In the words of Verbalists founder Wesley K. Andrews, “Verbalists is modern storytelling in Seattle. Fans of David Sedaris, Garrison Keillor, or This American Life will love this ongoing project of original storytelling.”
The process for any episode of Verbalists goes beyond a simple public reading. As Mr. Andrews notes, “Verbalists exists to showcase and develop the craft of modern storytelling. Not only do we showcase stories in both live and printed (and now audio!) formats, we will also work with the authors to make their stories the best it can be.”
All selected storytellers meet with Verbalists producer Wesley K. Andrews either in person or by Skype and talk about their work and method in a no-pressure environment. From there, the development process moves into the craft of presenting a story before an audience. Long-time theatrical director John Vreeke works directly with the authors to clarify their pieces and fine-tune performances with a series of rehearsals designed to hone the storytelling craft and present the stories in the best way possible to an audience.
From there it is on to public performance. We at The Star were happy to see the results of this process and participate in this Arts Crush event at 826 Seattle ourselves by recording the evening’s performances for our readers and listeners. It offered us a chance to put our money where are mouth is and to help directly promote some of the fine artists in our region to a larger audience.
Readers on October 12 and 13 were:
Bonnie Ditlevsen reading What Is Lost Behind the Wall, a vacationing American’s fleeting view of totalitarian psychology.
Mateo Cruz reading The Devil Was An Angel Once, a haunting retrospective of childhood shame.
Cyan James reading The Pillow Watch, a work of short fiction about working as a professional comforter in a hospice.
Becky Bruhn reading My Last Date, a funny and poetic examination of dating after divorce.
Wesley K. Andrews reading Three Kinds of Lucky, an excerpt from his full-length work The Riverboat Runs Aground.
You may listen below, or you may download the show directly from the Internet Archive. Either way, enjoy this sampling of some of the finest storytelling in Seattle.
Omar Willey was born at St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Seattle and grew up near Lucky Market on Beacon Avenue. He believes Seattle is the greatest city on Earth and came to this conclusion by travelling much of the Earth. He is a junior member of Lesser Seattle and, as an oboist, does not blow his own trumpet. Contact him at omar [at] seattlestar [dot] net