It’s story time, Philadelphia.
The culmination of anecdotes and accounts told throughout the season, First Person Arts’ Grand Slam pits winners from First Person Arts’ monthly StorySlams against one another in a championship round.
Set for this Friday, May 16 at Underground Arts in the Callowhill neighborhood, the event sees its competitors vying for the title of “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia.”
Drawing on significant personal experiences, knack for embellishment and dramatic timing know-how, storytellers will try to sway the judges with their most hilarious, tearjerking or hair-raising personal tales.
As with all StorySlam events, the Grand Slam revolves around a nightly theme — this year, the theme is “Out There,” which ought to illicit some seriously creative stories.
The evening is hosted by comedian Corey Cohen, and the lineup includes Steve Clark, Kat Duggan, Dave Hillis, Devon Kreider, Andrew Panebianco, Justine Parks Cuny, Teresa Marquard, Matthew Miller, Anissa Weinraub, Marjorie Winther, and Freya Zork.
Rather than source the audience as judge and jury — as in the monthly StorySlams — three teams of judges will decide whose story beats all. The judges panel includes Elisabeth Perez-Luna from WHYY; Kristen Tripolitis, Jared Scott, and Meg Dibley from Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners; and Kathleen Volk Miller, Dan Driscoll, and Bryan Dickey of Drexel University’s Painted Bride Quarterly.
And, for the first time ever, a $250 cash prize will be awarded to the Grand Slam winner, adding a nice purse to the traditional winnings of free StorySlam admission for life and, of course, bragging rights.
Tickets for the final slam of the season are $20, and available online.
The event does have a history of selling out every year, so buy tickets in advance to witness this excellent display of spoken word.
First Person Arts’ Grand Slam
When: Friday, May 16, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.
Where: Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street
More info: www.firstpersonarts.org