BACKSTORY is a bi-monthly evening of true stories, fiction and poetry at The Victory Theatre.
Using the title of a classic stage play or movie as inspiration, storytellers and poets write poems and stories to be read aloud. Writers may pen a personal story inspired by the themes of the play. Some have written in the voice of a character from the play and told his or her back story. Some writers have used the words of the title for inspiration. Whatever the writer’s approach, BACKSTORY has consistently been a fascinating and eclectic night of theatre.
This month's theme: Sorry to Bother You
This month's poets, storytellers and host:
Erica Blumfield, Lee Boek, Beverly M. Collins, Michael Harris, Patti Henley, Matthew Robinson
Hosted by Adele Slaughter
Sunday, March 24 at 7:30pm
3326 W. Victory Blvd.
$10 at the door
What is Backstory?
I like to say, “Backstory is an evening of true stories, poetry, and flights of fancy told live around a theatrical theme.” Usually there will be 2 poets, 2 storytellers telling true personal stories and 2 doing fiction. The theme is always the title of a classic play or movie. We have done:
It’s a Wonderful Life
The Importance of Being Earnest
Fool for Love
Summer and Smoke
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Moon for the Misbegotten A Winter’s Tale
My Fair Lady
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
You Can’t Take it With You
A Delicate Balance
All Quiet on the Western Front
Storytellers and poets riff on the themes of the play, the characters in the play, or even just the words in the title. For Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, one guy told a story of his cat. For Braveheart, one woman told of enduring the loss of a child at birth. Usually one storyteller will tell the backstory of a major or minor character in the play in the voice of that character. For Fences, one writer became Troy down at the neighborhood bar on the morning of his son’s birth, telling his cronies what kind of a father he’s going to be.
How did you come up with the idea to do the Backstory event?
We were sitting around a creative board meeting brainstorming on possible ongoing projects for the Victory. Laurie and I are avid fans of the storytelling events going on all around Los Angeles (and there is a plethora of them) and we thought one more would be a good thing. Adele Slaughter, at the table, said she would like to have poetry be a part of that kind of event, not just because she herself is a poet, but because it would make the night more eclectic than other storytelling events. Tom Ormany, co-artistic director of the Victory, then said, “Why don’t we call it Backstory, and have the themes be theatre titles and have people also do the backstories of characters in those plays?” The rest is history.
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