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WHAT’S ON THE AGENDA
The eighth BackStory event will be on Sunday, February 26 at 7:30pm.
The theme will be “Braveheart.”
Here is how BackStory will work:
BackStory will take place every other month, always on a Sunday
6 people will perform. Two will be poets, the others will be storytellers.
The stories may be true personal stories or pieces of fiction. Every poem
or story will be a new piece, written expressly for that edition of
Here is what will be expected of the participants:
Once you have been asked and have consented to participate, you’re in;
no cold feet.
Poets: Ruminating on the theme, poets will write a poem a day for two
weeks and send those poems to Adele Slaughter. Adele and the poet will
select which of those poems should be developed and then will work
together to bring those poems to fruition.
Storytellers: Based on the theme, storytellers will write a 1500 word piece
and send it to Carl Weintraub and Laurie O’Brien. Carl and Laurie will
work with the writers to bring their stories to fruition.
In other words, participants must be amenable to a productive “backand-
forth” with the producers, working to get the most out of their
stories and poems.
Participants must also commit to one rehearsal, which will take place the
Sunday before the event at 6:00. At that rehearsal, they will read their
pieces to the other participants and get live feedback from each other.
Participants will get all of their friends to come see them so that the
house will be full on the night of the event. Just a $10 donation gets
them in the door.
Here is how the poets and storytellers will be selected:
Disclaimer: for this first event, at least, we will definitely be selecting
people who have done this type of thing before. So if you’re going to
throw your hat in the ring, make sure you tell us of your experience.
But don’t let that stop you from throwing your hat in the ring.
We will be compiling a reservoir of potential storytellers and poets. You
can get into that reservoir at any time. Our emails are always open.
Poets communicate with Adele Slaughter firstname.lastname@example.org
Storytellers communicate with Carl Weintraub email@example.com
and Laurie O’Brien firstname.lastname@example.org
This is what we want from each of you who is interested:
1. Name, contact info, and membership status in the Victory Theatre
Company. You don’t have to be in the company to be a part of this.
2. If you have done any of this type of thing before, tell us how many
times and where you did it.
3. A writing sample: Something you have written in the past. Not
something written for the upcoming theme. You can choose poetry,
truth, or fiction, or send us one of each. If it’s poetry, send at least 5
Once we’ve got all that, you’re in the pool and you can submit
yourself for participation in upcoming shows as follows.
Storytellers who have an idea for the specific theme of an upcoming
show, pitch that idea in one or two paragraphs.
Poets, submit one short poem around the theme.
The theme for each next show will be announced at the end of the
evening of the current show. The theme will always be the title of a play,
a movie, or maybe even a TV show.
True stories should be personal and telling. Humor and depth are a plus.
There are stories in all of our lives that speak to the human condition.
These are the stories we’re looking for. They can pertain to the theme in
any number of ways, from a personal experience you had with that movie
or play, to something else from your life that the title of the movie or play
brings up in you.
Fiction: There are many ways to go but remember, storytelling is the
mode, so a story told in first person will probably work very nicely in this
context. Telling the back story of one of the characters in the movie or
play would be interesting. Telling it as that character would be even more
interesting. Creating any character and telling a “personal” story, like the
true stories above, as that character is another way to go. Stay away
from telling just another version of the movie or play. But don’t be afraid
to think way outside the box. Just as long as it adheres to the theme.
Again, because it’s a night of storytelling, narrative poetry and
free verse will probably go over best. (Although formal verse could work if
it really suits the theme.) Submit poetry that makes emotional sense,
uses metaphor and is replete with sensual imagery, imagination, and the
magic of surprise and juxtaposition. Poetry that does what Keats
suggested: It comes upon “the spirit with a fine suddenness—to compare
great things with small”. We want poetry that connects heart to heart.
So that’s about it. Contact Carl if you have any questions.
Tom & Maria