Arts & Culture Maplewood South Orange

Hear True Life Stories by Friends & Neighbors at MAPSO Storytelling Show Jan 26

Seven folks. Ten minutes of truth. One at a time.

On Saturday, January 26, you’re invited to witness your friends and neighbors tell you about compelling moments in their lives. The MAPSO Storytelling Show will “treat us to the old-fashioned art of sharing true stories,” says event organizer Boo Trundle. This will be the third installment of what may very well be a growing local tradition.

In addition to Trundle, the evening will feature stories told by Nathalie Farfan, Eileen Kelley, Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, Donny Levit, Darin Patterson, and Joe Wachs.

The craft and performance of storytelling has surged in popularity over the last two decades primarily due to The Moth, a non-profit organization that hosts open-mic storytelling competitions as well as the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour and Moth Podcasts.

Trundle, a resident of Maplewood for 15 years, is both a singer-songwriter and a fiction writer. “I always enjoyed the patter between playing songs,” she says. However, she’s recently become interested in memoir, and in particular, the performative side of telling a personal story. “Ask a storyteller how they got into storytelling and that’s a long story,” she says.

The first time Trundle signed up for an open-mic Moth StorySLAM, she put her name in the “hat” like all other would-be storytellers. After being picked for that evening, she told “The Suit” – a story concerning her curious usage of an item of her father’s clothing. She won the competition handily. “Then I was hooked,” she says. Trundle has performed in roughly 15 StorySLAMs and made it into two GrandSLAM championships.

And now Trundle wants to bring the storytelling tradition to our community. “Good storytellers are the kind of people that you just could sit around and listen to,” she says. And while the stories are often funny, she points out that a storytelling event functions differently than, say, stand-up comedy.

In preparation for each show, Trundle enjoys working with the storytellers. “I enjoy nurturing and coaching people in the community,” she says. While there have been some returnees, she wants to create a revolving set of storytellers to get more local neighbors involved.

“I want to grow this because I feel the community could sustain a storytelling show series. There are enough writers, artists, actors, actresses, and people who are comfortable onstage and like to tell stories,” she says. “We could create an ongoing, rich, and really entertaining storytelling community.”

What: MAPSO Storytelling Show

With: Nathalie Farfan, Eileen Kelley, Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, Donny Levit, Darin Patterson, Boo Trundle, and Joe Wachs

Where: Burgdorff Cultural Center, 10 Durand Road, Maplewood

When: Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 8:00 pm. Running time approximately 90 minutes.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Purchase tickets online. Refreshments will be available.

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