – it was a blast – there was a strong feeling that we knew each other from the start – Respect had been established. We were comfortable together. After 35-minutes, much laughter and even some gasping suspense – the students filed quietly out to the sound of gentle music and many of them briefly touched my hand as they walked past, nodded shyly or smiled. We had shared a good time together. We knew each other better now.

That’s when I realized that my long-ago Boston dream had come true in Durham, North Carolina. And I wanted to say, “thank you.”

Warmly, Jenny Justice


Sisters 1acting games 1DFT starts our 5th season of fall, winter and spring acting classes for children, teens & adults with exciting news to share!

DFT 8-week acting classes are moving to E.K. POWE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! In just four years we’ve outgrown our classroom space at Trinity United Methodist Church – thanks to TUMC for hosting us through our early years – and joyful thanks to E.K. POWE (An A+ School!) for offering us room to grow in their beautiful auditorium!

Cubs 1Fall classes begin the week of September 9th! Register today at our DFT Classes page.

We’re keeping the spark of creation alive.

Warmly, Jenny Justice

Los Osos Reales is sidesplitting comedy!

Hamlet to BeDFT’S 2-week Children’s Theatre Camp 2 stepped-out to a fun and learning-filled first week as we read our original 60-minute script, “Los Osos Reales,” auditioned for parts, played theatre games, designed floor plans, costumes and backdrops and started rehearsals.

Baby Birds ELijah NDealearn lines 2The camp is full (22 students) of dedicated young actors who began studying their lines before anyone asked them to do it – and have already learned most of their parts -



The creative fun gets even better with an experienced team of talented teen-aged camp assistants.

MsJenny 6Join us on Friday, August 8, at 7:00 pm and Saturday, August 9, at 5:00 pm, for “Los Osos Reale,” a fall-out-of-your-seats-with-laughter comedy that ends in a thrilling battle-of-the-wizards! The family friendly show is free and open to all (donations are always welcome) at Trinity Ave. Presbyterian Church, corner of Gregson St. and Trinity Ave., park on the Gregson Street side of the church and enter at the door across from the church playground.

Everyone is guilty of something …

katja 1(All pics taken by TTC actors)

It was an amazing second week at our three-week Teen Theatre Conservatory – we blocked movement for five-hours a day, designed our floor plan, created prop charts, designed costumes Natalie 3and our fantastic actress/scenic designer/artist, Ms. Natalie, organized her set painting crew and set to work using her talents and theirs to bring our designs to life on stage.

friends 3In just one more week, all our efforts and talents are going to create quite a show for our audiences. Put the dates and times on your calendar today and join us for DFT’s Teen Theatre Conservatory production of the master of mystery, Dame Agatha Christie’s, “Ten Little Soldiers.”

2 guys 1Show Dates & Times: Friday, July 25 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, July 26 at 5:00 pm

Show Place: Trinity Ave. Presbyterian Church, Corner of Gregson Street and Trinity Ave., downtown Durham near BrightLeaf Square. Free Parking in the lot on the Gregson Street side of the church. Enter through the door across from the playground. 

Download a “Ten Little Soldiers” flier and send it to all your friends. And Remember:

group photo 6Everyone is guilty of something.” See you there.

A GREAT Start to July!

As you can see from the pictures below, our Teen Theatre Conservatory is off to a great start this week – we’ve cast our full-length, breathtaking murder mystery, Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Soldiers.” Designed our floor plan and spent an entire day developing our characters’ voices, movements and stories. Tomorrow we start blocking the stage movement and in two weeks you are invited to join us for a thrilling show – Friday, July 25 at 7 pm and Saturday, July 26 at 5 pm. Join the fun.

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Bananas 3

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Natalie 1

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Summertime, Summertime, Summertime!

friends 1“Will you go hunting with me tomorrow, father?” he asked. “I have learned much magic … I will turn myself into a hunting dog if you will go into the fields with me.” from “The Master of Magic,” a folk tale of the Azores

On Monday, June 9th the actors will arrive in a flurry of excitement for the first Durham Family Theatre camp of the summer. Teen interns will cut fresh fruit and help new arrivals with name tags and script folders. Bag lunches will be stored, table groups selected, goodbye said to family and hello to old friends and new. We’ll play a few “getting to know” you acting games and then DFT’S first ever “Play A Day” acting camp will really begin – Camp director and master storyteller, Jenny Justice, will tell the story of “The Master of Magic,” from the Azores. By the end of our first day of camps, the actors will have created, cast and performed their own story theatre production of this fantastical story.

acting games 1And the fun will have officially begun. It’s going to be an exciting summer of acting games, rehearsals, scene painting and performances with Durham Family Theatre. DFT went from three camps last summer to five theatre camps this summer – only to have three of the five fill completely by May.  We still have room for several more young actors in our “Play A Day” theatre camp 1, beginning this Monday, June 9th. And there are 5 places let in our fantastic 3-week Teen Theatre Conservatory.  Join us -

IMG_0197Just go to our DFT Summer Theatre Camps page to register today for “Play A Day” camp 1 or the Teen Theatre Conservatory.

See you in the spotlight.

Jenny Justice, DFT artistic director

The Devonté Squire Acting Apprenticeship


In Partnership with the North Carolina Central University Department of Theatre & Dance

 Is Pleased to Announce

The Devonté Squire Acting Apprenticeship – 2014

The Devonté Squire 2014 Apprentice will be paid $1,200 total for working as an actor in a main stage DFT production of “The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963,” from the Newbery and Coretta Scott King Award winning novel by Christopher Paul Curtis, adapted by Reginald André Jackson. The apprentice is expected to work 15-hours per week for 8 and 1/2 -weeks, beginning on Saturday, September 13, 2014.

All qualified NCCU Department of Theatre and Dance students are welcome to apply & audition for the Devonté Squire Acting Apprenticeship 2014 – significant roles for women and men are available in the play.

To read the apprenticeship qualifications and learn how to apply for the first year of the

Devonté Squire Acting Apprenticeship go to the DSAA page of this website.

To support Durham Family Theatre’s commitment to establishing long-term financial accessibility for all our programs, go to the Donate to DFT page.

The DSAA 2014 is funded in part through a grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.