Storytelling Around the Country
What do we all have in common? Telling stories.
First Person Arts might be the big dog of storytelling when it comes to Philadelphia, but there are amazing organizations all over the country that put on StorySlams and teach workshops all in the name of good story! Here are a few of our favorites; next time you're in New York, Boston, DC, Baltimore, or all the way in San Francisco you'd better check them out!
The Moth, New York, LA, Detroit
The Moth has been putting on StorySlams since 1997, and it's been going strong ever since. Similar to First Person Arts slams, every slam starts with a theme and each storyteller is given the chance to explore and explode said theme on stage. The Moth Mainstage has heard stories from Malcolm Gladwell, Ethan Hawke, Annie Proulx, and Salman Rushdie, and Moth StorySLAMS have now gone on the road all across the country! Don't miss the Moth's Podcast or Radio Hour (a recent winner of the Peabody award). First Person Arts' own Juliet Hope Wayne was the first woman to ever win a Moth Grandslam. (Heads up- she's the guest storyteller at our July 11 Slam at World Cafe Live!)
(Speaking of The Moth, Did you know that Adam Wade, their seventeen time Grandslam champ is going to be performing at First Person Art's 2011 Festival? Stay tuned for more information on that and all of our other Festival events coming to you this November!)
massmouth was our most recent competitor in the Boston vs. Philly slam we had at the Free Library this spring and they brought it! Even though Philly brought home the award for best city, massmouth's Jim Stahl ran away with the title of “Best S
Cigarettes Online Buy”>Cigarettes Online Buytoryteller.” massmouth has writing and storytelling workshops as well as “mouthoffs,” their own version of the StorySlam.
Speakeasy in DC is a busy busy (and fun!) organization. It holds monthly open-mic storytelling competitions, puts on original ensemble shows that have included The Sin Show, Chocolate Jesus and Revenge of the Cat-Headed Baby and Other True Tales of Life & Death, and Sucker for Love Valentine’s Day Special. They also hold classes such as a One-day Storytelling Boot Camp to get your storytelling muscles in shape, master classes on specific skills and topics, outreach programs, and on-site professional trainings. They also have a Speakeasy Storycast and host video channels on Vimeo and Youtube. They were also the winners of the 2010 City vs. City Slam at the Free Library. We still like them.
The Stoop, Baltimore
Stoop shows feature seven storytellers who each get seven minutes to tell a true, personal story based around a theme. Though Stoop shows are not completely open-mic, at each show a few lucky audience members get the chance to tell a three-minute story on the Stoop stage. You can also check out the Stoop's Radio Show.
Porchlight, San Francisco
Each month for the past eight years, Porchlight has invited six different people from six different backgrounds to tell ten-minute true stories on its stage. More recently, Porchlight has also launched Open Door, a small stage open mic event on the last Monday of each month.
Story League, DC
Story League is not your typical storytelling organization. Story League is for writers, artists, poets, and actors who want to perfect the art and craft of telling true stories on stage with other performers who share their passions. Part guild, part support group, and part performing troupe, Story League puts on events about three times a year.
– Laura Reeve