What’s Your Story?

Leigh Hancock Storytelling Blog Leave a Comment

“In a time where our daily digest arrives in snippets of information from friends, our interests, and news around the world, Portland Story Theater asks us simply to sit and believe.”


What’s your story?

That’s the question each teller confronts when working with Portland Story Theater, a non-profit dedicated to the telling of personal stories – real, intimately revealed things that happen to real people. In our most recent show, Founders, Friends and Faves, six of us take to the stage to share our significant stories.

The tellers and band take a bow. Photo: Mike Bodine

The tellers and band take a bow. Photo: Mike Bodine

Some of us speak of events that happened years ago–a wild rock concert of our youth, a wrongful death investigation—while others share what’s happening right now—the trauma of parenting, a recent family vacation. Each of us stands on the stage alone without props or scripts, and delivers a unique narrative from the heart.

The process of working with Portland Story Theater is transformative. Each show is the result of weeks of collaborative work, where we meet, tell our stories, listen to each other, tell our stories again, and slowly, slowly, move toward our tale’s deepest truth.

It’s often not what we think it will be. A story about waitressing turns out to be about compassion; a story about fruit salad is really about our desire for love.

The audience at Portland Story Theater's Founders, Friends, and Favorites performance.  Photo: Mike Bodine

The audience at Portland Story Theater’s Founders, Friends, and Favorites performance. Photo: Mike Bodine

Finding the heart of our story gives us the courage to be vulnerable…and that vulnerability allows us to connect on a deep, human way with our audience. It’s no surprise, then, that audience members frequently sign up for a storytelling workshop, and one day find themselves on the stage, sharing their personal narrative. And this is how the world changes: one story at a time.

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