Ex Fabula returned to the Hot Water Wherehouse for this month’s Storyslam, where a full house that overflowed to the balcony was captivated by a delightfully diverse set of stories on the theme “My Nemesis.” 

My Nemesis photo 1The first storyteller was Brad Hoeschen, who recounted a verbal feud between his mother and mother-in-law that he was hoping would end (fingers crossed). Then, Tom Shanahan got us laughing with a tale of a high school adversary who took things too far when it was time to dissect frogs in biology class. Next, Jennifer Hoepner shared a more serious story, naming sexism as a lifelong nemesis; once when overseas, she was told that because she was a woman, she was prohibited from providing a crucial intervention.

After an intermission, we heard from three new storytellers. Alan Friedman spoke of a relationship from youth gone wrong – which fortunately later resolved peacefully. Next, Lee Rowley started with a little stand-up comedy, acting well-accustomed to the stage. But then he revealed that depression was a personal demon hiding behind the comedic guise. Elaine Maly described a conversation with a relative that articulated the conundrum of chatting with that person you just don’t know how to talk to.

The last part of the show began with a story from Molly Snyder about a nemesis that no one wants to have: bedbugs! We listened in suspense as she named the terrors of the endless battle. Lauren Poppen talked about attacks of paralyzing fear that began on a foreign trip and continued long after; her tale ended with overcoming what cannot be seen. The last storyteller of the evening was Sue Blaustein, who related a challenge of a different kind: grade school gym ineptitude – and her eventual triumph.

My Nemesis photo 2After the votes were talied,  emcees Dasha Kelly and Leah Delaney announced that Molly Snyder was the audience favorite, and everyone chanted “bedbugs!” as Molly came to the stage to don the crown.

Thank you to our wonderful storytellers for braving the stage and sharing your stories with us. We are truly grateful to our sponsors, volunteers and members for making it possible to do what we do. And thank you audience members for coming out and contributing your awesome UltraShorts!

We can’t wait to see you at our December Spectacular, which features stories on the theme “Surprise/Sorpresa”. In addition to new, longer stories from storytellers selected by a jury of Ex Fabula volunteers, the night will feature 2 stories told in Spanish and interpreted into English as part of The Puente Project, a new endeavor with partners CORE/El Centro and UWM Translation and Interpreting Studies with support from UWM Cultures and Communities. We have a line-up that you don’t want to miss, so get your tickets today!