Sunday May 31st – Open Mic Storytelling outside

May 21, 2009 by  
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OldOnliner pic

OldOnliner pic

Starting May 31st and through the summer we’ll be taking Open Mic storytelling outside.

So, relax and join us for a summer evening of storytelling, outside along the riverfront. Through the summer we’ll be gathering behind Pleasant Street Coffeehouse along the riverfront.

We’re thrilled to have Edie join us and look forward to her sharing her craft with us. She’s been hugely generous in helping us to get Stateline Storytelling off the ground.

Theme for the evening’s stories: Stories from the heart, by the heart, near the heart — stories of love, love lost, love again & again, love never again! — you get the general idea. 🙂


Featured Wine: Badger Blush from Botham vineyards in Barneveld WI.
American Semi-Dry Red Wine
Refreshing, flavorful, spirited and a little sassy, Badger Blush is serious fun in a bottle. Badger Blush is the White Zinfandel look-alike for the discriminating palate; lightly sweet, low in alcohol, easy to drink and entirely adaptable to the occasion. Think tailgate party, picnic in the park, ski chalet, rainy Sunday afternoon … Badger Blush is a serious wine for serious pleasure; festive and congenial, it mingles and plays well with others.

604 Pleasant Street, Beloit

Seating will be available but you’re welcome to bring your favorite lawn chair if you like. Likewise there is a fine selection of drinks and treats directly adjacent at Pleasant Street Coffeehouse including their featured wine for this evenings stories. No rain date, if the weather turns we’ll just take it inside Pleasant Street Coffeehouse.

By way of reminder…

  • There are a limited number of open mic slots.
  • Sign-up to tell begins at 6:00 pm
  • Storytelling begins at 6:30 pm
  • Story length limited to 8 min.
  • Names drawn at random
  • “Stories” not stand-up comedy

A $5 donation and Pleasant Street Coffeehouse patronage is appreciated.

More information: rick (at)

Hope to see you there!

2nd Story – Three weeks of Story, Wine & Music

April 28, 2009 by  
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For the 7th year, Serendipity Theatre Collective is proud to present our annual 2nd Story Festival at Webster’s Wine Bar. This year promises to be our biggest and best yet, with three weeks of expertly crafted stories, each one paired with a taste of wine and live music for our city’s top DJs and musicians. 12 nights, 54 stories and 5,000 glasses of wine. Oh man, it’s gonna be so good!

Just wanted to share 2nd Story with you. I love the event. Love the stories. Love the concept. Love the website.

2nd Story is a project presented by the Serendipity Theatre Collective in Chicago. They collaborate on projects with other local regional theatre companies including The Goodman, Theatre Seven, Columbia College and I’d imagine others I’ve not yet seen.

This event is still going on and tickets are available. You’ll see from their website future performances, collaborations and even workshops on the craft. While they use notes for their storytelling they’re clearly performances and not simply readings. They’re adult themes for adult audiences. Their stories are very well told and thoroughly entertaining. Just a sampling below.

Ric Walker from 2nd Story on Vimeo.

Megan Stielstra from 2nd Story on Vimeo.

Tim Simons from 2nd Story on Vimeo.

So here’s the deal…

April 28, 2009 by  
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While I would argue that everyone has a story I don’t consider myself a “storyteller”. Neither am I a writer. And this will become self-evident as this website fleshes out more. I am though an enthusiastic enjoyer of a good story. Additionally, while I believe everyone has a story there are those who’s creative and artful expression is through storytelling. A good storyteller is as enjoyable as a talented musician, a masterful painter or skilled chef.

My sense of things however is that popular culture has largely relegated live storytelling to “folk tales” and children’s entertainment. In an increasingly online and urban world, it’s just not very cool.

I’ve been a fan of the art form for many years. As a kid I enjoyed Bill Cosby and wore out my folks LP’s. In college I was introduced to Garrison Keillor and have tuned in for years. I’ve been to storytelling festivals both large and small. Then while living in the Chicago area I would go a favorite coffeehouse in Wrigleyville where they hosted open mic storytelling on Tuesday evenings. That was urban and hip. That… was cool.

That is what I hope to replicate in, of all places, Beloit WI for the greater stateline area.

This can work.

  • It’s a college town in the midst of other colleges throughout the region
  • There’s an established and expanding arts community in and around downtown (more later)
  • There is a lot of history to be told, not just Beloit but from everywhere folks come from
  • We advocate diversity which holds the opportunity for richer exchange and less sameness.

So, while this project is in it’s developmental stages as is this website, I’d invite you to bring your friends and join us for our first night of open mic storytelling Sunday April 5th, 6:30 pm (we start taking names for storytellers at 6:00) down at bushel & peck’s in downtown Beloit WI. Submit your email address so we can keep you in the loop about upcoming performances and other developments.

Lastly, I would invite you to share this  website with your friends.

Your comments and suggestions welcomed.


Our debut evening of storytelling – Wonderful!

April 8, 2009 by  
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For a first ever evening of storytelling it went exceptionally well. While I forgot to count, as best I can recall we had roughly a dozen storytellers participate for an enthusiastic audience. Both audience and storytellers represented roughly a half-n-half mix of college students and ‘townies’ which was particularly gratifying. Providing yet another town-gown bridge was good to see. Over time I hope to see still more communities joining with us and actively participating.

Our wonderful hosts, bushel & peck’s volunteered, of their own initiative to provide a $20 gift certificate to an individual the organizers thought most deserving of a ‘best storyteller’ recognition. While this is not a competition, being able to provide some tangible appreciation was a nice touch. Thanks Jackie and Rich!

Our MC and featured teller for the evening Reid Miller was great! He did a great job of keeping things moving, easing things for those who needed a little encouragement and was very entertaining himself.

Just as it is difficult to explain in words an experience listening to good music the same could be said of the shared experience of the evening’s storytelling. You’ll simply have to come out and experience it for yourself first hand.   🙂  Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

There were funny stories, touching stories, both personal as well as creative works. These were likewise relayed by wizened long-time tellers as well as those new to the craft. A very nice mix. A special thanks to all who participated.

The next evening of storytelling will be Sunday April 26th. Same time, 6:30pm (we’ll begin taking names for storytellers at 6:00) at bushel & peck’s. Featured storyteller and theme will be announced soon. So drop your email addy into the “ENEWS & UPDATES” at the top-right of this page to be sure you’re in the loop.

p.s. Thank you to everyone who helped pull this off. MattG for the sound system, Mark for the lights, Hendricks Development for the stage and Dr. Bob for introductions and go-to-guy services.

Our debut evening of open mic storytelling

March 26, 2009 by  
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Webmaster note:  Yes, I know… This page blows.

I’m on it.   🙂


328 State Street, Downtown Beloit WI

Sunday April 5th.

first Sundays of the month

6:30 pm

featuring teller:

Reid Miller


Open mic

Featured teller hosts & closes the program


*  limited number of open mic slots
*  sign-up to tell begins at 6:00 pm
*  story length limited to 8 min
*  names drawn at random
*  notes not allowed


Arrive early for best seats, drinks & treats.

$5 donation and bushel & peck’s patronage appreciated.

Print out the flier for this event.