Hannah McCarthy

The Ex Fabula season begins

The live storytelling outlet opens its fifth season under the theme "Trust Me," inviting willing audience participants to put their names in a hat and share their tales. Executive director Megan McGhee shares her tips for a great story.

By - Oct 14th, 2013 08:40 pm

627There are dozens of theater companies in the Milwaukee area, each with a unique flavor. However, theater is where you listen to other people’s stories. Ex Fabula provides a place for people to tell their own stories.

“Ex Fabula events feature stories told without any notes which are slightly less scripted than poetry tends to be; it’s a little closer in style to the kind of storytelling that takes place every day in break rooms, during mealtimes, and at social events,” explains Executive Director Megan McGee.

Ex Fabula will open their 2013 season with the theme “Trust Me.” Nine people will be selected from the interested attendees to speak at this event, and the crowd favorites will have an opportunity to compete in the Ex Fabula Spectacular at the end of the season.

The premise behind all Ex Fabula shows is as simple as their tagline: Story. Stage. You. Each event has a specific theme and anyone has the opportunity to be chose to tell their story. It’s as easy as putting your name into a hat at the beginning of a performance and waiting to be chosen. McGee recognizes that first time story tellers may be apprehensive. “Know that your story is worth telling, and as long as you are genuine the audience is very supportive and encouraging.”

There will be eight performances this season, with themes ranging from “Bad Company” to “Fool Proof” and all sorts of other inspiringly ambiguous topics. McGee stresses that participating is simple. “The best way to prepare is to come see an event so you know what to expect; then, look over the themes for future events and see what stories come to mind. Before you get up on stage, have an idea of how you’ll start your tale … and what your last line will be, so you have a target to aim for.” 

Previous storytelling participant, Tom Dillon. Photo courtesy Ex Fabula.

Previous storytelling participant, Tom Dillon. Photo by Kat Schleicher

Each event features a variety of ways to tell a story, with one and two person tales being the most popular. McGee also hopes to see more of the “rare treats” – The Rashoman and The Terkel styles of storytelling. Rashoman refers to two people telling the same story from different viewpoints while Terkel involves an interviewer and interviewee.

Ex Fabula was created in 2009 to provide the Milwaukee community with a place to share stories in a way that was not yet available. McGee, along with friends Adam Weise, Amy Schleicher, Leah Delaney, and Matt Sabljak, recognized the power of personal stories and established a way for people to share them with the larger community. Since its creation, Ex Fabula has hosted events at most of the major venues in the city, such as Turner Hall. Not only do the variety of topics makes for an experience unlike any other, but the change in venue provides the audience with a new experience at each show they attend. Ex Fabula has also added a new chapter to their story with the addition of a free podcast on their website.

An evening of impromptu stories on the theme “Trust Me” will take place at The Times Cinema on Tuesday, October 15. Doors open at 6:30 PM and the show starts at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $7 in cash only. All proceeds help fund future storytelling events. 

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