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Scary, Scary, Scary: stories that keep us up at night

Wednesday, Oct. 19  7:30 - 9:30 (open for dinner at 6:30)

Big Shot Piano Lounge, Arlington Heights


NOTE! You must order tickets as a group to be seated with friends. 

October is the "scary" month - but the truth is, life is scary all year long. The good news: We Are Not Alone! This month, tellers take up arms against fear by exposing it: Stories about machete-wielding warlords, vanishing body parts, predatory lawyers, creepy inn owners, murderous mountain goats - and one actual psycho killer. Feeling better about your own life yet?

In keeping with protocol at storytelling shows, First Person Live requires all ticketholders to show proof of vaccination the night of the show.  Masks are optional. .  All sales are final - no refunds or exchanges.

Don Hall
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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. 

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Michael Palmer is an options trader on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange since 2003. He has appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg, and various other outlets related to his life as a volatility trader. Michael also works with a number of Chicago nonprofits such as The Big Shoulders Fund, Upwardly Global, The Night Ministry, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. In free time, Michael has a number of creative pursuits: playing drums in Chicago Band Risky Tingles, songwriting and writing short fiction. Recently, Michael began telling stories to live audiences, and he’s excited to be making his debut at First Person Live tonight.

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Caroline Brennan works with an international humanitarian organization, supporting emergency response efforts in areas across the world that have been affected by natural and man-made crises. Caroline’s career started in a rural village in Ethiopia, where she served with the Peace Corps for two years. She has lived in South Asia and the Middle East, and recently worked in the Ukraine and Moldova. Caroline’s happy place is in the water - Lake Michigan, a pool, or any beach anywhere. She took up piano lessons during Covid and has no shame at being the only person above the age of 10 at her recitals. 

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Steve Peebles is stage actor and director, which naturally means he has at least four other jobs at any given time. These days that means working as a standardized patient, a delivery driver, and voice-over actor. He’s a two-time winner of NPR’s Moth StorySLAM, and became a GrandSlam champion this past April (with the story he’s telling tonight!). Steve has performed other people’s stories at Shattered Globe Theatre, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre to name a few, and you can see him play the title role in Macbeth with Three Crows Theater in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood this October (If you like his story and decide that he’d be an entertaining murderer.)

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Chris Forte, born and raised in suburban Clarendon Hills, grew up in an artistic, creative family. Obsessed as a youth with baseball, wood sculpture, antique repair, cars and some shenanigans we can’t talk about, he went on to earn a degree in dentistry and raise two boys. His latest interests include yearly trips to Scotland, Crossfit, watercolor painting, cooking, creative writing, and storytelling. 

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Marya Morris is a city planner and freelance writer and editor. She lives in Wilmette with her husband Andy, mother Wilma, and three kids at various points on the launch trajectory (there are no straight lines in that regard). Marya considers each difficulty, embarrassment and absurdity of life to be ripe material for storytelling. She began telling stories at in 2015 and has performed at the Moth and other storytelling shows in Chicago, and is a Moth GrandSlam.

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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 67 years and on stage for the past eight. 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 novels, "Pastaman," and “Call Me Z” are available on Amazon. Paul raised two great sons as a single dad and is a lifelong dog Chicago’s legendary Green Mill Lounge - then food, then the arcade, but you're driving.

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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 ‘70s music with his stepson. 

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