top of page
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
Back to top
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle


Oh Crap...the Holidays: stories Rockwellian, Hallmarkian, Orwellian

Tuesday, Dec. 12  7:30 - 9:30 (doors open 6:30)

Hey Nonny / downtown Arlington Heights

What is UP with the holidays? They take more of our time and energy, but seem to give back less, every year. Come hear tellers deconstruct the most craziest time of the year: Stories about gifts gone wrong, turkeys gone bad, shopping melees, a life-changing Santa, the Best Tree Ever and of course, the traditional family brawl. And our Special Correspondent Chad the Bird is swoopin’ on in with his annual holiday rant – don’t miss it!

This show is appropriate for age 13 and up. All sales are final - no refunds or exchanges.

Diane Kastiel_headshot copy.jpg

Diane Kastiel is the producer 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, Steppenwolf, 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! Diane works with libraries, schools, community centers and homeless shelters to bring storytelling to a wider audience, and leads 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 University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management…just in case. 

Lily B_Sept 2022.jpeg

Lily Be, award-winning storyteller and first Latina Moth GrandSLAM champion, lives to support the arts and communities through storytelling. She’s the creator and producer of Stoop-Style Stories, which produces stories by people from marginalized communities, and the education director and senior producer at Storycollider, an organization that helps people share true personal stories about science. Lily also sits on the board of directors of The Hairpin Arts Center and The Prop Theater.

James Gordon.jpg

James Gordon is an actor, international award-winning author and poet, multiple winner of The Moth StorySLAM, and a Moth Grand Slam championr. He can be seen in episodes of Amazon's "The G" and "Background Extras," " WeTv's "Kold and Windy," and in the upcoming play "A Tale out of Fishwater."


Jitesh Jaggi is a program coordinator for the National Indo-American Museum in Chicago and a recent immigrant from India. He ended his seven-year career in finance one day when he lost all the data he forgot to save on an Excel sheet, and realized he just didn't care. That tipping point led him to become a writer; he blogs at and is working on a book of essays. A two-time Moth StorySLAM winner, Jitesh is passionate about storytelling (and loves writing bios because he can refer to himself in the third person). He can be easily bribed with chocolates and books.

Jim Hermann_April 2019.jpg

Jim Hermann is a dad, son, brother, lawyer, friend and creative collaborator. He is retired from both soccer refereeing for his children’s games, where called too many penalties on his daughter, and from Civil War reenacting. He now explores military history, dinosaur extinction and other disasters, and hosts writing groups, salons and Titanic themed parties. 

Elizabeth Brown_Nov 2018.jpg

As a pathologist, Elizabeth Brown spent hundreds of hours hunched over either a microscope or a dead body. She then worked as a consultant to the medical device industry writing technical reports - all dry as dust and utterly humorless. Original thoughts were few, as all statements had to be referenced. Spreading her wings to write creative nonfiction has been a liberating joy. Elizabeth focuses on personal narrative writing and storytelling that combines humor with pathos to examine the human condition. 

Kevin Biolsi.jpeg

Kevin Biolsi is a statistician by trade but has managed to avoid the glamorous, fast-paced, and ultimately self-destructive lifestyle associated with that profession. He started telling stories on stage in 2016 and found it to be more exhilarating than any drugs he’s ever taken - though to be honest, those have almost exclusively been analgesics and anti-inflammatories. Kevin and his wife Carol have lived in Evanston since 1993 and have shared their home at various times with their daughters Lauren and Megan, dogs, cats, rabbits, and a guinea pig.

Risa McDonell.jpg

Risa McDonell may be the only mom in America who sent her four-year-old to preschool with a Budweiser can hanging around his neck…but that’s another story. Risa started telling stories as a way to create short-term deadlines for herself, get out of her living room “office,” and find a creative community to inspire her. She is a higher education consultant and tells stories around Chicago. Risa's happy place is anywhere she can be with her husband and 12-year-old son, preferably in Maine. And some day she will finish her novel – a fictionalized account of her great-grandmother’s friendship with Babe Ruth when they were on a bowling league team together (really!). 

Chad at Paper Machete.jpg

FPL Special Correspondent Chad the Bird 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. Chad would like to thank you ‘cuz you know what you did.  


Chad the Bird is brought to you by Josh Zagoren -  voice actor, social provocateur, and host of the Chadcast.


bottom of page