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Rumor Has It: Stories about secrets, lies & other fake news.


Thursday, June 7     7:30 - 9:30

Big Shot Piano Lounge, Arlington Heights

(Doors open at 7:00 to ticket holders only)

Secrets. Lies. Fake news. How boring life would be without these social hobgoblins! This month, 8 tellers whisper in your ear about their own run-ins with the dark underbelly of social discourse. Just be sure to keep it to yourself ;). 
Content is appropriate for ages 18+. ID's will be required to purchase alcohol.
Don Hall

Diane Kastiel

Diane Kastiel 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. Diane has told stories on stage at The Second City, the Park West, Victory Gardens and other theaters - but also in more unconventional settings, including comedy clubs, art galleries, the basement of a tattoo parlor, homeless shelters – she even did a show in the middle of the woods! Diane is an alumna of The Second City Conservatory and the University of Chicago’s Great Books program, and has an MBA from Northwestern University…just in case. 

Ellis Cohn

Ellis Cohn was born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago. He’s worked in sales and marketing for more than 45 years, mostly in the commercial chemical and equipment industry, and currently is a sales trainer. Ellis escaped the city life and now lives on a mini farm in beautiful Hampshire, Illinois. He has three beautiful, grown children and one grandson. He hasn’t been on a stage since his high school play (Father of the Bride, some 50 years ago!), but is ready for a new challenge, and excited to make his storytelling debut at First Person Live.


Melissa Earley

Melissa Earley is the lead pastor at First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights. She's new to storytelling (if you don't count sermons). She also writes fiction and has a blog, “Waking Up Earley" ( Melissa loves to travel, though the rain on her most recent trip to Belize inspired a poem about chewing off her arm. Melissa is originally from Colorado. She loves to go hiking with her dog Mandy. She'd also take Mandy kayaking if the dog would just learn to paddle. 

Paul Teodo

Paul Teodo is a retired healthcare executive. Born and raised on Chicago's south side, Paul has been telling stories in real life for the past 65 years and on stage for the past six years. He a 5-time Moth StorySLAM winner and a Moth GrandSLAM Champion. He's been invited to perform in New York at the prestigious Moth Ball and featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Paul's first novel, "Pastaman," is available on Amazon and he is working on a second.  Paul raised two great sons as a single dad and is a lifelong dog lover.

JR Cillian Green

JR Cillian Green has been a grad student seemingly forever. He’s worked in theater, health care, retail, and whatever else happened to come his way. JR started storytelling four years ago - overcoming his fear of being thought of as an idiot and just getting up on stage at The Moth - and has been addicted ever since. His stories tend toward the comedic because who hasn't had a series of sitcom life events that just need to be shared? He encourages everyone to try their hand at storytelling and letting their story be heard.

Steve Glickman

Steve Glickman has been telling stories at weddings and funerals his whole life to wide critical acclaim. He is the co-host of the monthly open-mic storytelling show Do Not Submit at Uptown Underground in Chicago, and regularly performs at storytelling shows around Chicago. 


Steve is a software engineer by day and a proud nerd. He loves classical music and can often be seen air-conducting whatever symphony or opera is playing on his iPod or in his head. He lives in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago with his partner Mark and their imaginary dog Ruffles.

Shawn Cobb

Shawn Cobb has worn many hats over the years, working jobs ranging from forklift operator to Cosmetologist, and pretty much everything in between.  He finally settled in at the railroad where he has worked as a mechanic for over 13 years. Also a published Sci-Fi author, Shawn has always been passionate about writing and illustration, however it was through Toastmasters that he found his voice as a storyteller. For Shawn, to be vulnerable while operating from a place of love has proven to be the perfect counterbalance to the sometimes harsh and less forgiving conditions of the railroad. He aspires to inspire through life experiences and stories that find and exposes that common thread that binds us all.   

Susan Haarmon

Susan Haarman has worked with college students for ten years and can show you the gray streak in her hair to prove it. She's also been a knife saleswoman, a camp counselor, a hospital chaplain, a waitress, a designated driver for hire, a Jesuit volunteer, and a lifeguard. She currently works at Loyola University Chicago, has a Masters of Divinity, and tends to confuse people when they realize how much she swears and loves NPR and pop culture. She also loves telling stories, but thinks it’s more important for you to tell your story - so is thrilled to help First Person Live build a storytelling community in a suburbs.

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