***Thanks to our guest blogger and Ex Fabula volunteer Lane Burns!***
How else do you tie up an epic first season of Ex Fabula? You bring your Audience Favorite storytellers to the Turner Hall Ballroom, and give them twice as much storytelling time and the theme of Epic Fail, of course! Add in live art by dwellephant, hilarious UltraShorts, and great sponsors, and you’ve got a night to remember.
Friday night, May 14th, 300 people poured into Turner Hall for two hours of hilarious and teeth-gritting personal stories of EPIC FAILs. Emcees and founders Leah Delaney and Megan McGee introduced the speakers and shared audience ultrashorts, while founder Amy Schleicher was the timekeeper. The event was sponsored by WMSE 91.7 and WUWM 89.7. During the stories, local artist dwellephant created visual interpretations of the tales; at the end of the night, the drawings were raffled off and taken home by 7 lucky winners.
The first storyteller of the evening was our special guest Anthony Umlauf. Anthony has had his name drawn from the hat several times during our events and always has a story to keep the audience involved. He’s been a big supporter since day one. Anthony finished his season of Ex Fabula with the tale of how he was banned from the state of Ohio. Alcohol WAS involved.
Next Leah Leone, winner of Ex Fabula #2, told the story about how it took a trip to China to realize that it was time to break up with her “boyfriend”, much to his relief. Then, Brian Moore – Winner of Ex Fabula #4 – Barney Baggett and Liza Bielby of the Hinterlands took us all on a side-splitting Technicolor rollercoaster ride in their Rashomon about Special Milk and the last celebration of the Hindu holiday Holi in Humbolt County, California.
Winner of Ex Fabula #5 Drew Brhel followed up with a tale of his first, and last, experience living a double life when he found himself explaining to airport authorities why he was flying under the name Nehasapenapetalam when his American Express said Brhel. There was a short intermission, and right away, Paul Finger (winner of Ex Fabula #1) led the crowd through a merry romp along Milwaukee’s Mitchell Street where his holiday spirit was sorely tested.
Then, Laura Halfmann and Stephanie Halfmann, winners of Ex Fabula #6, performed a dynamic duo including story, song, and dance about their quest to EPICLY FAIL specifically FOR this event – by becoming Erotic Movement Technicians for an amateur night. Closing the night was Tom Crawford of WMSE, winner of Ex Fabula #3, who gave us a heart-wrenching solo story of a son and his father just beginning to come to terms with over 20 years of conflict and loss.
At the end of the night, the audience voted and crowned the Halfmann sisters the Grand Champions of Ex Fabula Season 1.
If you’re not on the Ex Fabula mailing list, contact us at exfabulamilwaukee at gmail.com with your request. We’ll notify you of upcoming events, which include a podcast on WMSE, Guerrilla Story Slams around town, and even mobile storytelling booths done in conjunction with WMSE and WUWM. See you soon!