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STORYTELLERS

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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 and 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 - but also in more unconventional settings, including 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. 

Drew Love

Drew Love is a stop-motion animator and a documentary filmmaker on a journey to perfect his craft as a storyteller. He's also the proud father of four, married to the most beautiful woman in the world for 20 years. Drew grew up like a gypsy soul - in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Puerto Rico - and now calls Chicago home.

Paul Teodo

Paul Teodo is a retired healthcare executive and is about to publish his first novel, Pastaman. 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’s a Moth Grand Slam Champion who’s been invited to perform in New York at the prestigious Moth Ball and featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Paul is a single dad with two great sons and a lifelong dog lover.

Sarah Bunger

Sarah Bunger is a two-time Moth Grand Slam Champion. She’s also told stories at Solo Theatre, Story Lab, Fillet of Solo, and WBEZ's New Year's Eve program. Currently, she curates the Truth or Lie Reading Series, which takes place the first Sunday of every month in Chicago.
 
Sarah grew up in one of the smallest towns imaginable outside of Dayton, Ohio (think: flashing caution light, a gas station/Subway sandwich shop, and lots and lots of cows). Since moving to the big city seven years ago, she is adjusting to the long winters and nearly complete lack of cows. She teaches English to sophomores and seniors, relishing every minute she gets to re-experience Holden Caulfield, Blanche Dubois, and Nick Carraway. (But not those boys from Lord of the Flies. Because, gross). 

Nancy Sack

Nan Sack is an educator, a writer, and a photographer. Her poetry and prose are published in the National Council of Teachers of English author’s gallery. She is the author of Musing Along the Ike, a book of poetry and prose for adults, and Puppies and Poems, a children’s book. Nan presents Musing Along the Ike in high schools, at writing seminars, and at library book discussions. She’s passionate about children's literacy and gives interactive presentations on Puppies and Poems to preschoolers and first graders.Nancy and her King Charles Cavalier dog Ollie volunteer with the non-profit “SitStayRead,” assisting Chicago Public School children with reading and writing skills. Nan also has created a collection of nature photography celebrating the beautiful topography of the United States.

In her spare time, Nan enjoys taking Ollie on long walks where he teaches her to slow down and take time to go to the bathroom! She also love to hikes, bike, swim, dance, read….and, in her real downtime, binge on Netflix!

Chris Forte

Dr. 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. 

Mike Speller

Mike Speller has performed critically acclaimed roles on Chicago stages, and shared stories at storytelling show This Much is True and the Ray Bradbury Festival. Most recently, he chilled audiences with "The Wendigo" at the 2017 Kansas City Fringe Festival. He has a healthy fear of Kevin James movies and gluten-free anything.

 

Nestor Gomez

Nestor Gomez was born in Guatemala and moved to Chicago in the mid-80s.  He told his first story at a Moth StorySLAM as a way to get over stuttering. He won the slam that night and has not stopped telling stories since. Nestor currently holds the record for most Chicago Moth StorySLAM wins. But if you ask him, he will say his greatest achievements are making his mother proud and winning the heart of his new wife, Sweet Mel. 
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