Founded in 1991, SpeakeasyDC’s mission is to: present high-quality performances of meaningful true stories from diverse perspectives that deepen the understanding of the self, the other, and the human experience; create opportunities for people to learn about, practice, and excel at the art of contemporary true storytelling; and promote curiosity, compassion, and community through storytelling.
We strive to elevate the craft of storytelling through classes, coaching and creative collaborations; grow the number of storytellers and fans in the region; establish ourselves as the go-to place for aspiring storytellers; and create a welcoming environment for diverse perspectives.
A finalist for 2012 Mayor’s Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts, SpeakeasyDC, produces 30 shows a year featuring a blend of eight to ten experienced and novice storytellers telling stories on a common theme in various wards in DC. Ongoing classes include a five-week Storytelling 101, a one-day Storytelling Boot Camp, and trainings for nonprofits, businesses, and community organizations. Highlights: innovative partnerships with DC Shorts and Washington Improv Theater; new youth programs at the SEED School and the Dream Project; and new opportunities to work with nonprofits that expanded the relevance and impact of storytelling beyond the stage
Our monthly open mic storytelling series--entering it’s 13th year on the 2nd Tuesday of every month– serves an audience of over 250 people a month and trains 120 storytellers each year. Each night features 8-10 true stories on a given theme. All are welcome to sign up for the open mic through our website. Free (and mandatory) coaching is provided.
SpeakeasyDC also produces several original ensemble shows, with unique casts, each year. Past shows include: top-selling and critically acclaimed Capital Fringe Festival shows The Sin Show, Chocolate Jesus and Revenge of the Cat-Headed Baby and Other True Tales of Life & Death; plus holiday specials like Sucker for Love Valentine’s Day Special; Mommie Dearest Mother’s Day Special, and an annual performance for DC’s Big Read.
Classes & Training
We offer ongoing educational opportunities, including a one-day Storytelling Boot Camp, two four-week comprehensive courses–Storytelling 101 for beginners and and Storytelling 201 for intermediate level students, master classes on specific skills and topics, outreach programs, and on-site customized storytelling classes, seminars, and demonstrations.
Podcast and Video
We publish a free podcast called The Speakeasy Storycast and host video channels on Vimeo and YouTube. On these, you will find recordings of our live performances, promotional videos, and a handful of produced “radio-style” stories (not performed live).
SpeakeasyDC has collaborated with many other organizations including: the NEA’s Big Read, DC Independent Film Fest, Literacy Volunteers & Advocates, Capital Fringe Festival, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, and SilverDocs. Partnerships with the Sol y Soul, the Institute of Caribbean Studies, and Ward 7 Arts Collective are in the works for 2010.
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Tweets coming soon!