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Oh, Crap - the Holidays! 
Stories and songs to help us celebrate (and survive)
Saturday, Dec. 11    8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights

What is UP with the holidays? They take so much time and energy, but seem to give back less every year. For our holiday special, tellers deconstruct the most craziest time of the year with stories about flaming wreaths, Rudolph obsessions, New Year hijinks, and of course the traditional family feud. And this year, we're adding musical performances, a visit from our special correspondent Chad the Bird, and a sing-along to help reclaim the joy!

To make sure performers, staff and audience stay safe while enjoying live programming, First Person Live is following industry standard of requiring all patrons to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 prior to entry, and to wear masks throughout the show. This show is appropriate for ages 18+ unless accompanied by an adult and fully vaccinated. 

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Diane Kastiel (storyteller) is the producer, director, and host of First Person Live. A writer and storyteller from Chicago, she’s a three-time winner of the National Public Radio’s Moth StorySLAM; her work has been featured on the Moth Radio Hour, its podcast, and at special events for WBEZ, NPR’s Chicago affiliate. Diane has told stories on stage at The Second City, the Park West, Victory Gardens and other theaters as well as comedy clubs, art galleries, the basement of a tattoo parlor - she even did a show in the middle of the woods! Since launching First Person Live, Diane works with libraries, community centers and homeless shelters to bring storytelling to a wider audience, and leads regular storytelling workshops at Northwestern University. Diane is an alumna of The Second City Conservatory and the University of Chicago’s Great Books program. She also has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management…just in case. 

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Christopher Rice (musician) lives in a household where amphibians outnumber humans 6:2 and musical instruments outnumber amphibians Unreasonable:6. Chris is the Director of Communications & Media for FUMCAH as well as a music teacher and guitar builder. He also plays pretty much ALL the instruments: bass, guitar, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, autoharp, drums, piano, cello, synthesizer – and the list goes on….

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Melissa Earley (storyteller), originally from Colorado, is the lead pastor at First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights. She's a recent Moth StorySLAM winner and writes fiction as well as a blog, “Waking Up Earley.” Melissa loves to travel, though the rain on her trip to Belize inspired a poem about chewing off her own arm. She loves to go hiking with her dog Mandy and would take her kayaking if the dog would just learn to paddle. 

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Bridget Schank (storyteller) worked as a community organizer and lobbyist before deciding to stay home full time after her infant son’s liver transplant. (He’s now 12 and doing great!). Bridget is committed to community service, serving on the boards of Teen-Parent Connection and Arlington Cares, and running the service club at her children’s elementary school. She played women’s football for Notre Dame, loves to travel but hates to pack, and bakes a mean strawberry-rhubarb pie. Her husband Tim warns people about her sixth sense, which often borders on witchcraft. Bridget lives in Arlington Heights with Tim, their two children, and an aggressively affectionate golden retriever named Corby.

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Kim Buck (singer) loves storytelling and performing in and around Chicago whenever she can spare the time between happy wife and motherhood and a career in high-tech marketing. She’s a trained soprano and former lead singer of jazz sextet Wilson Avenue, a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and former arts writer for the Chicago Reader. She writes, performs in local theatre productions and sings her guts out in the First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights (FUMCAH) choir. Kim is so grateful to First Person Live for growing this storytelling community and bringing this inclusive, fascinating art form to the northwest suburbs.

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David Czuba (storyteller) is portrait photographer, enthusiastic family man, people watcher, curious explorer, handyman, civic-minded volunteer, sourdough bread baker, and outdoor guy who loves storytelling around the campfire. From growing up in a large family on the southwest side of Chicago, through his years as a Boy Scout and Scoutmaster, to the countless adventures he’s had traveling the globe in his photography work, David learned how to tell a good story. Fresh off his first Moth Story Slam, he is excited to make his debut at First Person Live.

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Anne Arza (singer) is Director of Commercial and Industrial Engineering at Culligan International. She is also a skilled and experienced vocal and theatrical performer. Anne debuted her talents at age eight, as Gracie Shinn in Music Man. Since then, she’s performed in several auditioned choral groups and almost 50 musicals, winning multiple Broadway World awards for performance. Theatre is her sport of choice - whether on stage, in the audience, or behind the scenes building sets and sewing costumes. (P.S. She also tap dances!)

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Adam Bottner (storyteller) is a former litigator and, for the past 14 years, director of business development for a legal technology company. Born in New York, lived in Pittsburgh, and raised in unincorporated Des Plaines (“the Third City”), he is a frequent Moth story teller and multiple Moth StorySLAM winner, featured on the Moth Radio Hour and its podcast. Adam is a graduate of the Second City Training center and has written multiple screenplays, including his most recent, "Searching for Frenchy Fuqua." He lives in Buffalo Grove and is the father of two amazing sons and the former owner of Freddy, an eyelash-crested gecko, whom he misses very much. 

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Chad the Bird (FPL Special Correspondent) is a journalist, podcaster and contributing writer to several publications including the Chicago Reader. He has been bringing so much logic and truth to his Op-Ed columns and other writing, you'd think he has a mission. And you'd be right but you gotta figure it out for yourself so follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Chad the Podcast on iTunes - or you could get your lazy butt off the Weekend Couch and head to the Green Mill EVERY Saturday at 3:00 for the Paper Machete and catch him live in the pink with opinions made just for you. He would like to thank you cuz you know what you did. Chad the Bird is brought to you by Josh Zagoren, host of the Chadcast and  artistic director of Wildclaw Theater in Chicago.


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