Telling a good story is more than an art, it’s a gift. Last year, a group of five young, creative individuals serendipitously found each other and were all looking to revive the lost art of storytelling. Inspired by the Moth, a NYC-based nonprofit storytelling organization, they created Ex Fabula, a live storytelling performance brigade. Despite […]
Telling a good story is more than an art, it’s a gift. Last year, a group of five young, creative individuals serendipitously found each other and were all looking to revive the lost art of storytelling. Inspired by the Moth, a NYC-based nonprofit storytelling organization, they created Ex Fabula, a live storytelling performance brigade.
Despite full-time jobs, founders Leah Delaney, Megan McGee, Matt Sabljak, Amy Schleicher and Adam Weise approach Ex Fabula as a labor of love and a creative outlet. “It was never a matter of if we were going to do it,” Sabljak says. “The assumption was always that we were for sure going to.”
Ex Fabula – Latin for “from stories” – captures the one-of-a-kind experiences that emerge from stories told on stage. The tagline “Story. Stage. You.” sounds simple, but a lot can go wrong with one nervous guy, a mic, bright lights and a room full of captive eyes. “Actually, a fair amount of the storytellers do have stage experience, but after each event the audience chooses a winner, and the winners are always amateurs,” Sabljak says.
Eleven storytellers perform and are randomly selected from audience volunteers. The catch: Performers must tell a true, five-minute story on theme, without notes. Through this, Ex Fabula elicits some of the best comedic and dramatic morsels from amateur storytellers.
What began last fall with a rousing event at Turner Hall in front of 300 people, has grown to seven events in seven different venues. Last year, 70 storytellers shared tales about everything from sex changes to drunken bicycling. Sounds intriguing, right?
Right. Events are themed; 2010/11 season began with “Confessions,” and “Neighbors” is set for the Nov. 9 event at Bay View Brew Haus. This year, most events will take place at the Brew Haus or Stone Fly Brewery.
Ex Fabula features three storytelling formats: “The Solo” for individual storytellers, “The Rashomon” (named after Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa’s classic) where two storytellers tell their versions of the same story, and “The Terkel,” a question-and-answer interview format.
Stories can be funny or dramatic, but “comedy is more accessible, and laughing creates a bond between the storyteller and the audience,” Sabljak says.
Think you have what it takes? Visit the website to find out how to prepare and sign up, or find info on Facebook. WMSE and WUWM sponsor Ex Fabula performances, and admission is $5. The next one is Nov. 9. Break a leg.