ALL STARS 2016: Game Changer Recap

The end of the season…..already? Yes, its true. On Saturday, Ex Fabula concluded another spectacular season with the annual ALL STARS StorySlam.  Locals filled the Pitman Theatre to hear fresh, ten-minute true, personal tales from this season’s Audience Favorites relating to the evening’s theme Game ChangerContinue reading “ALL STARS 2016: Game Changer Recap”

American Song StorySlam with the Milwaukee Rep

Photos courtesy of the Milwaukee Rep

We are a society in despair yet so full of promise. Communities separated by a common thought: survival. On Tuesday April 5, an intimate crowd of about 115 was treated to true, personal stories and poetry inspired by themes explored in The Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s World Premiere Production of American Song. Megan McGee took the helm preparing and reassuring the crowd throughout the evening as storytellers tackled issues pertaining to parenting, anti-violence and racism.

Continue reading “American Song StorySlam with the Milwaukee Rep”


On Tuesday night, a diverse crowd showed up at 3041North to enjoy true, personal stories on the theme of Fatherhood. Continue reading “Fatherhood:Recap”

2 emcees stand in front of a packed room.

Come Clean: Recap

150917ExFabula096Farewell summer, we hardly knew thee. Hello autumn! A time for fellowships & fresh starts, you know a time to come clean. Continue reading “Come Clean: Recap”

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I see stars….All Stars that is! Ex Fabula’s ALL STARS show at Turner Hall Ballroom featured season five’s crowned storytellers sharing various tales of Mother Lode proportions. Leah Delaney and Dasha Kelly joined forces once again as emcees for the evening, dishing random facts about the ALL STARS. Continue reading ““ALL STARS” Recap”

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“Off the Hook” Recap

Ex Fabula returned to Hot Water Wherehouse this month for a story slam that was “Off the Hook’. The lovely Dasha Kelly served as emcee for the evening, welcoming a few first timers to what clearly became the male story hour. Continue reading ““Off the Hook” Recap”

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Spectacular RECAP

Ex Fabula’s Spectacular show at Turner Hall Ballroom featured veteran storytellers sharing various tales of Bad Company. Megan McGee and Dasha Kelly shared emcee duties for the evening, delighting the crowd with their charms and sharing some fun facts about our storytellers. Continue reading “Spectacular RECAP”

“Close Call” Recap

By Ex Fabula Blogger, Steph Kilen

It was cozy, close quarters at Stonefly Brewery for the “Close Call” event. A packed house cheered on the nine storytellers of the night as they regaled us with tales of things that could have really, really sucked, but only just sucked in varying milder degrees. Most every storyteller got to walk away from their ordeal with only an audible “whew,” though poor Matt Brown did end up covered in the exploded contents of moose stomach.

The night packed more gasps and breath-holding than an action blockbuster. Jason Statham has nothing on these folks. There was plenty of flashy handling of automobiles,   battles with nature, narrow escapes from death, a weapon and even the kind of sexual content that will get you a PG-13 rating. (More than one F-bomb, however, pushed the night into “R” territory.)

The close calls in automobiles included Matt Brown hitting the aforementioned moose. He survived the collision, and almost as importantly to him, got out of playing a 90-song-set-list gig because of it. Fellow warrior of quadrupeds, Krista Lanphier was “mesmerized by this beautiful creature” just before she hit it. Like a true MacGyver, she fixed her window with  some plastic, duct tape and one very well placed obscenity and carried on. In homage to the deer she feels sacrificed its life to save hers, she keeps a few of its hairs plucked from the hood of her car to remind her “whatever the situation, I’m really OK.”

Heather Hingston, with her friend and both of their lives packed into a Ford Escort set off on a 26-hour journey.  They broke the monotony of a long road trip by hydroplaning in circles on the highway. They came out shaken, but like Jason Bourne, without a scratch. Krista Wildflower, though pulled over by a cop for speeding, came out with only a warning because she was dressed as an elf, and who could give someone with “a smile and a sense of humor like that” a ticket.

The difference between a close call and something much worse often depends on quick, level-headed thinking and amazing physical feats. Judi Zaferos-Pylant told of the daring rescue of a SCUBA diver by his instructor who also happened to be her husband. Professional dance critic, Tom Strini, who is not a dancer himself, modestly performed “the greatest air turn in the entire history of the art” to avoid the bite of a rattle snake. Jean Claude Van Damme crosses the street when he sees Tom coming.

Moni Bee took a camping trip and took on an evil deer, a porcupine, the wrong trail, the wrong lake and walked away with a twisted ankle, but also the memory of “a million lovely things.” Noah Sumner took on wild life of a different variety. He told the story of one of those nights (you know the ones) where he was in the position where he could have got shot, beat up or arrested, but just walked away with the story of several close calls.

Dasha Kelly won the Audience Favorite Award for her story about “Living La Vita 23-Years Old and Living La Vita Broke.” Looking to make some cash, she took her charm and her 23-year old body to apply for a job as a scantily clad hostess. She was told that she wouldn’t get the job because she was “bigger on the bottom than they typically hire.” Seeing that the scantily clad hostess job, she later realized, would also involve a pole, she quipped, “Most of the stories tonight have been how people had their ass saved. This is a story about how my ass saved me.”

Like all good action movies, this recap has an “at home viewing extra”:

I am taking the liberty of crowning a winning Ultra Short of the night, and it is this: Katie says, “This one time I almost fell in love, but then found out he was a douchebag.”

Whew, indeed, Katie.

Verbatim, Tellebration, and the December Spectacular


A shout out to all the artists who shared their words at Verbatim, a fabulous event put on by the Still Waters Collective on Thursday November 11. Thanks to Dan Niederloh and Lisa Gatewood who represented Ex Fabula at the event! We’re looking forward to the next event- we’ll be sure to post details so you can check it out!

Tellebration! 2010

We hope you’ll check out this event put on by Milwaukee Area Story Tellers (M.A.S.T.) , a local storytelling group based out of Mount Mary College. Emmett Gross will be representing Ex Fabula at that event. Details:

Saturday Nov. 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm
Mount Mary College , Milwaukee
$ 5.00 at the door
92ND and Burleigh – enter parking lot off of 92nd St. (a.k.a. Swan Blvd ).
Follow the sidewalk to the central archway and turn left into the building. Well-lit parking lot; security; handicap accessible; greeters to direct you. Questions?  Call 414-962-4425

TELLABRATION is a worldwide storytelling event coordinated by the National Storytelling Network and produced locally.  It celebrates the art of storytelling and links storytelling enthusiasts on the same weekend around the globe.  Storytellers well-versed in the art of relating stories by heart will present their best tales for adults. They have been hosting this event since 1990!


And last but not least, get ready for the December Spectacular!

Ex Fabula invites you to Turner Hall on Saturday December 11 at 8 pm for the December Spectacular, a night of true stories told by fellow Milwaukeeans on the theme of “Gifts”. This is a special non-competitive event that will feature new, longer form stories from a slate of proven storytellers. This storyteller lineup will feature some storytellers who have shared particularly compelling stories at previous Ex Fabula events and some special guests.

In keeping with the spirit of our regular season monthly events, which will resume in January, one ten minute storytelling slot will be available to the audience volunteers who put their names in the hat that evening. That lucky randomly selected storyteller will kick off the evening with a story about “Gifts”. The night will feature Ultrashort Stories from the audience and some other surprises.

This event is expected to fill up quickly, so be sure to purchase your tickets in advance. $10 tickets are available at and at the Pabst Theatre box office. The doors will open at 7 pm and seating is general admission.

Ex Fabula was formed in Milwaukee in 2009 with the purpose of connecting storytellers with live audiences on a regular basis. For more information about Ex Fabula events past, present and future, go to All stories told at Ex Fabula events are true, personal, related to a theme and told without notes. Ex Fabula is proud to be sponsored by 91.7 WMSE and 89.7 WUWM.

Frequently Asked Questions about the December Spectacular:
Q: Can I tell a story at this event?
A: There will be one coveted 10 minute storytelling spot available to audience members. We encourage you to prepare a story and put your name in the hat. One person will be chosen and we hope you will be the lucky one who joins the other predetermined storytellers on stage. If your name is not called, we hope you will join us at our regular season events which resume in January and most storytelling spots are available to randomly selected audience volunteers.


Q: How long should the story be?
A: Stories should be 8 to 10 minutes long. There is a timekeeper to help storytellers pace themselves. Be sure not to run over 10 minutes, as we are keeping time and we do not want to have to cut you off.

Q: How do I prepare?
A: We suggest that you know the first line, the last line and 5 to 7 plot points of your story and that you practice telling your story to friends, family, and anyone who will listen. There are more details in the storytelling guidelines.

Q: Can I bring a gift to talk about?
A: Sorry, this is not a show and tell event. No notes, no props – just a story, the stage, and you.

Recap of October 13 event, “Confessions”

by Erick McGinley

After a summer of smaller events, Ex Fabula’s kicked off their 2010-2011 season with an event at the Stonefly Brewing Company; the theme was  “Confessions.”  Stories and ultra shorts included confessions of lying, vandalism, sex and intimacy (and the lack of), embarrassment, nicknames, and even secret identities.  As Adam Carr indicated in his story about his lifelong pattern of stress eating, everyone has something to confess.  And while no one can argue that fact, it is something else entirely to stand in front of a microphone and a crowd of people to tell otherwise silent secrets.

Jean-Andrew boldly confessed her passion for dumpster diving, going on to explain that she works nights as a superhero saving raccoons.  Following her, Bud Dom Bro confessed to the audience a very different passion related to animals in small places as he demonstrated how he traps and exterminates chipmunks.  Rebecca Segal confessed that until the age of 10, she was convinced that Wyoming was a country in Asia.  Cindy Grover told of her love of lying brought on by a trip to the Bahamas that stayed very economical due to her “storytelling” abilities.  Later, Dasha Kelly told of how she found and lost athletic stardom as she moved from high school to college, regretting that she never asked for help when she needed it.  Clyde Winter also shared regrets from a season spent in the Gulf of Alaska.  After a fishing trip that nearly ended in tragedy, he realized he had never thanked the man responsible for saving his life.

Showcasing the storytelling form called “the Du0,” Dan Niederloh and Dana Lovrek brought us back through an evening they shared together as they were just meeting.  Their story was innocent enough, even though Dan had set up their first evening out as a 15th Anniversary celebration at the Sybaris; also read, “sex motel.”  Picked as audience award winner, Brooke Maroldi recounted how during her childhood, she earned a lifetime ban from the Lifesaver Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair.  Later, as a film professional, Brooke worked for the Lifesavers company.  To a boardroom of almost all older men, Brooke told them, “Guys…I have a confession.”  Thankfully for her, they responded that the ban had been lifted.

If you’re looking for more Ex Fabula and storytelling fun, the next events are right around the corner.  On Tuesday, November 9th, Ex Fabula returns to the Bay View Brewhaus for an event with the theme of “Neighbors”. Then on Thursday, November 11th, Ex Fabula will be at a Still Waters Collective event, the ninth “Verbatim: the Power of Speech.”  For more information, see  See you in November!