Article by Elisa Klein of Portland Society Page | Dec 9, 2017It was a standing ovation at the Old Church Concert Hall on December 1st, for storytellers and hosts Lynne Duddy and Lawrence Howard. Their December 1st event was one of the many that Portland Story Theater hosts each year. (Photo credit, Kelly Nissl). The nonprofit is the Pacific Northwest’s premiere storytelling organization and is in its year-end fundraising drive. CLICK HERE to visit their page.
The founders of the organization explain what makes Portland Story Theater so meaningful to the community:
“Portland Story Theater is an investment in opening minds, challenging assumptions, and finding common ground. In these volatile times, learning to listen to one another is crucial so we can learn to trust each other. David Bowie once told his daughter, “Trust nothing but your own experience.” And that’s exactly what Portland Story Theater focuses on: trusting your own experience, trusting your story. Now, more than ever, we need to trust — ourselves, our stories, each other — to battle the fears that are manifesting in the world around us as expressions of hatred. Our call to action is to step up, provide safe space for each other and engage in meaningful ways; ways that matter. The challenges we face to make this kind of art are only going to intensify. We need your help now more than ever. We ask that you make a donation to support the kind of intimate theater that Portland Story Theater creates. Theater that takes the kind of risks needed to be vulnerable and to engage each other in eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart, face-to-face conversations. Souls keep us deeply human in profoundly inhumane times.”
Portland Story Theater’s Vision
Our vision is to advance, inspire and expand our community narrative, one story at a time – and in doing so, preserve and promote the ancient art of storytelling in a way that enriches modern life, allowing and encouraging people to be vulnerable and present in ways that are crucial to the full expression of our humanity.
Portland Story Theater’s Mission
Portland Story Theater builds community, promotes understanding, and fosters radical empathy by giving voice to the real, true stories of ordinary people. A 501(c)3 Nonprofit Arts Organization, Portland Story Theater is a passionate advocate for diverse narrative and our loyal listeners. We are a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Contributions and sponsorships facilitate outreach and keep ticket prices affordable. As an advocate for the narrative art of storytelling, Portland Story Theater strives to broaden audiences, develop new approaches, and support existing and new storytelling programs.[EIN #27-0670834] Your kind Donations are appreciated.
What We Do
Portland Story Theater builds community through story. Our work gives voice to the true stories of ordinary people. We break down barriers and stereotypes by bringing people together to hear real, true stories. We teach people that telling their personal story is a process that ignites self-discovery and nourishes our capacity for empathy for ourselves and each other. Our work at Portland Story Theater fosters a deep awareness around the idea that the more personal a story, the more universal it becomes. This art form is the spontaneous unfolding of a story that is celebrated onstage; in the moment, in the shared space between the listener and the teller. We work with other like-minded people to co-create live storytelling shows. We are low-tech, no-frills theater. We tell our stories directly, never asking the audience to suspend disbelief. This is a return to the ancient roots of theater. This is theater at its most basic, essential, elemental core: performer, audience and words. Telling our stories face to face, eye to eye, and heart to heart. Portland Story Theater makes stories provocative, inspiring, and accessible to everyone, young and old, of all social backgrounds, and ethnicities.
What We Believe
Everyone has a story to tell.
Be heard. Honor your emotional truth. Discover your self through story. Discover your history.Listening builds connection.
Be open. People are transformed by being heard. Listen openheartedly. Story breaks down barriers.
Be vulnerable. Tell your story. Authentically. Honestly. Sincerely. We are in a revolution.
Be a part of the change. Story illuminates the universal through the personal. Story awakens our consciousness. Story helps us recognize that we are one race, the human race. Believe. Act. Transform.
We believe that personal story breaks down barriers and reveals the commonality of the human experience.
We believe that story is the glue that holds us together and sustains us as a community, that story awakens our consciousness and helps us recognize that we are one race, the human race.