Spoken word comes back to town at The Victory Theatre

Backstory returns to the Victory Theatre Center

Spoken word artists, poets, story tellers, come on out. . The Victory Theatre and BareBones Theatre Company are accepting submissions for the second edition of their bi-monthly spoken word series: BackSTORY – an evening of stories and poems told around a theatrical theme.

WHO: Writers, storytellers and poets to work on short 2-10 minute pieces surrounding a central theme. See below…

WHAT: BackStory – Stories and poems told around a theatrical theme

WHEN: Sunday, February 21st at 7:00pm

THEME: This month’s theme is “The Importance of Being Earnest”

WHERE: Victory Theatre
3326 W. Victory Blvd.
Burbank 91505

SUBMISSION: For information on how to submit to become one of the storytellers or poets for this exciting and entertaining event contact:

Carl Weintraub: itellstories101@gmail.com (Stories)
Laurie O’Brien: lobrienski@gmail.com (Stories)
Adele Slaughter: afspoet@pacbell.net (Poetry)

Put BackSTORY on the subject line
The evening’s participants should be finalized by January 22nd, so get in touch ASAP

Here is how BackStory will work:

Six people will perform. Two will be poets, the others will be storytellers.

The stories may be true personal stories or pieces of fiction. Every poem or story will be a new piece, written expressly for that edition of BackStory.

Here is what will be expected of the participants:

Once you have been asked and have consented to participate, you’re in; no cold feet.

Poets: Ruminating on the theme, poets will write a poem a day for two weeks and send those poems to Adele Slaughter. Adele and the poet will select which of those poems should be developed and then will work together to bring those poems to fruition.

Storytellers: Based on the theme, storytellers will write a 1500 word piece and send it to Carl Weintraub and Laurie O’Brien. Carl and Laurie will work with the writers to bring their stories to fruition.

In other words, participants must be amenable to a productive “back-and-forth” with the producers, working to get the most out of their stories and poems.

Participants must also commit to one rehearsal, which will take place the Sunday before the event at 6:00. At that rehearsal, they will read their pieces to the other participants and get live feedback from each other.

Participants will get all of their friends to come see them so that the house will be full on the night of the event. Just a $10 donation gets them in the door.

Here is how the poets and storytellers will be selected:

We will be compiling a reservoir of potential storytellers and poets. You can get into that reservoir at any time. Our emails are always open. See email submissions above.

How to be considered for BACKStory?

1. Name, contact info, and membership status in the Victory Theatre Company. You don’t have to be in the company to be a part of this.

2. If you have done any of this type of thing before, tell us how many times and where you did it.

3. A writing sample: Something you have written in the past. Not something written for the upcoming theme. You can choose poetry, truth, or fiction, or send us one of each. If it’s poetry, send at least 5 poems.

Once we’ve got all that, you’re in the pool and you can submit yourself for participation in upcoming shows as follows.

Storytellers who have an idea for the specific theme of an upcoming show, pitch that idea in one or two paragraphs.

Poets, submit one short poem around the theme.

The theme for each next show will be announced at the end of the evening of the current show. The theme will always be the title of a play, a movie, or maybe even a TV show.

What’s the criteria?

Story criteria:

True stories should be personal and telling. Humor and depth are a plus. There are stories in all of our lives that speak to the human condition.

These are the stories we’re looking for. They can pertain to the theme in any number of ways, from a personal experience you had with that movie or play, to something else from your life that the title of the movie or play brings up in you.

Fiction: There are many ways to go but remember, storytelling is the mode, so a story told in first person will probably work very nicely in this context. Telling the back story of one of the characters in the movie or play would be interesting. Telling it as that character would be even more interesting. Creating any character and telling a “personal” story, like the true stories above, as that character is another way to go. Stay away from telling just another version of the movie or play. But don’t be afraid to think way outside the box. Just as long as it adheres to the theme.

Poetry criteria:

Again, because it’s a night of storytelling, narrative poetry and free verse will probably go over best. (Although formal verse could work if it really suits the theme.) Submit poetry that makes emotional sense, uses metaphor and is replete with sensual imagery, imagination, and the magic of surprise and juxtaposition. Poetry that does what Keats suggested: It comes upon “the spirit with a fine suddenness—to compare great things with small”. We want poetry that connects heart to heart.

See you on the stage!

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Lisa Bianconi
Author: Lisa Bianconi

Editor of www.nohoartsdistrict.com