They have secrets for us, in their words and their genes. We play games with them, and they teach us how our hearts function. We fire up the bunsen burner and look through a telescope with them--or just toast a drink at the dinner table while we wonder if we're related. They're everything we are, and everything we desperately don't want to be.
Join The Story Collider for six stories of families and science, August 16th, 8pm at Pacific Standard.
ALLISON DOWNEY, Singer-songwriter, storyteller, and professor
JULIE KRAUT, Writer
NELSON LUGO, Vaudevillian
KELLI PORTERFIELD, Film producer, comedian, and writer
DANA ROSSI, Writer and storyteller
RACHEL WECHT, Actor and improviser
Allison Downey is an award-winning Singer-Songwriter, theater artist, writer and educator. An Associate Professor of Creative Arts Education (former Theatre Professor) at Western Michigan University, Allison just returned from sabbatical in NYC researching storytelling and performing at notable storytelling events including Liar Show, Standard Issues, and The People's Improv Theatre. Allison recently toured with The Moth on the Road Mainstage performances in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, Michigan (The Power Center), and taught storytelling through The Moth to high school students in South Bronx, NY. Allison leads workshops and retreats in storytelling, creativity, arts integration, and songwriting. Songs from her latest CD, Across the Sea received numerous awards and international and satellite radio Airplay.
Julie Kraut is a writer living in New York. She is the co-author of Hot Mess and author of Slept Away, both young adult novels.
Nelson Lugo started performing when he was nine and a half years old, after receiving a Harry Blackstone Jr. Magic Kit for Christmas. He sometimes wonders what would have happened differently in his life if he had gotten Lincoln Logs. Fed on a steady diet of comic books, Benny Hill, sci-fi and Abbott & Costello jokes — Nelson combines classic magic with a geeky contemporary twist - old school showmanship peppering with the nerdiest of pop culture references. He is the co-producer of EPIC WIN Burlesque that currently has five shows in August at the NY International Fringe Festival called "Star Debate: Trek vs. Wars".
Kelli Porterfield is a comedian, film producer and writer. Her solo show, "Mirror Mirror On The Wall", plays at The Peoples Improv Theater in NYC and was invited to the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival in 2011. Kelli studied and performed at The Second City, Improv Olympic and UCB theaters and created and runs the comedy arts program at Pace University. "Old Cats", a film she produced, was an Official Selection of the New York and Sundance Film Festivals and will open in theaters this Fall.
Dana Rossi is the creator and host of The Soundtrack Series--a storytelling series where writers tell the stories they connect with songs from their pasts. Her writing has appeared in NY Press, Time Out NY, and even a website here and there. An essay of hers will appear in Madonna & Me--an anthology of essays about Madonna, which will publish in March 2012.
Rachel Bitney Wecht started acting and improvising at the Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis, MN. After moving to Boston she was cast as a Mainstage performer with the Improv Asylum, where she wrote and performed five shows a week for three years. She recently completed a four month contract with Second City on the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship. Rachel currently resides in New York, where she tells stories and performs improv comedy at The People's Improv Theater. In her spare time she enjoys watching videos of tiny animals, reading romance novels, and playing her ukulele.