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  
Filed under Blog

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.


The Demon Cat by Sean Buvala

April 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Favorites

“This isn’t kiddie stuff” ~ seantells.com

Ok, so even though our humble endeavor is brand new, this is theater of the mind and as such I’m not keen on staging and props. Having the piano accompaniment, sign language interpreter and some plants on the stage though is very cool. I love that it welcomes hearing impaired. That’s very cool.

Who knows sign language that would be willing to help us out?
Who can play the piano well enough to improvise background?

Reid Miller – Featured teller for April

March 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Storytellers


Theme for April stories: Time


Reid enthralls audiences with original stories, folktales, folkmusic and puppet plays for all ages. He believes storytelling helps people guide, heal, ground and grow themselves. In his stories, the weak gain strength, the bold gain humility, the shy gain courage and the meek gain love. His upbeat, lighthearted approach creates playful fun for everyone. His motto is “Let It Shine!”