I remember very distinctly the day when I told my story loud and clear for the very first time in front of a live audience. I was petrified. It happened in Amsterdam on the last day of summer 2015. It was an unusually hot day. I had arrived in Amsterdam from Vilnius, Lithuania, just a couple of days before and with only one reason: to attend the intro course to oral storytelling. There was an audience of 12 people and yet the feeling of connection I experienced that day was deeply transformative. I felt heard and seen.
So, I decided to leave everything I had in Lithuania behind. My job, my family, my friends. And move to the Netherlands to pursue a career in oral storytelling.
My goal was to learn the craft and art of storytelling, so I can encourage and help others to tell more stories in their daily lives and create deep connection with themselves, their peers and environment.
I finished the professional storytelling course at Mezrab Storytelling School in Amsterdam in 2017
I started teaching storytelling at Vilnius University in Lithuania in 2018
I became a full-time storyteller in 2019
Since then, I’ve participated in hundreds of international storytelling events, and have created 5 storytelling shows, and was a part of a storytelling film.
I’ve taught storytelling to many different types of people, some professional performers, others learning the craft for the first time.
I organised two storytelling festivals.
I’ve curated and produced storytelling events for Mezrab Cultural Centre in Amsterdam, Vilnius University, Kaunas 2022 – European Capital of Culture, National Museum of Lithuania, ImproBattle organisation in the Netherlands.
I’m Milda, and I tell stories at various events to inspire you to tell more stories in your daily life. At least one story per day either at work, home or on a date can completely transform your life.
I am also here to remind you how to tell stories like your ancestors did. We all know how to tell stories. We are neurobiologically hard-wired for connection with each other, therefore we are hard-wired to tell stories to each other. However, without practicing every day, our skills disappear.
My style fuses stories from the Baltic region with life experiences and insights, often through the lens of comedy. I tell original interpretations of folk tales, fiction, autofiction, and historical pieces. I perform regularly across the Netherlands and Lithuania. Some key events included The Oerol Festival of Terschelling, ‘Amsterdam International Storytelling Festival’, ‘Amsterdam Roots Festival’ and ‘Explore the North’ festival in Leeuwarden.
Is it possible to stop those who are leaving? Why do people leave their own land? A storytelling performance about those who have left and the ones awaiting their return. In “I Emigrated by Accident”, Milda takes you on a trip that mixes folk tales with the jokes and stories of her own adventures while emigrating by accident.
Stories from around the World for children. Crying frogs, talking fishes, brave characters inspire children to follow their dreams and explore the world. Stories nurture empathy and kindness teaches how to live with others.
Inspired by the myth of Tantalus, who was cursed to be always surrounded by delicious food but never able to eat, the stories explore the many meanings of food and hunger: as signifiers of love, of childhood, of memory, of indulgence, of self-denial, of home. Show was created for Amsterdam Storytelling Festival together with British storyteller and author Marie Phillips.
Where is the line between a friend and a stranger? The man with a blue beard comes into the house of his neighbour every day and eats his dinner. Do we change when we encounter the Stranger?
A White Wolf marries the youngest and most beautiful daughter of the King. Abandoned by everyone woman gives birth to a cub in a forest. The fisherman’s son finds himself as a stranger on the other side of the sea.
Can we accept the otherness and the differences, or do we seek to destroy them? To answer those and other questions Milda embarks on a journey into the world of Lithuanian folk tales, lighting a way for us to follow her.
Once upon a time, in a land east of the sun and west of the moon, there lived a race of women who were powerful and free. They could lengthen or shorten time, change size and shape, and, when they chose, become invisible. They could see visions and foretell the future. However, sometimes such women were captured by mortals and would lose their powers… An online storytelling performance about the selkie women and mermaids.
Bilingual storytelling film for The Oerol Terscheling festival. Directed by Anastasios Sarakatsanos. Stories told in English by Milda Varnauskaitė and in Dutch sign language by Tobias de Ronde.
Invite me to tell a story or do a full storytelling show at your event. I’ve told stories at museums, libraries, cultural centres, schools, and universities. At events such as festivals, book fairs, conferences, team building, weddings, and birthdays.
Book me to host a storytelling training at your organisation. We all know how to tell stories. We are neurobiologically hard-wired for connection with each other, therefore we are hard-wired to tell stories to each other. However, without practicing every day our skills disappear, and we need someone to remind us of our natural abilities.
Hire me as an MC of your storytelling event. Whether it’s a family gathering or a work event, I can create an unforgettable evening of stories for you. Such events are bonding experiences for any group of people. They break the ice, teach vulnerability and empathy, and make people feel seen and heard while having lots of fun and strengthening the skill of storytelling.
Storyteller Milda has mastered the art for creating and telling amazing stories, moreover, teaching others to do so. Her courses are constructive – she introduces the basic principles and tools of Storytelling but the majority of time is dedicated to the practical exercises. They guide and encourage the participants to try and succeed themselves. I really enjoyed the light atmosphere and coziness of the course – had a really productive and joyful time! Strongly recommended!
Dr. Indrė Užuotaitė, art critic, museologist
Milda takes you on a journey. You learn a lot about a structure of a story and then you practice with a goldsmith’s precision. It’s very inspiring and lot’s of fun. Truly recommended.
Jolanta Guzaite Quintus, p‘ship Assoc. Prof. at Vilnius University
A great occasion to re-learn how important listening to and creating stories is. I highly recommend Milda’s workshops for her fresh and professional approach.
Angelica Peccini, sociolinguist, coordinator for international relations
A very safe space was created to enable and allow participants to deepen their storytelling skills be they beginners, seasoned or somewhere in between. A wonderful session full of richness! Thank you!
Ramunė Vilkoitytė, freelance journalist
Milda is a great coach. Thank you for reminding how to manage stories with your heart. I would recommend Milda’s training to everyone who deals with public speaking! Teardrop of theory and ocean of practice!
Ksenija Cunichina, lecturer and psychologist
Mildas workshop was truly a life-changing experience. It’s unbelievable how much you can get to know about storytelling, yourself, and people in general just in a few days. Strongly recommended.
Bernadeta Griciūtė, linguist