Don’t forget to get your tickets for our first-ever Ex Fabula fundraiser – our Season 5 Kickoff is TOMORROW NIGHT! Tickets are $25 and include one drink ticket. All proceeds will benefit Ex Fabula’s work to strengthen communities through the art of storytelling. Funds raised will help us expand our audience, improve access to content on our website, and grow our programming over the coming years. Cocktail hour and silent auction begin at 6:00 pm. Storytellers take the stage at 7 pm. Special thanks to Eat Cake! for donating Season 5 cupcakes, and Transfer Pizza and Sazama’s Fine Catering for donating pizza and sliders. We’d also like to thank our silent auction donors for the their generous contributions to these amazing packages:Continue reading “Ex Fabula Kick-off Fundraiser TOMORROW!”
Less than 3 weeks stand between us and the Season 5 kickoff party! Click here to find out how you can purchase Ex Fabula membership! Keep checking, as we will also continue to post new details on the storytellers, food, and prizes for the September 5th kickoff bash.
We can’t wait to see all of you on the 5th!
Hot off the press! The excitement is brewing for Season 5, and there was some big news for Ex Fabula this week – Megan McGee, Ex Fabula’s Executive Director, was featured in this week’s Shepherd Express!
In “Fabulous Stories”, Megan gives the skinny on Ex Fabula and gets to tell some stories of her own.
Check it out here!
Join Ex Fabula on Thursday, May 16th for the ALL STARS Season 4 finale. Your crowd favorites from this year’s story slams will take to the historic stage at Turner Hall to share extended stories on the theme “Lost in Translation.” Our raconteurs for the evening include Carl Fuerst, Becca Segal, Jennifer Evenson, Rich Christensen, Molly Snyder, Linda Cieslik, Dave Hendrickson. Continue reading “Ex Fabula ALL STARS”
By Ex Fabula Blogger: Nathan Royster
Ex Fabula returned to the beautiful Times Cinema in Washington Heights West to bite into a night of Forbidden Fruit stories. Our fearless MC for the night, Megan McGee (aka MC McMegan, aka MC Gee), kicked off the night with an announcement about someone’s missing wallet and welcomed some fresh faces and voices to the Ex Fabula stage. Continue reading ““Forbidden Fruit” Recap”
Join Ex Fabula on Wednesday, April 17th for another round of true and personal stories at one of Milwaukee’s treasured landmarks. We’re heading back to the Times Cinema in Washington Heights for 9 stories on the theme “Forbidden Fruit.” Sinners and apple thieves are particularly encouraged to attend. But everyone should bring their best game, because the top two audience favorites will secure a spot on the Turner Hall Stage for Ex Fabula’s All Stars show this May. Continue reading “Ex Fabula Story Slam: “Forbidden Fruit””
By Ex Fabula Guest Blogger: Joey Grihalva
I first fell in love with hip hop culture back in high school. At the time my primary source of new and classic music came to me on Tuesday nights over the 91.7 WMSE radio waves. Booming out of my bedroom speakers one night in the early 2000s was a bittersweet episode of the “Late Night Hype Show,” the legendary and now defunct program. A member of the crew was moving to Minneapolis. And you couldn’t blame him, considering their hip-hop scene is bigger and some might say, “more established.” But they’ve definitely benefited from Milwaukee-bred talent.
Rhymesayers Entertainment is the most respected and recognizable Minneapolis outfit, complete with their own record store (Fifth Element) and impressive lineup of internationally touring artists. I was introduced to Rhymesayers in 2002 at the Turner Hall Ballroom in downtown Milwaukee. It was the first coast-to-coast tour for their flagship artist, Atmosphere, but it was one of the opening acts, Brother Ali, who stole the show. Continue reading “The MKE Auer and Brandon Kelly’s Story of Rhymesayers”
By Ex Fabula Blogger: Nathan Royster
Photos by Artemio Photography
In a show that could only be dubbed “standing room only”, Club Garibaldi hosted a packed house of cozied in Ex Fabula fans and raconteurs spilling their “Green” tales. Interpretations abound, we had stories of envy, nature, marijuana, and greenhorn-ism. And for the first time ever, we crowned two winners in one event. Congratulations to our benevolent storytelling overlords, Kate Tellers and Becca Segal!
As always, thanks to WUWM 89.7, YELP, and WMSE 91.7 for supporting us with their hugs and kisses and all the nice things they say about us when they’re talking to strangers at the bus stop and the Greenline still hasn’t shown up even though it’s been like half an hour. But seriously, big thanks, we couldn’t have done it without them.
With a Crown winning story, Kate Tellers told of moving to—of all places—Brookline, Massachusetts, to become an actress. Instead, she works as a temp at a tax agency with a superhero-esque name, Taxman. Taxman is across the street from a park where the mentally unwell urinate, a sign her new job will not be the best place during tax season. She works herself to exhaustion for almost no money, dealing with threats of litigation from angry customers, not eating for whole days, and having a co-worker throw a brick through the office window.
Joey Grihalva (gree-holl-vuh) has always been a Brett Favre fan. So much so, that he stood on stage wearing the famed QB’s jersey. At the height of Favre’s success and popularity, 11-year-old Joey goes to a Milwaukee Wave game for chance to catch a pass from the legend himself. At halftime, he’s usurped by his cute younger brother, fresh out of appendix surgery. His brother catches the pass in front of 19,000 people and is then featured on the front page of the Journal sentinel. Meanwhile, Joey is left in his little brother’s big shadow.
Mark Steidl was a six grader clad in a green and white jersey playing basketball. He hadn’t made a shot the whole season on court, but every night he practiced on the basket in the driveway. There was a black stallion painted on the backboard of his home hoop where he shot hundreds of free throws a night. So it came down to him shooting the last free throw in the championship game, and he finished his story with pantomiming a ball flushing into the net.
Grant and Conn Hagen told a duo story of how they went on a Fear and Loathing adventure across the Southwest United States, fueled by acid and pot incense and traveling in a 64’ VW Bug. Grant was being leaving to Nam’ soon so he funded the farewell trip. They saw UFOs in Illinois, picked up a cat burglar hitchhiker in Texas, and halfway through the trip they realized they needed to get back to Wisconsin for Grant’s birthday party before he was shipped out. After a car break-down, a cold ride in the back of a pickup, and a last minute plane, Grant arrives home late on his to find his party canceled.
Jim Winship, born and raised in the South, said he knew he didn’t belong in the state because his family’s house had too many bookshelves for a Tennessee resident. A Tennessee March and Wisconsin March offer drastically different activities. Picnics without parkas in Milwaukee are unlikely this time of year. But while it’s not the same, he’s been here 31 Marches and knows home is where you’re comfortable.
Tim Bultman’s nickname was “Boom” because the right hand he was born with only has a thumb and pinky resembling a boomerang. He told stories of how he used to think he could grow the rest of it with water like a plant, the art of high-fiving a two-fingered hand, and how he’d make money letting people push him around in a wheelchair.
For Mathew Konkel, Camp Anokijig in Plymouth, Wisconsin was his first time for many of life’s most important experiences: his first jumbled kiss, first time drunk, and first time chewing snuff. He was so excited to graduate to manhood that he shows his archery instructor he’s chewing. His instructor is humored by him then giving Mathew enough tobacco to get him so buzzed he sweats. He later sums his story up with “Trials and tribulations of tobacco chewing at Camp Anokijig”
Anna Russo had that teacher. You know, the one that wants to be your friend. The one who probably believes in healing crystals, and doesn’t let her child eat french fries (oh, the horror!). Her class treated their Bio teacher like a Mystery Science Theater movie, and all around detested her. The crowning moment was dissecting formaldehyde frogs with the teacher spraying cinnamon and pine air freshener to cover the scent, something Anna will always call “Dead Frog Christmas.”
The second Crown of the night went to Becca Segal. While abroad teaching English, a lie about her skiing skills gets her pushed down a real French mountain. She says the lift up was amazing in its beauty and almost enough to make her forget she was going down the Alps. She sticks to the blue trail (novice) but then she switches onto the intersecting red trail (not so novice) because, “like in a Bugs Bunny Cartoon, the sign was covered with snow.”
Now it’s your turn. What was your favorite part of the show?
Ex Fabula announced the appointment of Megan McGee as the organization’s first executive director last week. Megan, a co-founder of Ex Fabula has taken the reins of the organization at a time of meaningful expansion.
“We have accomplished a lot in our four short years,” says Megan, “but as Executive Director, I hope to work closely with the Board and with all our wonderful volunteers to further our mission while creating a path to hiring a staff that will help ensure our long term success.”
Ex Fabula—whose unique name comes from the Latin phrase from stories—was founded in 2009 by a group of Milwaukeeans committed to strengthening community bonds by connecting individuals through universal experiences. Since its incorporation the following year, Ex Fabula has been maintained completely by volunteer support.
Last year’s Terminal Milwaukee project shared Milwaukee’s neighborhood history with over one thousand attendees. In Sheboygan, the group developed a series of storytelling workshops to teach the art of storytelling as part their residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
The position of Executive Director, which remains unpaid at this time, will allow McGee to oversee the expansion of programming here in Milwaukee. “We’ve had to make difficult decisions about where to direct our limited resources,” says Megan, “and I am very excited to leverage what we’ve learned in order to connect more Milwaukeeans through the power of sharing true, personal stories.”
Our fourth season of Story Slams will culminate with the yearly showcase at Turner Hall Ballroom Thursday, May 15.
By Ex Fabula Blogger, Steph Kilen
Ex Fabula ventured into the wild West (of Milwaukee) and it was fabulous! Our first story slam of 2013 took place January 15 at the Time Cinema in the Washington Heights neighborhood. Our first appearance at the new venue brought out many first time Ex Fabula attendees for an exciting show.
Chad Lawson was the first storyteller to take on the night’s theme of “Do Over.” Chad shared how being picked on at camp for kids with cancer helped him recreate himself into the person he wanted to be. Mike Crowley wishes he could go back and say, “Hey, Canucks, go to Hell” to a couple of Canadian guys for whom he served as translator. Poor bilingual Mike was trying to pick up a couple German girls but unwittingly helped the Canadians win them over instead. Monica Thomas rounded out the first set with the story of the alcoholic father she never got to be close to until the day he died.
Jerome Flogel told us how he is getting a “do over” with the son he didn’t know for the first 19 years of his life. “I can’t make up for the time we missed,” he said, “which my son reminds me of every time he gets drunk and we’re together, but it is the most spectacular do over in my life for sure.” If Deserae Constalineaul had the chance, she would certainly have closed her robe or wore pretty panties (or any panties at all) when her sexy doctor came in to talk with her after surgery.
Molly Snyder ultimately won Audience Favorite for the evening with her story of the night that changed her life that she would absolutely not do over.
Mark Steidl started off the final set of the evening by grabbing the mic from its stand and saying, “I’m going to take it out and get it nice and close…that was sexual…and I need to separate from that comment because this is a story about my mom. And I love my mom, but not in that way.” He also loved how his mother, who would always harp on him for his driving, finally got a speeding ticket and was forced to revise her safe driving speech.
As the United States was facing tragedy on September 11, 2001, a 17-year-old Scott Heaton was struggling with his own personal tragedy: chickening out when it came time to ask the girl he liked to Homecoming. Over the following week he realized that “you never know when things are going to happen that change your world” and you might not get a chance for a do over.
Dino Fernandez wrapped up the night telling of his ambivalence about doing over his years as a marine which he said was the best and worst thing that has happened to him.
Of course the beauty of any Ex Fabula story slam is its spontaneity. So while we would never do this one over, we are certainly looking forward to doing it again Wednesday, February 13 at Stonefly Brewery in Riverwest on the theme of “It’s a Date.”