“And Our Next Storyteller Is…Sue Schoeppel!”

Oh, God.  I am a MORON.

Well, not a classic moron making epically bad decisions like driving drunk, buying cute shoes that hurt (um, just one pair but they’re really cute), working at a publishing house and turning down Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (twelve did!) or going into an abandoned house alone to look for my missing friends when Michael Meyers had escaped yet again – it’s like eleven times now, right?  Okay, I did buy an iPhone X, but it wasn’t my fault; I was lured.Continue reading ““And Our Next Storyteller Is…Sue Schoeppel!””

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Sculptures and Stories Tour #1 – Are you ready?

Fresh air, art, and stories is a great way to spend your Saturday morning.

Ex Fabula and Sculpture Milwaukee are partnering for Sculptures & Stories TOMORROW, July 21st at 10:30a. Sculptures and Stories will explore some of the 21 exhibits from global artists.

“Art is incredible in that no two people experience it the same way. It evokes a personal response. Combining that experience with the Ex Fabula storytelling will create a particularly personal and unique experience for the participants,” Maggie Kuhn Jacobus, owner MKJ Communications and Sculpture Milwaukee committee co-chair.

Our tour will feature stories from Elaine Maly and Shawn Mitchell, plus you’ll be able to submit your own UltraShort via social media.

Tickets are available here


Vote now for Season 10 Themes

We’re prepping for a new season and we need YOU to help pick us themes for Season 10 StorySlams.

The following list was generated by the Slam Lords (a.k.a. Programming Team), a group of volunteers who plan our monthly Slams. They selected these from a master list of themes suggested by audience members. Now, we’d like to hear what you think so please vote!

Continue reading “Vote now for Season 10 Themes”


The Force was with us on May 4th as Ex Fabula took over the stage at Milwaukee Central Library’s Centennial Hall for the MKE Big Read Bilingual StorySlam. This year Ex Fabula was pleased to partner with Milwaukee Public Library for the 2017 MKE Big Read and our Storytellers showed some amazing “Courage” as they shared stories on this theme.Continue reading “MKE Big Read: COURAGE”

Crowd Shot from Ex Fabula Green Story Slam

Meet the”Our Little Secret” Storytellers

The secret’s out! Our Spectacular little secret! This Saturday, January 28th, we’ll take Ex Fabula to Alverno’s Pitman Theatre for the New Year Spectacular with the theme “Our Little Secret.” Unlike our monthly StorySlams, this special event features 10-minute curated stories and is an afternoon (yep, it’s a 3 pm show) not to be missed.

However, before anyone takes the stage, we’d be remiss if we didn’t introduce the awesome Spectacular Storytellers.Continue reading “Meet the”Our Little Secret” Storytellers”


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

“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.

Recap of “Theory & Practice”

by Ex Fabula blogger Krista Lanphier

photos courtesy of Kat Berger.

Ex Fabula’s most recent storytelling event was held on Tuesday April 12th at the warm and inviting Bay View Brewhaus. The theme of the evening was “Theory and Practice,” and the event quickly became an example of storytelling theory in practice!

Paul Crowley, Grant Hagen, Amie Losi, Michael Heider, Rebecca Segal, Patrick Schmitz, Linda Muza,  Alicia Wahl and Kristia Wildflower had their names picked out of the hat, thus earning the chance to share a true tale on stage. In the end, it was an extremely close race for a chance to appear at the season finale event, Ex Fabula ALL STARS.

We were entertained by Paul’s story of his endless attempts to quit his job working for a Renaissance fair. Quitting should have been easy, but his boss who couldn’t take no for an answer.

Next came Grant – who talked about his and his wife’s memories of how they saw their first two daughters married off to wonderful men. He then went on to share the story of his third daughter who, while teaching English to monks in Nepal, decided upon an impromptu marriage to a local man.

Amie reminisced about her sunny beach days in her home state of California….and then shared how she moved to Wisconsin with her three children all under the age of 6, in the middle of heavy snow, to help her husband fulfill his dream. In the end, Amie dream of having someone to love and cherish her also came true in its own special way.

After reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road at the ripe age of 16, Michael ran off to New York City in search of a new, exciting life. He found himself shacked up in an apartment in Greenwich Village with no heat and a drunken owner. One day he wakes up to an Irish Setter taking a poo just 6 inches from his head, and decides immediately to find a way back to Milwaukee. He makes it, but only after many days “on the road” –which included getting arrested in Chicago.

Rebecca shared memories of studying in France along with a group of students that hailed from all over the world. On one sleepy night, an Irish student decides to stage a party at an abandoned factory. Rebecca was sure it was going to be a boring night, but after a night of drinking alcohol, jamming to music and running away from the police, it ended up being the party of her life.

Patrick then recounted the time he came into the big city for an audition and accidentally ended up at Art’s Performing Center instead of the Performing Arts Center; after an amusing encounter with the bouncer, Patrick eventually realized that Art’s was actually a strip club and made it to his real audition.

Linda told her angst-ridden story of how her only son out of 6 children, who grew up in a “world of women,”  decided to join the army. After he was stationed in Iraq, she is heartbroken by the irrevocable changes she sees in her beloved only son…and only wishes she could have him back, away from the “world of men.”

Alicia reminisced about how, as a technician for the Santa Fe Opera, she and her roommates couldn’t get any relief from a pestering neighbor until they devised a cop-proof strategy of living – and partying – that involved tie-dye, pajamas, pizza, root beer and muppets.

And finally, Kristia told of her story of how she had planned for months to attend a writer’s workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico, but after missing her flight, found herself making new friends at Chicago O’Hare over the course of 10 hours. She never made it to Mexico…but she did find new friends.

At the end of the night, the audience voted and selected Amie Losi as the evening’s Audience Favorite.

In theory, you’ve wanted to be at every Ex Fabula event this season, but we know that in practice, those intentions don’t always work out. But don’t fear! At Ex Fabula ALL STARS, you can hear new tales from the storytellers that were voted Audience Favorite as each event.  Ex Fabula ALL STARS will take place Thursday June 2nd, 8 pm at Turner Hall Ballroom. The appropriately mysterious theme will be  ‘Secrets & Lies’. Last year’s event was packed, so buy your tickets early!


Seemed like a great idea at the time? Ex Fabula wants to hear it!

You’ve planned, you’ve envisioned and you’ve fantasized about that moment. You were sure it was going to work out just as you had hoped….What happened? Did it turn out as planned? Tell your true story -or just come to listen- at the next Ex Fabula event at 8 pm on Tuesday April 12th at The Bay View Brewhaus, 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue. The night’s theme is Theory and Practice.

Think your true, personal story is so “out there” that no one would believe you, or so universal that everyone will feel like they’ve been there? Come to Ex Fabula! Dozens of people will be there to lend their ears and their support as you share your very own story on stage.  Those who are interested in vying for a storytelling spot on Tuesday April 12th should put their names in the hat by 7:45 pm. Would-be storytellers should prepare stories that tie into the night’s theme. Be sure to practice reciting your tale before the event (friends and pets make for a great audience). On stage, you must tell your story without notes and within five-minutes– there will be a cut-off cue if a story runs over the time limit.  The audience favorite of the night will have the opportunity to tell a story at the ALL STARS event in early June.

Speaking of ALL STARS, Ex Fabula fans should go to http://www.pabsttheater.org/show/exfabulaallstars and purchase their tickets for Ex Fabula ALL STARS, which will take place at Turner Hall on Thursday June 2nd. This event will feature brand new, ten-minute stories told by favorite storytellers as voted by audience members from our past monthly events.

Keeping within the theme of the evening, Secrets and Lies, Ex Fabula will also reveal a secret of its own: the trailer for a special, upcoming storytelling project starring a notable, terminal Milwaukeean. Put an excellent theory to practice and don’t miss the ALL STARS event!

For more information about Ex Fabula, go to www.ExFabula.com.