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Lemonade: Stories about life's lemons

Friday, June 25 /  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights

I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.” – Hillel the Elder

Yep - that’s the only way to do it, folks. At our first-ever outdoor storytelling show, stories about losing your way, losing your money, losing your love, losing your pride, losing your pants and, most tragically of all, losing Ariana Grande (not a typo). These folks have all taken a fall - and they're all still dancing. Come get inspired.

Show is appropriate for ages 18+ unless accompanied by an adult. Grounds open at 5 p.m. BYO chair, food & drink - no alcohol please. In the case of inclement weather, the show will move indoors and follow all CDC guidelines.

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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, 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. 


Zain Dhatwani is a recent high school graduate (Glenbard West) and is planning to attend Southern Methodist University, studying psychology and economics. Zain enjoys teaching and volunteering in the community, spending time with friends and family, trying new foods (always open to recommendations), and playing all sports (especially basketball, table tennis, and tennis). Zain is an Eagle Scout, a certified lifeguard, and Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) - so if you have any questions about camping, swimming, or pharmaceuticals, you know where to go: Google. Zain was a member of the Glenbard West Forensics team for all four years of high school, finishing his last season as Sectionals Finalist, Impromptu Speaking. Although he was born after 2000, Zain has the soul and music taste of an old Pakistani man, and if he could choose his favorite place, it would be Pita Inn in Glenview. 

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Bridget Schank worked as a community organizer and lobbyist before deciding to stay home full time after her infant son’s liver transplant. (He’s now eight and doing great!). Bridget is committed to community service, serving on the boards of Teen-Parent Connection and Arlington Cares, running the service club at her children’s elementary school, and coaching her daughter’s basketball team. Bridget 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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Kevin Biolsi is a statistician by trade, but he found that really didn’t get the kind of laughs he was hoping for. He started telling stories in front of live audiences in 2016 and found it to be more exhilarating than any drugs he’s ever taken - although to be honest, those have almost exclusively been analgesics and anti-inflammatories. For fun, Kevin brews beer. For even more fun, he drinks that beer. Despite an impressive inability to dance, Kevin is a longtime member of the board of directors of the Evanston Dance Ensemble. Kevin is a regular at First Person Live and tells stories at the Moth and other shows around Chicago. 

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Adam Bottner is a former litigator and current 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”), Adam is a frequent Moth StorySLAM teller and recent winner. He’s also a graduate of the Second City training center and has written multiple screenplays, including his most recent, "Searching for Frenchy Fuqua.” Adam 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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Paul Teodo is a retired healthcare executive. Born and raised on Chicago's south side, he’s been telling stories in real life for 65 years and on stage for the past six. Paul is a five-time Moth StorySLAM winner and a Moth GrandSLAM Champion, invited to perform in New York at the prestigious Moth Ball and featured on CBS Sunday Morning. His first novel, "Pastaman," is available on Amazon and he is working on a second one. Paul raised two great sons as a single dad and is a lifelong dog lover.

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Steve Miller has been a high school math teacher for 18 years, and a storyteller for five. In the classroom, his favorite topic is algebra and his favorite victims are freshmen. Prior to teaching, Steve was a patent lawyer who specialized in disposable absorbent nonwoven hygiene products (e.g., tampons and diapers!). He likes to believe that spending 2-1/2 hours a day driving to work makes him smarter as long as he listens to audiobooks. When not driving, Steve enjoys discussing politics podcasts with his wife and 70’s music with his stepson. 

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Melissa Earley, originally from Colorado, is the lead pastor at First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights. She's new to storytelling (if you don't count sermons) but writes fiction and has a blog, “Waking Up Earley" ( Melissa loves to travel, though the rain on her trip to Belize inspired a poem about chewing off her 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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