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Consumed: Stories of hunger and appitites

Zak Porter / The Arbiter

The Rose Room, a secluded upstairs ballroom just off Idaho Street in the heart of downtown Boise, grew quiet as the first storyteller, Cheryl Maddalena, took the stage.  Paper streamers and chandeliers hung low over the packed audience of about one hundred listeners, reflecting green, red and yellow lights from the street outside.

Maddalena stepped up to the microphone, took a deep breath and launched into
her story.

September’s Story Story Night’s theme was “CONSUMED: Stories of Hunger and Appetites” and showcased the talents of three featured storytellers, two art-fusion pieces and stories from four volunteer audience members.

Maddalena opened the night with a story about her experiences with poetry slams and childbirth, then passed the torch to New Zealand native Brent Southcombe, who told about everything from being a world class chef to providing job training for refugees.

After Southcombe was Anna Demetriades, an Idaho native who spoke about her stepfather’s great effort to care for his family and his struggle with cancer.

“I really liked hearing the way Anna grew up, it’s so different than most people’s stories,” said Emma Arnold, a storyteller who performed one of the art-fusion pieces.

This month was the first time Story Story Night added art-fusion to the lineup.  First, storyteller Emma Arnold teamed up with musician Jack Loyd Gish, who played the acoustic guitar and sang, telling a story about finding what is most important in one’s life.

“That music piece by Emma and Jack was so moving, it kind of shows you how songs and stories work together,” said Jessica Holmes, host of the show. Next, Libby Schmoeger, a dancer from the Trey McIntyre Project, performed a dance choreographed by Chanel Da Silva to the tune of a story written by Holmes.

“The fusion thing that Story Story is doing with the songwriters and the dancers, I think it’s a really cool way to express a story, and I’m always reminded that there’s so many ways to tell a story, in addition to just going up there and saying it,” Arnold said. “I love Story Story night for that reason.”

At the end of the show, four names were drawn from a hat of volunteer audience members to compete in a story slam, with the three featured storytellers acting as judges.  One of the names drawn was Boise State student Matthew Weinberg, a senior studying mathematics education, who told a humorous tale about the final day of his vegetarianism while he was hiking in the

“I was so nervous,” Weinberg said. “It’s intimidating standing up there on stage and not being able to see people’s faces.”

Next month’s Story Story Night will be on Oct. 29, and the theme will be “PICKLE: Stories of Being Stuck in a Jam.”