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STORYTELLERS: March

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Scott Whitehair

Scott Whitehair is the producer of Chicago storytelling shows This Much Is True, and Story Lab Chicago, and director of Do Not Submit, a citywide network of neighborhood-based, open-mic storytelling nights designed to build community. Scott has told stories at Steppenwolf Theater, Second City, The Woodstock Opera House, and on NPR. Scott's also teaches storytelling to individuals, corporations, and nonprofits. In his spare time, Scott can be found grilling, napping, or sitting in a sauna. Scott's biggest goal for 2017 is to perfect his crock pot soup-making skills. He is getting closer each week. 

Jill Howe

Jill Howe produces and hosts Story Sessions, a storytelling event at the City Winery in Chicago. When not producing, she performs her own true stories all over the city and has told on Vocalo Public Radio featured on NPR.  Jill also, against all reason, likes the way teenagers think and tutors them at the North Shore Learning Clinic. She tells stories about gorillas at The Field Museum, has presented a TEDx talk on storytelling and vulnerability, and was recently featured on the Mortified! Podcast. Jill will play the ukulele, if you ask real nice. She also won't, if you ask real nice. 

Risa McDonell

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 tells stories all over Chicago and is thrilled to be at First Person Live! Risa's happy place is anywhere she can be with her husband and 10-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!).

Tiffani Desrosiers

Tiffani Desrosiers is an improviser and comedian from Warrenville who has been performing all over Chicago and the suburbs for the last seven years. She credits her experience as an NBC page and working on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" as a catalyst into her career in entertainment.
By day, Tiffani is the Assistant Director of Wesley Kids Day Out in Naperville.
When she's not performing, she loves volunteering at her children's school, watching her favorite athletes (her three kids!) and getting as much sleep as possible.

Diane Kastiel

Diane Kastiel is the host of First Person Live, and a writer and storyteller from Chicago. She’s a three-time Moth StorySLAM winner whose work has been featured on NPR’s Moth Radio Hour, its podcast, and at live events for NPR’s Chicago affiliate, WBEZ.
Diane has performed stories on stage at the Park West, Victory Gardens, Second City, Mayne Stage, Athenaeum, and Lifeline theaters in Chicago, and at legendary rock bars Martyr’s and Fitzgerald’s. She’s also told stories in more unconventional settings, including art galleries, bookstores, the basement of a tattoo parlor, the middle of the woods, and homeless shelters. 
Diane works as a freelancer writer specializing in the nonprofit sector. She’s also an alumna of The Second City Conservatory, the University of Chicago's Great Books program, and Northwestern University.

David Barish

David Barish has been telling stories ever since his parents came home when he was a just wee lad, looked around, and said, "What happened here?" And he’s been listening to stories for years in his daytime gig as an attorney representing injured workers. In recent years, David started telling stories on stage, revealing  parts of himself that have raised eyebrows from his  loving wife who simply says, "Hmm…never heard that one before."
As an adult, David found ways to cope with his inability to sit still that drove his parents nuts: When not writing, telling or listening to stories, he can be found playing the harmonica, throwing golf discs, and riding his bicycle for miles and miles and miles…!

Gabriel Sheridan

Gabriel Sheridan is a public school teacher in Chicago. She's used to speaking to groups of six- and seven-year-olds, but does her best to entertain a crowd of adults from time to time with her storytelling. Gabriel is also a passionate union activist. "Going to a union meeting is like going to church,” she says. “Everyone there is full of love and mostly they agree on the basics.

Susan Cramm

Susan is a regular storyteller, appearing in numerous shows and winning storytelling competitions in Chicago. She has also been a featured artist at Poetry’s Love Letter and the Teen Writers and Artists Project. Having never considered herself a writer, Susan draws on skills learned while obtaining her BFA in Acting from the University of Memphis for all of her storytelling.
Susan is also a long time yarn-crafter and lover of silly poems. A transplant to Illinois via Tennessee, after 10 years she still forgets  that you cannot get real sweet tea in most restaurants. :(

Emily Schleiger

Emily Schleiger is a contributing writer to "The Second City Network.” Her comedy writing can also be found on "McSweeney's Internet Tendency," “Reductress," and much more.  She's an intolerable grump who likens herself to Ouiser Boudreaux, but believes laughter and honesty can soothe us all.
She married her high school sweetheart, and survived a career in human resources that she says prepared her for parenting two kids - and two furry dogkids. Her family tries to cope with being imperfect in the "perfect ‘burbs," and fantasizes about living on a coast one day.
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