Tell a True Story...Hear a True Story...Judge a True Story




There's nothing like a real person telling you a true story that happened to them.

But add in that they have to tell that story in under 5 minutes and stick to a specific theme, and you have the makings of a terrific evening of entertainment! 

Join us for our next SLAM!

Saturday, August 31st, 8 pm

The Little Room Jazz Club
821 Duval Street
Key West 

The theme is: THE BEST EVER



There's nothing like a True Story!

Key West’s history is drenched in stories. Not only have we had some of our country’s greatest storytellers among us – Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway foremost among them – but you can’t sit at a bar or restaurant anywhere in town and not hear someone recounting some personal tale of derring-do, woe, joy, tragedy, or triumph.

Sunday nights, TheatreXP, the founders and producers of THE KEY WEST SUMMER STAGE in Key West, present STORY SLAMS, an evening dedicated to the art of storytelling, but with a twist or two that virtually guarantees an evening of fun, pathos, laughter, and – maybe – a tear or two. It all depends on you.

“I was introduced to STORY SLAMS in Philadelphia,” said TheatreXP founder and producer, Bob Bowersox. “They are the most anticipated evenings in the city’s entertainment, and always draw capacity crowds. I mean, think about it – real people telling true stories from their lives, which creates an intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience. It’s unique.”

Not to mention that it could be lucrative for the teller of the best story of the night. The top three winners receive a portion of a $250 cash prize pool for the Best Stories, judged by the audience who hear all the tales. Bragging rights as top storytellers go along with the loot.

STORY SLAMS take place on specified Sundays at a specified venue in Key West (for the schedule, see the "New Events" page on this website). Anyone who wants to tell a story is invited to sign up by 7:30 pm, with the stories unrolling at 8. There will be only 12 slots open, so early sign-up is recommended.

“There are some rules to keep in mind,” Bowersox said. “First, the stories have to be true. They have to have happened to you, not your sister, wife, or best friend. Each storyteller will be given five minutes at the microphone. You don’t have to use all five, but you can’t have more than that. We’ll be very strict on the time. And most importantly, you have to stick to the theme of the night in your story.”

The idea for STORY SLAMS originated with NPR’s THE MOTH, the acclaimed organization that has produced the radio show of the same name since 1997. MOTH shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase, and STORY SLAMS provide the same results. Any evening’s stories can dance between documentary and theater, intimate confession and personal revelation. The fact that anyone can tell their story guarantees the audience will hear a wide range of stories.

Bowersox said there are some guidelines, though. “This is not the place for rants or essays, political diatribe or social attacks. And while we love funny people, it’s also not a comedy club – standup “routines” are not necessarily personal true stories, and we don’t allow them. The audience will be looking for a sense of personal truth from you, and the stories that win are usually the most personal and heartfelt, be they funny or heartbreaking.”

Other tips he has: Put some stakes in your story…make the audience care. Start with a great first line, something that grabs attention. Find a solid ending – don’t meander into one. Know your story well enough that you don’t have to read it – you don’t necessarily have to memorize it, but know it “by heart” enough that you know the main points and can string them together into a coherent and entertaining story. And most of all….have fun.

For more information on STORY SLAMS, call TheatreXP at 302-540-6102.