Mainstage show: You, Me, and the World Makes 3

Montreal’s Confabulation (stories, true as we can tell them) and Ottawa StoryTellers’ (un)told (original stories, told live) join forces to present three tales, Wednesday, September 19, 2018. These true, personal stories about how we relate to ourselves, others, and the world we live in are unique and yet ring with the truth of everyone’s life experiences, yours included. Join Liz, John, and Francesca on their unforgettable journeys through unfolding, uncharted relationship territory. more information


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Special feature presentation: She Speaks…

November 25: She Speaks…
Join us for an Ottawa StoryTellers (un)told special feature presentation and open workshop. Showcasing new works by a roster of all-female storytellers both established and emerging, these remarkable women have compelling tales to tell. Jacqui Du Toit dives into the untold story of the Hottentot Venus, Marta Singh explores the Naked Narrative, Naomi Tessler plunges into a Full Bodied Surrender Through Childbirth, Lia Marie Talia is haunted by a ghostly presence who speaks past secrets and Beverley McKiver explores the legend of the Pied Piper through a lens of the 1960s adoption scoop of aboriginal children.

She Speaks… takes place on Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Arts Court, 2nd Floor, Black Box Studio
8:00 PM
Tickets: $5

Artist bios  

jaqui du toit Jacqui Du Toit
Born and raised in South Africa, Jacqui is known for her animated stories from the motherland. She combines gestures, dancing, signing, and impersonations – she knows how to captivate the audience with more than just words.

martasingh Marta Singh
A passionate storyteller born and raised in Argentina, Marta brings luminous magic, poetic language, and deep emotional impact to traditional, literary, and personal material.

Naomi Naomi Tessler
Naomi has been working with communities globally for ten years. She is passionate about using theatre as a tool for self-empowerment, to improve personal well-being and to raise awareness of environmental and social justice issues.

LiaMarieLia Marie Talia
Lia Marie is a teller and writer with an interest in tales of the past, real and imagined. She has performed with Ottawa StoryTellers at the Billings Estate in Murder & Cocktails, and in OST’s special project Where Are All My Beautiful Things.

Beverley McKiver

Beverley McKiver
Beverley was born in Kenora, Ontario, Anishinabe country, in Northwestern Ontario. The Pied Piper of Turtle Island was first published in Indigenous Links Fall/Winter, 2004. Beverley has also spoken at the Odawa Neeskak Toastmasters Club in Ottawa.

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Your Guide to Storytelling at the 2015 Ottawa Fringe Festival

If you’ve already picked up your copy of the 2005 Ottawa Fringe program, you may have noticed something. There’s a LOT of storytelling going on. In fact, 18 of the 56 shows taking place—one-third of Fringe shows!—have been classified by their producers/creators as storytelling. If you don’t see anything impressive about that, think of it this way: it’s double the number from last year’s Fringe Fest, when 9 out of 60 shows, or 15%, were classified as storytelling.

That being said, I saw a whack load of Fringe shows last year, and I’d say there were several others that could have been called storytelling but weren’t (at least not in the Fringe program, which provides audiences with a one-stop place to find brief descriptions of every show). I sense that there is a growing recognition of what storytelling is, both by Fringe artists and their audiences, that is making it worthwhile for artists to acknowledge their shows as storytelling. It’s in their best interest to accurately project to people the genre/style of the show both as a means to manage expectations and to capitalize on a surging excitement for contemporary and traditional storytelling.

This year storytelling is an especially popular form for artists travelling from out of town. You’ll be able to catch storytelling from artists based in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the USA, along with several artists who are bringing shows from their home bases elsewhere in Ontario.

I plan to catch as many shows as I can, but between volunteer shifts and taking off early for a summer roadtrip, I may not get around to seeing all 18. Here are some of my storytelling picks that I’m most looking forward to catching at the 2015 festival (see the full list of shows at the end):

  • The Untitled Sam Mullins Project | Sam S. Mullins | (Toronto)

I first heard Sam Mullins’s voice on The Moth podcast when he whomped me with his story “Tinfoil Dinosaur.” His sweet, geeky honesty and self-deprecating humour won me over and I’ve been sort of stalking his whereabouts ever since, looking forward to the chance to hear him live.

  • Bursting Into Flames | Martin Dockery | (New York)

Dockery is a personal star of my annual Fringe Festival experience. His solo shows The Bike Trip and The Surprise are exhilarating, and his play Moonlight After Midnight, which won best original at last year’s Ottawa Fringe, was magical and mesmerizing and was stuck in my head for days afterwards.

  • I Think My Boyfriend Should Have and Accent | Emily Pearlman | (Ottawa)

I’ve adored every play of Emily’s I’ve ever seen, where her energy and whimsy nearly knock me off my seat. I’ve had a bit of a preview of this show, having seen part of it which was developed for (un)told: Soul Preservation in September 2014. I can’t wait to see how her fully-developed show has turned out.

  • And of course, there’s the not-to-be-missed but somewhat secret (but you’re allowed to know!) (un)told open mic special edition happening for one night only during Fringe at Club Fringe (located at Club SAW, 67 Nicholas Street). The (un)told open mic normally takes place the fourth Monday of the month and allows Ottawans to take the stage to tell an original story on the nightly theme. This month, this special edition open mic features all Fringe artists telling 5 minute original stories about their travels on the road. Monday, June 22, 8pm |

Planning to catch some shows during the Fringe? Send us your reviews to let us know which storytelling shows are must sees! Tweet, FB message, or email us and we’ll share your reviews on our blog.

Catch the Ottawa Fringe Festival June 17-28, taking place at various venues around downtown Ottawa. Tickets to most shows are a steal at $12 (even less if you get in on half-price show deals) and every penny goes back to the artists. |

See you at the Fringe!

-Liz M., (un)told producer

Full List of Storytelling Shows, in no particular order (details taken from the 2015 Fringe Program)

  • I Think My Boyfriend Should Have an Accent | Emily Pearlman (Ottawa)
  • Crushed | Avalina Corazon (Ottawa)
  • Spotlight On… | Crush Improv (Ottawa)
  • Working Title: Undecided | Drawing Board Productions (Ottawa)
  • O God | Faith and Arts Ottawa (Ottawa)
  • The Sink | A Nick Wade and Whimsimole co-production (Ottawa)
  • Bursting Into Flames | Martin Dockery (New York)
  • Shit I’m in Love with You Again | Crowning Monkey  (Toronto)
  • Keith Brown: Exchange | Keith Brown (London, ON)
  • Lara Loves Leonard | Lara MacMIllian (Stratford, ON)
  • The Orchid and the Crow | Daniel Tobias (Melbourne Australia)
  • The Cockwhisperer…A Love Story | Colette Kendall  (Hamilton, Ontario)
  • Japanese Samurai Don Quixote Challenging Against English Giant Windmills | Hiroshi Shimuzu (Tokyo, Japan)
  • The Untitled Sam Mullins Project | Sam S. Mullins  (Toronto)
  • Newfound Histories | A Vagrant (Toronto)
  • The Inventor of All Things | Jem Rolls (Edinburgh, UK)
  • Threads | Tonya Jone Miller (Portland, USA)
  • Nantucket | Mark Kenward (Oakland, USA)
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Full line-up announced for our special edition Fringe show!

As we hope you’ve heard by now, our next monthly open mic is a little different this June. For starters, it’s at a different venue from usual: we’ll be a few blocks away at Club SAW, at 67 Nicholas Street. The reason for this? We’re relocating (for this month only!) to the heart and soul of this year’s 2015 Ottawa Fringe Festival.

We’re pumped to be the night-time, complimentary entertainment at the Club Fringe, AKA the beer tent. The lager and the show reviews will be flowing in this venue most nights of the 10 day festival, and we’ll be serving up stories on the Monday, June 22.

A further difference for this month’s show is that it’s not quite the open mic format that we’ve had in the past – this time, it’s all Fringe artists who were invited to pitch us their stories on the theme On the Road. We’re excited about this format and the performers we’ve got lined up, who include:

Marissa Caldwell, who you can catch in Two Girls, One Corpse at Academic Hall

Martin Dockery, who brings his solo show Bursting Into Flames to Studio 311

Laurie Fyffe, who stars in The Secret Life of Emily/Frances at the Bytown Museum

Patrick Gauthier, Fringe Festival Director who has a few scintillating stories from his time on the Fringe circuit

Sandy Gibson, a performer of many talents (including puppetry!) who you can catch in Heart Puppetations at Studio 311

Greg Houston, our wildcard jack-of-all-comic-trades who you can catch at various open mic comedy events around town

Tania Levy, who has a long list of directing and other credits for shows that have toured Fringes across Canada

Emily Pearlman, whose original storytelling show I Think My Boyfriend Should Have an Accent takes place at ODD (Ottawa Dance Directive) Box

Hiroshi Shimizu, who comes all the way from Japan to stage Japanese Samurai Don Quixote Challenging Against English Giant Windmills!!! at Arts Court Theatre

Jocelyn Todd who you can catch in Damaged Goods at Arts Court Theatre

To RSVP to (un)told: On the Road, visit our Facebook event:

For information about Fringe venues and schedules, visit

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More storytelling

Looking for more storytelling around Ottawa and elsewhere? You’ve come to the right place.

Ottawa StoryTellers (OST) is your go-to hub for all things storytelling in the city. Holding dozens of events each year, including traditional and contemporary storytelling, workshops, theatre, and events for children and family. OST is a community-based organization of storytellers and listeners and always welcomes new members! Fans of (un)told might be interested in checking out the following events:

Speaking Out/Speaking In: A variety of storytellers, local and visiting, each bringing their own unique show to the stage. December to June at the NAC’s 4th Stage.

Story Swap: Also an open mic format, this is another opportunity for new and seasoned storytellers to share their stories, or for listeners to get a mixed bag of storytelling each night. The first Monday of every month.

Storytelling at the Tea Party: A cozy venue with intimate storytelling. The 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month.

Seasonal events at Billings Estate Historic Site and Bytown Museum, including an annual murder-mystery, old time tent show, and stories of early Ottawa. See the website for details!

Want more storytelling at home or on the go? Check out these links to radio shows and podcasts that the (un)told folks are big fans of. We think you’ll like them, too.

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That’s a wrap for 2014…see you at an open mic in 2015!

We closed off our first year of existence with our regular open mic at the Heart & Crown Byward. Our tellers told stories of dares and dreams, taking us on a hot air balloon ride from hell, through the hazy halls of Watson’s Mill, and front row for a sweet engagement story.

We’re off in December, but return for another season of open mics in January 2015. As usual, we meet the 4th Monday of the month at 8pm in the Black Rose Room at the H&C.

We’ve set our themes, so get excited and reserve your spot early to tell a story at an upcoming show!

January 26 – RESOLUTIONS (we’re taking an extra long winter break)

February 23 – #FAIL

March 23 – FOOT IN MOUTH



June 22 – theme TBA!

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Announcing our new feature storytelling series launching this fall at Arts Court!

We’ve been working on something bold over the past few months! After several fantastic, room-busting open mics this spring, we’re unveiling three exclusive evenings of storytelling featuring a mix of some of Ottawa’s most exciting emerging storytellers and seasoned performers with a penchant for mixing storytelling and other art forms. Join us for three evenings of stories born of dreams and visions, passions and obsessions.

All shows happen in the Arts Court Studio (that’s the cozy, cabaret seating performance venue right outside the Arts Court Theatre!). Come to one show or all three – each one features a different line-up of performers! Tickets to any of the shows can be purchased in advance through EventBrite or at the door.

Thursday, September 11: Soul Preservation

Four storytellers and four stories about the art of survival, protection, and perseverance. Our four tellers will wow you, challenge you, and take you to places you’ve never even imagined. BONUS EVENT! We’re lining up a pre-show panel on the Art of Solo Performance to kick off the start to this new series. The full panel line-up will be announced soon!

Thursday, October 9: Exposed

Personal stories of revelation, triumph, and acceptance. Presented in partnership with our friends at Jer’s Vision, an ensemble of storytellers will make your heart ache, sing, laugh, and yearn.

Thursday, November 13: The Horror Within

An improvised storytelling invention inspired by the macabre writings of H.P. Lovecraft. This show features the exotic talents of out-of-towners Dave Morris, Missie Peters, and Steven Ray Orr (Victoria, B.C.).

Stay tuned to the blog and our Facebook page for the latest info on our feature series as we reveal more details!

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We’ve set our themes for the next four open mic shows! Put your thinkin’ caps on and get your stories ready!

We’re back this fall with four more open mic shows! As always, stories should be about 5 minutes (we don’t mind though if you go a bit longer – as long as it’s worth it!). Your story should fit in with the theme somehow – loose interpretations accepted! Pitch us your story at


8pm @ Heart & Crown (the Market) in the Black Rose room

September 22: FIGHT OR FLIGHT

8pm @ location  TBA

October 27: HAUNTED

8pm @ location  TBA


November 24: DREAMS

8pm @ location  TBA

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Un (told) Series Act THREE: DISASTERS

Un(told) Series: A monthly Ottawa event featuring original stories told live

KateBenLizKimAmazonrachelmaxMaria From rock climbing adventures in the Adirondacks, to Grandma’s “fucking shoes right up”,  to eye patches and bonehead boyfriends, to revisiting the fall of Saigon, to 600 pounds of pure motorcycle break down, to Calgary’s catastrophic flood, to getting  covered in your cousins pee, and finally being introduced to the inner workings of an over accomplished douche, the new un (told) story tellers  (captured above)– put on by the Ottawa Story Tellers (OST) – took the audience down quite a exclusive path.

Disaster was the theme of this weeks un (told) series and although we all learned that a good disaster tale can be genuinely entertaining, we also all learned that it can be subversively profound and strangely relatable.

If you were unable to make it, or you were able to make it but would like a quick recap of the “disastrous” details you’re in luck. Our team recorded some of the details from the show and posted it here just for you.

1. Want to know where all the disastrous magic happened? Daily Grind

We were located at the Daily Grind: an art café where you can purchase anything from fresh-squeezed juice and Loose-leaf Teas to full-fledged breakfasts and dinners. Oh and did we mention everything at the Daily Grind is 100% gluten free with a selection of vegetarian and vegan treats as well? Can I get a HECK YES?

2. Want to know who hosted the “disastrous” evening? Ruthanne

None other than Ruthanne Edward; a professional story teller, story slam master and vintage fashion enthsiast.

3. Want to know more a little bit more about the disaster tales? KateScreen Shot 2014-05-04 at 11.18.53 PM BenScreen Shot 2014-05-06 at 8.11.05 AM LizScreen Shot 2014-05-04 at 11.40.15 PM KimScreen Shot 2014-05-06 at 8.33.34 AM AmazonScreen Shot 2014-05-06 at 8.39.01 AM rachel Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 11.15.17 PM maxScreen Shot 2014-05-06 at 11.30.37 PM MariaScreen Shot 2014-05-07 at 12.14.34 AM


4. Care to see what 30% of the audience looked like all blurry and disaster faced?Audience

You’re in luck. I captured this beauty just for you… I would say approximately 30% of the blurry audience is represented here. You will just have to come to the next event if you are interested in seeing the other 70% (Note to other 70% please return)


Well gang, what a series this was. Thanks for everyone coming out and a big thanks to all the story tellers who shared their disaster stories with us this evening. I can honestly say I feel a tad more tethered to you all now.

If you want to catch our next show we’ll be back at the Daily Grind on May 26th at 8:00. The theme will be THIRD BASE and we hope to see to there!

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 12.05.29 AM

This month’s story has been TOLD,


Ottawa Storytellers,

Un (told) Series

P.S If I have misspelled anyones name I apologize, I just go with  what comes to me. Feel free to comment or send me a message if you would like anything changed!

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Un (told) Series Act Two: UNDERDOGS

Un(told) Series: A monthly Ottawa event featuring original stories told live From a paranoid dog, over to a Jam-Jamboree, through three sets of hurdles and on route to St. John’s just in time to meet a blind lamb survivor named Hattie, the new un (told) story series – put on by the Ottawa Story Tellers (OST) – took the audience on quite a journey. The theme of the night was underdogs and everything you have read up until now took place on stage the night of March 24, 2014 at the Daily Grind. If you were unable to make it, or you were able to make it but would like a quick recap of the night you’re in luck. Our team recorded some of the magic from the show and posted it here just for you.

SETTING THE STAGE Setting the stage for a good story night is key. It requires:

1. A Great Space Daily Grind We were located at the Daily Grind: an art café where you can purchase anything from lattes and beers to full-fledged breakfasts and dinners. Oh and did we mention the Daily Grind also bakes their own bread with locally milled natural flours. Can I get a whoop whoop?

2. A Great Host We had an incredibly entertaining and witty host for the evening who goes by the name of Ruthanne Edward. As you can probably tell, Ruthanne is not afraid to take things literally…. literally. Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 9.57.51 PM 3. An eclectic group of listeners AudienceCheck out these listeners… a story is nothing without listeners! OUR JOURNEY As was mentioned above, our audience members went on quite a journey thanks to five volunteer storytellers who made the night possible by sharing with us their best UNDERDOG stories. From paranoid dogs to blind survivor lambs, the night went a little something like this:

Story: Willow, my crazy collie & Storyteller: Ruthanne Edward

Host Ruth

Our host started the night off with quite a “trip” and by the end of said “trip” we were fairly confident that the participants walked away with a new found piece of advice and that was this: When throwing away your special brownies – in those rare cases where throwing out brownies is understandable – make sure to ensure you throw them someplace your dog can’t get into them. Unless that is you are up for leading a paranoid dog therapy session.

Story: Jam- Jamboree & Storyteller: Amazon SyrenST Amazon

Amazon Syren was up next. Her underdog story reminded us to never live an incompetent life as a result of someone else’s ego… even if it means taking on Mrs. Phillips, the English teacher, in the annual jam-jamboree.

Story: Because there was no chess club & Storyteller: Kate HuntST Kate

Kate Hunt took one for the team and shared an embarrassing, but incredibly endearing story about how she tried to make hurdles her portal to fitting in during grade school. You go girl – love MOM.

Story: Didn’t get my grant, how will I drink this year? & Storyteller: Glen Nuotio

ST Glen

Glen’s tale transported us all the way over to St. Johns as he revisited a night he had at the Ol’ Ship Inn. What happens in St. John’s stays in St. John’s, right Glen? Well what if it involves stealing Jan Arden’s birthday cake… then what?

 Story: The unfortunate tale of Maggot head Hattie & Storyteller: Caitlyn Paxson

ST Caitlyn                                  

Caitlyn (the artistic director of OST) was nice enough to let most of us finish eating our treats from the Daily Grind before closing the night with an unsettling yet reassuring story about a blind lamb named Hattie. A story that started with a dream of becoming a shepherdess suddenly transformed into a nightmare involving a blind lamb named Hattie and some maggots. But don’t worry, thanks to a new FB page that features top monthly lambs, Caitlyn has recently discovered that little Hattie is still kickin’ (and apparently winning awards!).


From paranoid dogs all the way to blind survivor lambs, I think it is safe to say that the audience left the second un(told) series evening cheering for the underdog; the paranoid underdog, the jamboree underdog, the hurdling underdog, the Jan Arden cake thief underdog, and of course the little lamb Hattie underdog. Thanks for everyone who made the journey possible; the tellers, the audience, the great staff at the Daily Grind, and of course OST for hosting.

If you want to catch our next show we’ll be back at the Daily Grind on April 28th at 8:00. The theme will be DISASTERS and we hope to see to there! That's all folkds This month’s story has been TOLD,


Ottawa Storytellers,

Un (told) Series

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