- The Magazine
“We’re on the right track. I’m feeling good about the future,” says Story District’s Amy Saidman of the organization she started over 23 years ago and that has long reigned as Washington’s premiere live storytelling entity.
That is, until the pandemic put an end to the kind of live interaction critical to the success of Story District’s shows, particularly by fostering a sense of congenial camaraderie that helps speakers feel safe and confident enough to share their personal stories in a roomful of strangers.
After months spent on major restructuring and strategic planning, Saidman is relaunching the organization and its signature monthly programming series, with shows presented for the foreseeable future as livestreams from Union Stage along with streaming partner Mandolin.
“We’re going to be on a stage again [with] great sound, lighting, video quality. And there won’t be connection issues,” she says.
The storytellers for each month’s show will all be together in the otherwise empty venue. In March, it will be a mix of women and girls for the second annual Women’s History Month event. April will offer “Which Way Is Mecca: Stories About Being Muslim in America.” Saidman is still nailing down the specific programming to come in subsequent months, the popular annual LGBTQ-focused OutSpoken included.
But the series kicks off this month with the 13th annual “Sucker For Love.” “It’s an interesting, different way to spend Valentine’s Day, which is a dumb holiday,” Saidman says. “We don’t take it too seriously. And it focuses on both successes and failures in love. It’s sweet and silly.”
Among this year’s speakers is Krylios, best known as the announcer of The Ask Rayceen Show, who “learns what it’s like to be in a good relationship.”
Also on tap: a witchy dating tale from Chris Cary, a set-up inspired by Ijeoma Njaka’s love for rom-coms, the time Jason Pagilinan and his fiance almost threw in the towel over towels, Jillian Hughes’ mishap with a condom, and SaKeithia Rogers’ risky effort to find true love.
Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 plus $5.75 in fees for the livestream recording, available for 24 hours, with additional packages available for $35, $45, and $70 plus fees, providing donations to Story District and Union Stage’s employee fund along with an exclusive post-show Q&A. Visit www.storydistrict.com.
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