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ARTC Theater

110 West 7th Street

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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Stories are probably as old as language. Come participate in one of the most fundamental and enduring human experiences – live storytelling!

About this Event

The Willingham Story Slam continues the commitment of the Willingham Theater of the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center to storytelling in all of its forms.

Storytelling Slam Events

  • Volunteers from the community will perform a live, 5-minute (with a one-minute grace extension) recollection and reflection from their own experience - a true story.
  • All stories at each slam event will be linked to a common theme, announced in advance.
  • The first story slam, on the theme of “School Days”, will be held at the ARTC Theater in Winston-Salem (formerly The Garage) on Sunday, May 19th, from 4 – 6 PM.
  • Audience members at each event will volunteer to form judging teams to choose the most compelling story told at each event.

Want to Attend a Story Slam?

The Story Slam Venue

  • The ARTC Theater is located at 110 W. 7th St., Winston-Salem, NC, 27101 (formerly The Garage); phone: 336-408-9739
  • Coffee, teas, soft drinks and snacks will be available for purchase. Alcoholic beverages are not available, but patrons of legal age may bring their own.
  • Parking is available in a lot across 7th Street or along adjacent streets.

Admission

  • Tickets for each story slam can be purchased prior to the event for $5 online, or $7 at the door.
  • Although admission is not age-restricted, please consider that slam events are open mic. We do not control or know the story content in advance. Some stories may be explicit and meant for an audience aged 16 years and older.

Storytellers, do you want some help honing your story?

  • The first story slam will be preceded by two storytelling workshops in April. Both workshops are free and will be held on two Saturdays from 12, noon, to 2 PM at the Creative Community Lab in the railroad building at 300 S. Liberty St., Suite 150, next to Willow’s Bistro in Winston-Salem.

Both workshops will be led by Joe Mills with help from Laura Hart McKinney.

Story slam events:

  • When the doors open, storyteller hopefuls will put their names in a “hat." Names are picked at random, and storytellers will take the stage one by one.
  • Stories are scored by teams of judges selected from the audience.
  • Contestants are judged on sticking to the five-minute time frame, sticking to the theme and having an engaging story that has a conflict and a resolution.
  • Storytellers whose name is not drawn within the course of the slam will have an opportunity to deliver their first “hook” story line to the audience.

Do you have a story to tell?

Story slam guidelines

  • Stories are true. Nonfiction only.
  • Stories are told “by heart.” No notes or props. Practice your performance so that you do not need support.
  • Adhere to the theme. The story you tell should be strongly linked to the announced theme for the date.
  • The story must be yours. You must have been present and involved in a significant way, not a passive observer.
  • The story must have action and consequences. Tell us what was at stake, what was gained or lost, the obstacles or conflict you encountered, and how your actions affected you or the outcome.
  • Adhere to the time limit. Stories should be 5 minutes long. There will be a one-minute grace period so you do not need to bring a stopwatch.

What we want to hear:

Bring us into your experience. Ensnare us in your narrative web. Make us care about you and the journey you have taken. Help us understand the situation you were in. Describe what you observed. Tell us about your fears, your joys, worries or hopes. Include the irony, humor or pathos we can all relate to. What decisions did you make? What were the consequences? What did you change? How were YOU changed?

Please avoid:

  • stand-up routines, stereotypes, rants, essays, religious sermons, how-to’s, confessions, lectures, or fiction.

No one wants to hear you spew hate or derision toward a person or a group. Build a bridge with humanity, not a wall.

This storytelling project has been inspired by “The Moth Radio Hour.” It has great storytelling advice here:

https://themoth.org/share-your-story/storytelling-tips-tricks

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Date and Time

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ARTC Theater

110 West 7th Street

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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