Storytelling as an Act of Radical Empathy

Urban Tellers® at The Old Church Concert Hall

Portland Story Theater at The Old Church Concert Hall

Portland Story Theater at The Old Church Concert Hall.
Zahra Abukar, pictured.
Photo by Talen Nikolai Moe

Portland, OR ‒ December 1, 2017 ‒ People just want to tell their stories and be heard. Portland Story Theater knows the power of spoken word and is a standout in giving voice to the real, true stories of the people of Portland. Now in its 14th year, their Urban Tellers® series continues to give people a place to express what matters to them. December 1st brings this cavalcade of humanity to Portland Story Theater’s stage at their new home, The Old Church Concert Hall. And while everyone has a story to tell, it’s in the listening that things really take shape; when listening becomes an act of radical empathy. Audiences can hear Portland’s many voices come to life and, along with the tellers, begin to explore the collective human experience.

Lawrence Howard, one of the founders, explains, “There’s so much noise out there, so much information coming at us, so many people ranting, so much friction. We provide an alternative. We give people a place to connect as a community. Often, the quiet stories of resilience articulate what many of us yearn to hear.”

This month’s Urban Tellers® theme is Strong Like Me and features Luis Garcia, Leah Carey, Sabina Haque, Gigi Rosenberg, Steve Eggerts, Jessie Bond and Kathy Gillis. All of them have worked for weeks to discover and craft their personal stories of real significance – stories about things that have shaped them and made them who they are.

The evening kicks off at 7p with the stellar sounds of Portland Story Theater’s house band, Tonight’s Special, led by Aaron Mattison (sax), with Roger Paulson (piano), Laurent Nickel (bass), Alan Dragon (drums), and Bryant Byers (trombone | vocals).

Portland Story Theater presents Urban Tellers®

    Friday, December 1st | 21+
    7p Jazz (when the doors open)
    8p Stories

Following their commitment to community connection, advance ticket prices for Portland Story Theater remain affordable – only $15 – with no additional fees. Tickets are also available for $18 Day of Show. Portland Story Theater is also a proud member of Arts for All, a RACC program that gives people with an Oregon Trail Card a chance to buy $5 tickets to many of Portland’s best music, theater and dance groups.

Portland Story TheaterPortland Story Theater is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and was launched in 2004 to bring the urban community together to hear and tell true stories that stimulate the mind and rouse the heart. Portland Story Theater uses a unique collaborative approach to create story theater that is drawn from real-life experiences. Authentic. Honest. Urban. Portland Story Theater is building empathy, compassion, and understanding by reshaping our community narrative, one story at a time.