Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: Story District 25th Birthday Bash

To honor Story District's 25th anniversary, storytellers from years past return to the stage, including Alexandra Petri.

Story District

Amy Saidman floundered a bit after giving up her career as a teacher and before discovering her true calling — nurturing and promoting the art of live storytelling.

It was a year or so before the turn of the new millennium when Saidman stumbled on a young, upstart operation that, over the previous few years, had begun producing regular stage shows at venues around town.

It boasted a motley crew of everyday Washingtonians willingly revealing personal of details about themselves to a room full of strangers.

In time, Saidman would go from serving as a program coordinator to becoming the artistic executive director of the nonprofit organization founded as The Speak Easy but eventually renamed Story District. The fact that it still exists after the first two tumultuous pandemic years is cause for celebration.

To honor the occasion of Story District’s 25th anniversary, Saidman has enlisted eight “favorite storytellers” from years past to return to the stage, including Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri, a veteran of the organization going back to its SpeakEasyDC days.

Petri will return to share “her unique approach to gift-giving and marriage proposals.” She’ll be joined by a lineup that includes:

Caitlin Reilly, sharing “Surprise Party,” which documents “how badly she wants someone to throw her a surprise party.”

Graham Campbell with “Lou Called,” recounting that time in college when a cryptic message and his roommate threatened to interfere with his mission to lose his virginity.

JR Denson sharing “Concussed,” about that time when no one, including JR himself, realized he was suffering from a concussion.

Antwan Perry’s “Edibles,” reliving the night the storyteller “accidentally eats an edible in Vegas and promptly loses his mind.”

Mike Kane’s “Sexual Adventures,” in which the protagonist’s “attempt at being sexually adventurous with his wife goes awry.”

Yasmin Elhady with “Circle of Life,” documenting her decision to reject standard medical practices to carve out her own path when giving birth to her first child.”

Jenn Kamara, whose “Worst Job Ever” will offer a first-hand look into the world of “junk work.”

Once the last story is told, the celebration will migrate to the Lincoln Theatre lobby for an afterparty “like it’s 1997,” with desserts from Georgetown Cupcake, games, prizes, and music from the era spun by DJ Sugarpants.

Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. The Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25. Visit or call 202-888-0050.

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