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.
Education director & senior producer, Storycollider
Actor & poet
Museum program coordinator
Higher education consultant
Journalist, podcaster, professional provocateur
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 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.
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 iamthepundit.com 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 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.
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 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 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!).
Josh Zagoren is an Iowan who schooled at Emerson College in Boston and, after relaxing in LA for a bit, decided Chicago was the right mix of all three so he hangs his hat there. Josh has worked with Steppenwolf, Babes with Blades, Factory Theater, and played a naked guy on Chicago Fire. A voice actor by day, Josh loves a good whiskey and usually has food on his mind - so if the bar serves food, he'll meet you. Josh hates driving and cucumbers, he’s always down for a scary story, arcade games or just a high-five, and will tell you all about the time he met Ryan Gosling, but only if you're buyin'. Every Saturday he morphs into Chad the Bird at The Paper Machete in Chicago’s legendary Green Mill Lounge - then food, then the arcade, but you're driving.