Students embrace the art of storytelling at Fishtales event


Vidriana Catanzaro

Rebecca Dowd talks about her adventures in Amsterdam


On March 23rd, the Gloucester Writers Center hosted a high school storytelling event at Gloucester Stage Company. Six Gloucester High School students, Rebecca Dowd, Cameron Dempsey, Emanuel Esweming, Brett Cagney, Laurence Scola, and Ben Renales, told stories about their own experiences to the audience.  

GHS English teacher Cynthia Mochowski was the coordinator at the high school, and the event was organized by writer and educator Maureen Aylward.

“Fishtales started about 5 years ago,” said Aylward. “It was something I wanted to do to be creative. I’ve always loved storytelling, it’s in my family.”

Students told stories about various topics, ranging from getting lost in the Netherlands to throwing snowballs at cars, which can be watched in the attached video.

Storytelling is a distinct kind of performance art, and Fishtales is a great way to get involved in the community.

“It’s authentic performance. Authentic performance allows everyone to participate,” said Maureen Aylward. “Storytelling is something we’re hardwired to do as human beings. It’s been around for so long, and because it’s something that is passed down- something we know from such a young age- it’s our natural way of communicating with people.”

The event was as fundraiser for the Gaylen Gibson Fund, an organization that raises money in the name of Gaylen Gibson, who was lost in a school shooting in 1992. The money collected in donated to the Gloucester Education Foundation and organizations that handle gun violence.

The website of this organization is