May 3rd will feature one of our most wonderful storyteller line-ups to date. A fun thing about producing this event is having the opportunity to bring excellent people together from many walks of life, and then watching sparks fly. In addition to great stories told and delicious dishes shared, the “unlikely” friendships, creative collaborations, professional relationships, and even romances that have been born at this event are the very best.
I like to think that creating a diverse lineup of featured storytellers helps foster these connections. In inviting features then, I look for a group of smart, kind, generous people with a diversity of perspectives and life-experiences. Some are professional performers or experienced storytellers, but many are not. May 3rd marks 4 years of this type of curation! Line-ups like this month’s make it feel like it’s all worth it.
On May 3rd, some of the most skillful and kind people I’ve met are coming to tell you stories. Here they are, to look forward to:
Sarah Shockey is a writer, performer, and maker of little drawings in Chicago. She performs a 15 minute one-woman show called Red: The Musical, as well as other variety sets around town. She was a founding member and performer in the beloved, long-running musical ensemble The Shock-Tees. She has recently written two screenplays and a short story. She also commentates for wrestling matches with Resistance Pro, and would love to talk to you about wrestling or Jane Austen sometime.
Nestor Gomez was born in Guatemala and moved with his family to the United States in the mid eighties. One of his passions is collaborating with T-shirt illustrators around the world. His design ideas have been printed by Threadless, Shirt-woot and other T-shirt companies. Nestor also enjoys dancing to Latin music. He is an avid reader and self-taught poet who happened upon the storytelling community a few months ago. Since then, he is a four time Moth slam winner and most recent Moth Grand Slam winner. He can also be found at walking his Pit Bull dogs with his girlfriend “sweet Mel” in Edgewater. If you are lucky, you might find yourself being driven around the city by Nestor as he drives under Uber and Lyft during the weekends, and you might unknowingly become a subject of one his stories. Above all Nestor’s biggest passion is his family.
Katheryn Dutenhaver is an emeritus professor of law at DePaul University, where she taught for more than 30 years and served as director of the Center for Dispute Resolution. During the last 20 years she designed and taught Mediation and other dispute resolution courses in the College of Law, mediating and arbitrating complex business cases, mediating divorce cases and conducting Mediation Training Programs. She designs dispute resolution systems, facilitates the resolution of large group conflict, and serves as a consultant. At DePaul University College of Law, she served as acting dean and associate dean. She was co-founder and the first director of DePaul’s Center for Dispute Resolution where she conducted certificate training courses in mediation for lawyers, judges, corporate counsel, executives, managers and school administrators. In 1988, she co-founded the Interfaith Family Mediation Project, a service project of the Center for Church/State Studies sponsored by DePaul University College of Law and continues to serve as a volunteer mediator. Professor Dutenhaver has published several articles on mediation and frequently lectures on mediation and dispute resolution before university, professional, business, governmental and community groups in this country and in Europe. She has served as an officer or member on alternative dispute resolution committees for the Mediation Council of Illinois, the Circuit court of Cook County, Illinois, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Illinois Supreme Court.
Dean Evans is a professional actor, comedian, writer and director. He has recently been named one of the top 50 ‘players’ in Chicago for 2014 by New City Magazine. Season 1 of the his series, deanis, is now available. He has performed with iO, Second City, The Goodman, Kapoot theater, Redmoon, Chicago Children’s Theater, Collaboraction, The Actor’s Gymnasium, and as a solo artist. He also performs as an entity who simply goes by honeybuns. He also makes circuses.
ALSO (special trumpet section introduction music): joining Janna Sobel as co-host for the night is super-human wonder-person, Javier Smith. Many of you may know Javier as a friend of the show and regular volunteer. What you may not know about are his secret powers and fascinating history. Javier is a recovering overachiever. His youthful pursuit of academic perfection led him through the honors program at The University of Texas to graduate pre-med, but to ultimately forgo medical school. Ironically, Javier then worked as a surgical recovery tech, collecting tissue specimens for transplantation. Since leaving the operating room, Javier has followed his passion for funny by working as a writer/performer with the Emmy-nominated Latino Comedy Project, reading The Onion over the radio to the blind community of Austin, TX, and subsequently moving to Chicago to study at The Second City. Whenever doubts creep up in his mind, he remembers his Abuela’s supportive words: “If he wants to be a clown, I’ll put on his nose.”
Owned by Lindsay Muscato and Ian Belknap, the pixies will hammer out a one-of-a-kind love or hate letter for you on an old-fashioned type-writer. Not everyone’s good with words. Not everyone has a typewriter. Ian and Lindsay are BOTH word-savvy, AND typewriter-having. Pixiehammer will be hand-typing letters before the show in Stage 773’s lobby BETWEEN 7 and 8pm, so show up early and get your old-timey communication on. Whether you need something tender-hearted or sharp-tongued, they’ve got you covered.
It’s going to be a wonderful night. We hope you’ll join us, and strongly suggest saving seats in advance. Whether you bring a potluck dish for FREE admission, or pay $8 to help us pay for the venue, you must have a ticket in order to attend. The show regularly sells out, and in a theater, no seats can be added once they’re gone. (Which is awful… especially if you have come baring a casserole.) Both types of tickets can be reserved here. (Tickets cannot be reserved via facebook, meet-up groups, or by contacting the organizers. There is no guarantee of availability at the door.)
We hope you are enjoying April, and can’t wait to see you on this pretty night in May.
Here, Chicago on May 3rd
Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont
7:30 potluck / 8pm show