Outside, the late October evening was bracing and clear, while inside, a crowd gathered around the stage at Know Theatre, generating warmth. It was about to be Cincinnati’s first experience with TRUE Theatre, a new dramatic adventure in unscripted storytelling accompanied by an accordion. I settled in my seat, enjoying the hum of a lively venue and happily tucked into a beer. That was one moment. The next, I was rapt, listening.
The evening’s theme was fear. One storyteller retraced the brutal steps of her double-lung transplant. Another described being diagnosed with an aggressive, likely terminal cancer and his walk with God.
Another, a difficult childhood with a mentally ill parent. Equally searing were stories told about the fear that comes with running a business, having other people depend on you for their livelihood. And the fear that comes with roller coasters.
These stories, very candidly and honestly shared, were personal, chilling … and true.
TRUE Theatre co-creators David Levy and Jeff Groh� agree that campfire-style storytelling was a big part of what was missing from the local theater scene; classics, standards and edgy new work were all being done. There’s been a resurgence of interest, Jeff pointed out, in stories, evidenced not only by storytelling at the Moth Theatre in New York City, but also This American Life and StoryCorps’ anecdotes heard on National Public Radio.
TRUE theatre presents TRUEbeginnings Monday at Know Theatre of Cincinnati. Go here for the full interview, performance times and ticket information.