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From story comes: Ex Fabula


Ex Fabula: Story. Stage. You.

The thing about storytelling is that it has no boundaries. Everyone likes a good story. Everyone likes to be moved by an exciting narrative. Why is this? I don’t know, but one theory perhaps has something to do with the troglodyte origins from which we stem. From homo sapiens humble beginnings we enjoyed being spectators of others as they spin an interesting yarn. Is it then supportive evidence of Milwaukee’s devolution that a group has surfaced with the express purpose of creating a simple night of storytelling for all to listen to and even participate in? Maybe. Perhaps we just like to be entertained by the common and simple experiences we all have because it gives us a sense of comfort to know we’re not alone. And that’s why we have Ex Fabula.

Ex Fabula’s mission, which takes it’s name from the Latin for "from stories", is simply to connect storytellers with live audiences on a regular basis. “Story. Stage. You.” is the intriguing concept and Ex Fabula will host its second event tomorrow night, December 16th 8:00pm at Sugar Maple 441 E. Lincoln Ave in Bay View, WI. The theme for this night of storytelling is "Second Thoughts."
Ex Fabula held it first event last month in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood. As proof to storytellings resonance to all, in attendance at this inaugural night of storytelling last month, were people from all disciplines and talents. In a packed house at Art Bar, filmmakers, theatre professionals, writers, musicians and visual artists listened with ears wide open as fourteen people with disparate backgrounds shared true tales of their life. That night, randomly selected storyteller Paul Finger told a riveting story from his childhood and walked away with the audience award.

Just like the first, the second Ex Fabula event will feature three different storytelling formats. They are: “The Solo” Individual storytellers, some selected in advance, and some drawn at random, tell true, five minute stories without notes. “The Rashomon” Named after the Kurosawa’s film, this format features two storytellers who take the stage separately to share their versions of the same story. And “The Terkel,” (as in Studs) a question and answer format featuring one interviewer and one interviewee. Audience members will again crown the favorite storyteller at the end of the night.

Ex Fabula requests that those who are interested in one of the randomly selected storytelling spots should put their names in the hat by 7:45 pm. The selected storytellers for the evening will then compete side by side with storytellers arranged in advance. Co-founder Leah Delaney says Ex Fabula tries to involve the community members surrounding the location of the venue as much as possible. Would-be storytellers should choose stories that tie into the scheduled theme. For storytelling instructions Ex Fabula offers some guidelines here  

The theme for Ex Fabula’s inaugural night of storytelling was, appropriately, ‘Beginnings’. This month audiences will enjoy an eclectic group of stories connected by the theme of ‘Second Thoughts’., ‘Second Thoughts’ was written on the back of a Super Short Story form by one of patrons of the last event at Art Bar. Ex Fabula’s founders immediately fell in love with the idea and decided to make it the official theme. 

Megan McGee, a member of the improv comedy troupe Broad Minded and one of the founders of Ex Fabula, will be emcee for the December night of storytelling. With strong support from WUWM and WMSE, Ex Fabula has plans to hold an event every month through at least April. The next event is planned for January 19th at Hi Hat Garage.

Storytelling appeals to everyone with a brain. So if you’ve got a story to tell (and who doesn’t?) or if you’re looking for a perfectly primal evening, get out to Sugar Maple and experience the joy of simple true storytelling that is Ex Fabula.

Ex Fabula: Story. Stage. You. will take place December 16th at Sugar Maple 441 E. Lincoln Ave. in Bay View. Storytelling begins at 8pm. If you wish a chance to tell a story arrive at the location at 7:30pm to put your name in a hat. There is a $3 charge at the door to support future events.