STORY-TELLING: LOST ART REVIVED
From the moment human beings began walking upright, they began telling stories, and from that moment to this, their need for stories has been insatiable.
Now Santa Monica Repertory Theater (substance. style.story), which made its Santa Monica debut with a production of Shakespeare’s TEMPEST, last summer is embarking on a new storytelling series at the Westside YWCA.
On Thursday, September 20 at 7:30 pm, the Rep will launch SPARK, the first in a series of monthly storytelling events, in collaboration with the YWCA Women’s Partnership and theater
/television producer Isabel Storey’s Storey Productions.
In their darkest moments, people have found solace in story-telling, and, given the current bleak state of things, the story-telling venture’s timing is perfect. Professional and amateur storytellers will come together on the third Thursday of every month to share inspiring true stories. Some of the nation’s top award-winning storytellers and writers will share the stage with amateurs each month.
Featured artists for September 20 will include Jennifer Haley, winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play, The Nether, which will premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2013, Lisa Kenner, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist, Kevin Walsh, filmmaker/ writer, Salli Sammut, animal rescue activist and host of Pets90210; and Santa Monica Rep regular artists Jen Bloom, Jennifer Chambers, Stephanie Manglaras, and Johanna Watts. Guest storytellers will be selected from the audience via a random drawing.
Each month will focus on a different theme. The theme for the debut on September 20 will be Medical History. In subsequent weeks, there will be stories on healing, recovering, caretaking and navigating the insurance system.
The debut will also feature live music by Liz Eldridge, a singer/songwriter who sings the blues at hot spots like the Gardenia, Café Metropol, and the Santa Monica Bar & Grill. With her band, “Many Distant Cities,” she has performed her original alt-country tunes at Downtown Art Walk, Genghis Cohen, the LA Theater Center and The Viper Room, and appeared on Mt. Wilson with the Outdoor Stage Project.
Jen Bloom, Co-Founder and Director of Education and Outreach for Santa Monica Rep will share producing and directing tasks with Storey.
Much of Santa Monica Rep’s production of TEMPEST took place on the western façade of the Annenberg guest house. Given that,we can expect not only great stories, but surprises from SPARK
and its subsequent story-telling sessions.