Unruly StoryFest

September 2015 | EVENT

Geoffrey’ Inner Circle – 410 14th Street
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015
7:00-10:30 PM

A new form of live entertainment has been quietly growing in Oakland: true, personal stories performed without notes or scripts. At least ten different true storytelling shows call the East Bay their home. The Unruly StoryFest is the first festival to bring this underground Bay Area scene up into the spotlight.

These are not folk tales. There won’t be yarns involving Father Wind and Sister Moon. This is real life. Radio shows and their podcasts, such as The Moth and Oakland’s own Snap Judgment, both on NPR, have paved the way.

The Unruly StoryFest takes place on one evening, Saturday, September 26, at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, 410 14th St., Downtown Oakland. “I’ve been producing storytelling shows for six years,” says Kay DeMartini, festival director. “The art form has exploded, and Oakland is rich with stories. Now feels like the right time to bring all these little tribes together in one big event.”

Glynn Washington of NPR’s Snap Judgment agrees. He’ll be hosting the finale. Profits from the festival will go to support Oakland schools, through the Oakland Ed Fund. The festival showcases a diverse range of storytellers, all trading in the currency of the true, the personal, and the revelatory. In addition to Glynn Washington, it includes performers from several well-known Oakland productions, including BustingOut Storytelling, Mortified, TMI Storytelling, The Shout, and StorySlam Oakland. “Oakland Queer” will showcase stories from the LGBTQ community.

Storytellers interested in performing at the festival are encouraged to contact individual show producers, listed on the Lineup page of the website, www.unrulystoryfest.com. Anyone may participate in the open-mic competition whose theme is, appropriately, “Firsts,” organized by StorySlam Oakland producer Julie Soller. “There are more story shows here in the East Bay than I could have imagined,” Soller adds. “Every week, there’s a different show.”

For a full list of Bay Area storytelling shows, check out www.unrulystoryfest.com/more.

Gina Gold, of TMI Storytelling, says, “Everyone has different stories. The exact same story may provoke a different experience for someone, but it doesn’t matter. People connect through the feeling. That’s powerful.”

Why the name Unruly StoryFest? “Unruly is a word that gives us permission to play,” DeMartini says. “It conjures up creativity spawned from misadventures. Like accidentally using a Sharpie on a whiteboard.”

The Unruly StoryFest takes place on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, from 7:00-10:30 PM, with two storytelling workshops in the afternoon: Tell a Hella Good Story, for everyone; and Story School, for teachers.

Where: Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, 410 14th St., Oakland.

Tickets available at the door or online at Eventbrite.

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