Storytelling Festival highlights life in Rogers Park
Posted by dodobo2010 on October 23, 2012
The Side Project Theater Company in Rogers Park is hosting, “Choosing to Be Here” a neighborhood-centric Storytelling Festival. The festival Sundays through Wednesdays until Oct. 31.
The Side Project, which is located at 1439 W. Jarvis Ave., will be putting on a series of storytelling dramatic performances including three different storytellers every night, culminating in Julie Ganey’s critically acclaimed one-woman show about living in Rogers Park called, “Love thy Neighbor…till it hurts.”
Audience members were prepared for the unique storyteller performances at the festival opener this Sunday.
“Storytelling is just a different from of drama in my perspective,” said Jonathan Grabill, 44, an option trader from South Bend, Ind.
The show started with stories from Dan McNeil, a poet from Rogers Park; Jenifer Thom, a librarian from the community; and Mary Fons, the host of Love of Quilting, aired on PBS.
“Imagine seeing a treadmill for the first time in your life, it’s really a bizarre thing,” said Fons as she describes a personal story about helping a foreign citizen how to work a treadmill.
After the three 10-minute performances, Ganey took the stage for her 50-minute performance about community life in Rogers Park.
“When you choose to live among people who come from different norms, you learn the definition of being neighborly and what’s acceptable is different for everybody,” said Ganey during the second act of her performance titled, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.”
Adam Webster, 39, artistic director of The Side Project said the Storyteller Festival is an opportunity to bring the community of Rogers Park closer together.
“We’re trying to bring together a group of storytellers concerning themes of community and belonging to support Ganey’s piece,” Webster said. “We have a variety of experienced storytellers in store for the festival such as Alison Cuddy of WBEZ radio station and Kim Morris, a company member of Second Story.”
The opening performance of the festival gave the audience of 40 members a chance to be more connected with Rogers Park, and also gave them insight on stories about the community.
“This festival is really a gift to the community,” said Lori Empen, 44, director of Lakeview Playgroup. “It’s real people telling real stories and if we had more things like this, I think it would get more of us to learn to get along and live together.”