Five years ago, a group of residents took the stage one-by-one to tell a story to a room full of friends and strangers and a tradition was born: Scranton StorySlam.
On Saturday, June 3, 10 storytellers take the stage for the 16th StorySlam, which is the third version of the event to fall under the Scranton Fringe Festival’s umbrella of programming.
The slam’s theme, “Taking the Fifth,” is a nod to the event’s fifth anniversary and also gives storytellers a myriad of directions to take, said Fringe board member Camille Reinecke, who helps to coordinate the festival.
“The way I interpret it is something that was withheld … you refrained from saying something and vowed never to speak of it again,” Reinecke said. “But, people can interpret it however they want, and it’s exciting to see what they come up with. It’s interesting how completely different the stories could be with the same theme.”
The show takes place inside Craftsmen Hall on the third floor Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton. Doors open at 8 p.m. and stories begin at 8:30. Tickets are $7 and proceeds benefit Scranton Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com in advance or at the door.
The Slam follows the same format as in past years. Community members from actors to writers to comedians share a true, five-minute-long story without notes in front of an audience and a small group of judges that can be taken in any direction from poignant to hilarious. Actor and DJ Conor McGuigan will emcee the evening.
Those slated to share their stories include writer and actor Joe McGurl, motivational speaker and writer Garry Melville, writer Alicia Grega, who was part of the very first StorySlam, and more. Like in past years, two “wild card” storytellers will be chosen from the crowd to tell their stories, too. The winner will take home a “Slammy,” the official StorySlam trophy, and $50.
Some stories will break hearts, some will evoke laughter and some will simply make the audience smile but all stories will connect the storytellers with the audience, and Reinecke said that’s what the evening is all about.
“I love this event because it gives a diverse group of storytellers the opportunity to take the audience on an adventure,” Reinecke said. “They only get five minutes, but by the end of the night, you know so much about everyone up there. Especially this one — it’s like you’re learning their deep dark secrets.”
— gia mazur


If you go
What: Scranton StorySlam: Taking The Fifth
When: Saturday, June 3; 8 p.m. doors open, 8:30 p.m. stories start
Where: Craftsmen Hall, third floor, Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets are $7 and proceeds benefit Scranton Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com in advance or at the door.

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