Hello beautiful Here’sthestorians! We are proud and pleased to announce our very first year-end holiday show! Dan and I have put a lot of work into dreaming this up for you, and think it’s going to be a really special night.
This show’s format will be different from usual, as we’ll be featuring 100% Audience Favorite tellers from the course of the year. There will be no walk-up slots; just your favorite Chicago tellers, gracing you with 8-minutes of their storytelling magic. As always, there will be a potluck dinner (we are hoping grand holiday feast style!) and great friends and community. The event is casual as ever, but if you’d like to get a little fancy, or costume it up, please do!
At the Holiday Show, we will also be awarding our first Year End Prize to the person who has had the most total audience points given to them over the course of the year. As you may know, that prize is to have Here’s the Story advertise and produce a one-night performance of the prize-winner’s 45-60 minute solo-show. We will give this performer limited script feedback and direction, and both promote and pay for one night of your solo show at Stage 773. The winner will have the benefit of community awareness generated through the Here’s the Story community of 600+ people, and the personal support of an experienced director and producer.
In advance of this first Year End award, we want to remind y’all that so many of you move each other throughout the year, and this prize is not an actual measure of who did that the “best”. There are a number of factors involved in who is picked for the walk-up slots each month (we balance for gender, age, interest and experience, along with the roll of the dice), so there is a good bit of chance involved in who has told the most, and gotten the most total audience points at the end of any year. Our prize winner will surely be awesome, but there is no BEST teller that our show determines. Every person on our stage is vital, and so many of you crack us up and melt our hearts every month. And THAT is what we come together for.
Speaking of THAT: without further ado, we give you a veritable PLETHORA of audience faves from the year past, who have agreed to return in this all-star lineup…
Lily BE caught the attention of the storytelling world in 2010 when her name was drawn from a hat at Grown Folks Stories, a monthly live story telling event hosted by Cara Brigandi. A Chicago native with roots in Humboldt Park, Lily BE resides in Pilsen with her adopted Siamese cat and her sixteen year-old son Xavier, who also tells stories. Lily BE is working with T.R.I.B.E.S. Radio Que4.org to launch Stoop-Style Stories, a storytelling radio show that premieres on August 17th, and will air every Friday from noon to 2pm. Lily BE would like to acknowledge, Sonya Gonzalez, for throwing her name in that damn hat without her knowledge.
Cody Cranch is first and foremost a teacher… the kind that chucks out that boring ol’ textbook to make room for creative writing and improv. Storytelling is his newest passion, and he can be seen round about town now and again. Cody is also a portrait artist and illustrator by night. His visual work, featured at the occasional gallery, is always on codycranch.com
Bill Larkin was last seen as Ed Kleban in Porchlight Theatre’s A Class Act. Other Chicago credits include Disney’s Aladdin (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Drury Lane Water Tower Theatre), Mere Fluff (Annoyance Theatre), Poppyseed Lane (Theatre Building Chicago), and Bill’s Family Funtime, his one-man show of comedy songs. He co-wrote The Ten Commandments: the Musical for the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus with artistic director Patrick Sinozich. He performs regularly at the Howl at the Moon dueling piano bar. Television credits include Premium Blend (Comedy Central). www.billlarkin.com
Cory O’Brien knows a lot of stories. Mostly they are mythical stories, and mostly they get told on his website, which is bettermyths.com, but he also has a knack for having weird stuff happen to him, so he knows stories about those things too. He’s got a book of myths coming out in March, called ZEUS GRANTS STUPID WISHES: A NO BULLSHIT GUIDE TO WORLD MYTHOLOGY by Cory O’Brien.
Xavier Retana is 16 years old and was born in Chicago, Illinois. He first caught the storytelling bug at “Grown Folks Stories”, right here in Chicago. He has received an education from the prestigious streets of Tuscon, Arizona, but is currently degreeless in every academic subject. An anonymous mother thought that it should be mentioned that Lily Be, Xavier’s mother, was the one who started off Xavier’s story telling career and was the one who raised him and fed him and clothed him for 16 years and should always be appreciated yada yada yada. He comes here for the food but he leaves here with an even bigger bug.
Byron Roussin is a St Louis native who’s been performing in Chicago for several years. He’s a writer, comedian, actor, stage manager, and storyteller. He’s a graduate of IO and Second City’s Conservatory programs, as well as Second City’s writing program. He’s performed at Second City, IO, Stage Left, and Gorilla Tango; as well as appearing in the webseries Yard Times. He’s been a storyteller around Chicago for about a year now. He’s stage managed productions at Zoo Studios for Chicago Mammals, Gorilla Tango, the Apollo Theatre, and IO. He’s currently stage managing the show Thirsty at the Apollo theatre. He looks forward to telling as many stories as possible for as long as people will listen.
Ron Sattar is the founder of Sattar Group. He has a wide and diverse background including: acting in independent films, writing poetry, short stories, and he enjoys writing applications on the internet and working on the next great application on the Internet! Look for it soon.
His newest adventure in life is reading short stories on stage, the most challenging of his ventures so far. Read more of his stories are at Ramboud.com
Frank R Sjodin is an actor, street performing clown, and all around theatrical professional. He does work building sets and puppets, as well as performing in a wide variety of different styles and venues. He runs the clown troupe “Play Mechanics” with his wife Susan and a few close friends. This time of year he can be found at Navy Pier’s Winter Wonder Fest, an event that has been the source of many happy stories over the years. Some of his hobbies include cooking, reading, video games, and writing.
Valentine Soposky has spent the recession tuning in and selling out. Since graduating with a Theatre degree from a private catholic womens college at the height of the financial crisis, she immediately started juggling two jobs and later added running a Republican congressional campaign, even though she’s a Democrat, and a woman. She moved to Chicago a year and a half ago made her storytelling debut at Here’s the Story and went on to tell at Grown Folks Stories, StoryLab and the triumphant return of the Skald Storytelling Competition. She has participated in multiple Moths and finally won, she will be competing in the next Moth Grand Slam. Valentine is pleased to find that preparing for story events is really fast tracking her memoirs.
Scott Whitehair is the co-host and producer of This Much Is True, and creator of Story Lab Chicago. He has told stories anywhere somebody will listen, including The Steppenwolf, Chicago Public Radio, Risk! Podcast, Write Club, Here’s the Story, Grown Folks Stories, Story Club, Chicago Slam Works, 2nd Story, Essay Fiesta, Paper Machete, and Real Talk Live, to name just a few. Scott is a MothSLAM Chicago winner and Runner-Up at The 2012 Windy City Story Slam All-City Championships, and has participated in The Printer’s Row Lit Festival, Fillet of Solo Festival, Rhino Fest, Chicago Improv Festival, and The Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference. He is also the producer of The 43rd Annual Chicago’s Biggest Liar Contest, Interface, and Adult Education at The Acorn.
Right?!!! Come celebrate the holidays and end of the year Here’s the Story style! With friends and food and excellent tales.
Sunday, Dec 2nd
7:30 doors open/ 8pm show
Stage 773, 1225 West Belmont
$5 at the door, or FREE with a holiday dish for the holiday potluck!
Hope to see you there. <3