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SpeakeasyDC

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Services, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Performing Arts, Theater

Mission: Through the art of autobiographical story performance, SpeakeasyDC (formerly Washington Storytellers Theatre) gives voice to the authentic experience of ordinary people, provides a creative outlet, builds community, and promotes cross-cultural understanding. We have a three-part mission: to produce high quality storytelling performances; provide extensive training and performance opportunities; and preserve the oral tradition, while experimenting with new definitions and expressions that speak to and enrich contemporary life.

Geographic areas served: DC, MD, VA

Programs: Produce monthly storytelling performances that encourages local participation in storytelling and nurtures newly developing performers

produce series of workshops and educational programs to support and develop the local storytelling community

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My husband and I attended "Logic, Luck, and Love" for your first Valentine's Day as a married couple.

It was the perfect evening - edgy, funny, touching. We hope to see many more of these shows in the future!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first encountered SpeakeasyDC when it was still part of Washington Storytellers Theater, maybe in 2005. I began telling stories immediately, and Speakeasy became a homebase for me. I have performed more than 10 times on stage, and taken several storytelling classes. This experience led me to other storytelling experiences including appearing in the Capitol Fringe Festival. What is most admirable about SpeakeasyDC is the clear decision and commitment taken to be an educational venue for all, a place where non-tellers could try it out, gain skills and coaching, all in front of a very generous audience, and all while assuring the top quality possible -- a very difficult formula indeed, but one that's been met and more. The staff, board and volunteers are extraordinarily loyal - and their energy, charisma and talent continue to sustain a high quality endeavor that now has deep roots in the community and increasing connectivity nationwide.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Speakeasy is about as good an organization as I've seen in the 60+ years I've lived in DC. It works on so many levels. First, it is about building community through the intimacy of sharing true stories with strangers, acquantances and friends. Second, it is about building community through a gathering where new friendships and connections are made. Third, it is about the highest quality of entertainment available. Every night it will make you laugh, make you think and make one aware of the quality of the shared human journey. Fourth, it is about quality and professionalism. Because of the quality of the coaching, screening, and educational services the open mics are always of the highest quality. It is amazing to witness the incredible level of amatuer quality that is manifest EVERY tuesday. Because fo this quality it self generates an expanding outward spiral of quality. More peopel coem because of the high level of quality, really good tellers are motivated by the quality to tell, the level of quality continues to grow. Remarkable.

fayette.fox

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I'm a writer and have attended several SpeakeasyDC storytelling performances. I am always delighted by the way I feel after hearing a really good story. Some of the stories are humorous and some are serious, but they're always true tales from people's personal experiences. An excellent night out.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I went to a Speak Easy event for the first time last week. I was just looking for a fun night out and didn't really have high expectations of seeing "great theater". Having trained at Tisch School of Performing Arts in New York and worked professionally on both coasts I can tell you it was in fact an EXCEPTIONAL night of theater. The presentation was simple, clean, polished, and completely compelling. Speak Easy somehow has managed to bottle the magic of feeling that you are both in your your living room listening to personal stories (in this case of life and love) told by the most entertaining friend you have. I want to go see there shows every chance I get from now on. The organization of the event was flawless. In Yiddisb there is a word that I think sums it up best. Speak Easy is Hamisha AND High Art. I'm so grateful DC has a theater event like this. I hope it's around forever!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I served as DJ for Dance Place and SpeakeasyDC's Valentine's Day party and had a spectacular time. The dress rehearsal was my first encounter with the group, and we agreed that I'd play intro and exit music for all the speakers before hitting the decks for the party.

The evening of the show is one I won't forget. The emcee was engaging and the performers were incredibly compelling, giving the audience an authentic slice of their life. I really enjoyed playing my small part in their act and during the dance I enjoyed chatting with a few of the speakers who approached my table.

The event turned out very well and I really enjoyed my window into this great organization. I'll be sure to seek them out again.

-Dan Bloom
"GlowStik" www.twitter.com/GlowStikMusik

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work at a DC museum and we have had fantastic experiences with SpeakeasyDC. They presented a program at one of our annual festivals, recruiting speakers and training storytellers. It was the most meaningful part of the program last year and was extraordinarily moving. We can't wait to work with them again!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Speakeasy showcases the real lives of real people- it allows a personal way of storytelling that is much more touching than what braodway tends to promote.

Brandon S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about SpeakeasyDC. From its prescient topics to its creation of communities around the act of telling stories, SpeakeasyDC provides our city with the opportunity to explore the lost art of story telling in a time of increasing social disconnectedness.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The open mic nights are outstanding! Every story tight and funny! Very imaginative. What's truely wonderful about this organization is it includes regular people. Anyone that can tell a story can participate. They professionally coach the participants as well. The talent also incompasses Emmy Award winning journalists and professional writers. The price of the ticket is reasonable. The audience is like family. It's a great night out.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SpeakeasyDC is dedicated to showing people how they can find art in their everyday lives through the skill of storytelling. This organization has truly created a community for people to connect and grow.

I am a performer who recently moved from NY to the DC area, and I found myself without a community of artists in the area so I attended speakeasy events. What I found wasn't just an arts organization, but organization that is about being inclusive. SEDC doesn't spends time developing new storytellers who aren;t professionals-- First-time performers are given a priority to get on stage-- this is new to me, because most the places i have performed have been about "who you know"-- so that Is we I admire how SEDC is committed to the community to grow performers, rather than just pick the ones that are already great.

Review from Guidestar

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Speakeasy is a wonderful organization that brings community together in a meaningful, positive way. Many arts and education programs are directed at youth or senior populations. It's great to have something that draws a range of adults from a cross-section of the city.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This group doe a tremendous service to the Metro DC area. Not only do they provide tremendous performances based on real life of everyday people. They give classes and workshops to help people in all walks of life learn to tell their own story. In our day of quick everything.. they take the time to help everyday people and professionals look inside themselves and really communicate on a very human level. Our history is our future in many ways and they help us remember it, and communicate it!

Comments ( 1 )

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speakeasydc 02/16/2010

Thanks for your comments and suggestions! Yes, we'd like to do more with senior citizens. Will work on that and continue to try to find funding for it as well as senior-friendly venues. I'm happy to say, that we've succeeded finding handicap-accessible spaces for almost all of our events and classes.