Oasis in The City

Darby Sanders Storytelling Blog Leave a Comment

“At first, they’re strangers…”

When you first walk into a Portland Story Theater show at the Alberta Abbey, you are handed a program and welcomed to the show. The program features six faces and a small blurb about each of them. You read it dutifully before resting it in your lap. You may even recognize one of the tellers walking around before the show begins, drinking a glass of wine or enjoying a free snack with a microphone attached to their ear. They may feel distant to you. After all, the Performers (with a capital ‘P’) and the audience are typically separated during most other theater performances you’ve been to.

But as a nonprofit storytelling organization, Portland Story Theater is anything but typical.

When the show begins, the faces that previously belonged to strangers become more familiar. When they walk to the front of the stage they are greeted by Lynne Duddy and Lawrence Howard with hugs and smiles. And as they open up about they most vulnerable moments, you begin to recognize their emotions in yourself and realize that their experiences echo with those of your own life. The line between teller and listener blurs as the whole group gets taken up by the power of the story.

“You see yourself in them.”

At Portland Story Theater, we build community by turning strangers into familiar friends through the intimate act of storytelling. By featuring people from the local community, we spread the message that everyone has a story worth telling. Every life matters–Portland Story Theater promotes the idea that we can all learn from one another and grow empowered by our stories.

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