First Sundays @SPTC


Backstage at SPTC is premiering a live bi-monthly storytelling event:


Before there were word processors, typewriters or the written word, there was storytelling.  We all have that one story in us.  The one we've told to our friends, colleagues and loved ones numerous times.  It is often a story of humor, self sacrifice, courage and perseverance.  The best stories contain all of these elements.  They are the stories we tell to entertain, to educate and to encourage.  We often recite elements of these stories to ourselves when we need reassurance and a sense of unity with the world and our history.  These are the stories we would like to hear and the stories that need to be shared with others.

You may have heard some of these stories on the radio through The Moth, Vinyl Cafe or Mortified Nation.  If you have, then you know the power of these stories to transcend our differences and unite us at an emotional level.

We are now soliciting stories for our first live event which will take place on Sunday, May 7, 2017.  The theme will be "Beginnings".  It could be a story about your first day in school, first day on the job, a new relationship or a new child.  Endings can be beginnings as well.  The end of a relationship can be the beginning of a new chapter.  The loss of a loved one is the end of one reality and the beginning of a new one. Our producers will select six storytellers to present their stories in front of a live audience.

The following are some guidelines for submission of your story.   
Submit a written personal story revolving around the topic “Beginnings”
Story length: a 7 – 10 minute personal story (this typically equates to 7 to 10 typewritten double spaced pages).
One story per candidate.
Email your submission to  Subject: L. Mattson – Beginnings
Deadline for story submission: Midnight March, 25, 2017. 
Candidates will be chosen to present their stories in person before April 7, 2017, actual date to be determined.
There is a mandatory rehearsal on Saturday May 6, 2017. 
For more information, please contact: Leticia Mattson at 805-878-5201 or email questions to  Subject: L. Mattson – Beginnings
Submission and Presentation Guidelines:

  • Your story should be a true, personal story.
  • Your story should have personal meaning and relevance.  A story is more engaging for the audience if it is a personal story. 
  • Your story should follow the standard format of having a beginning, a middle and of course an end.  And it should have meaning.  Why are you telling this story?
  • You will be reading your story but it is important that you know the key components.  It can be a bit nerve racking trying to remember where you are in your story when you have an audience hanging on every word.
  • Your story should be succinct and easy to follow. A story with mulitple people places and periods of time can quickly become confusing for an audience.    
  • You are painting a picture with words so make sure you provide enough detail to transport your audience.
  • Vocal inflection and gestures will keep the audience engaged.  
  • You don’t need to memorize your story but you should practice it enough times so that reading feels natural to the audience. You also don't want to run the risk of going off book and getting lost.  
  • The producers are very strict about the 10 minute time limit so don't run the risk of being eliminated by not sticking to the rules.
  • Relax, breathe, play, Have Fun!!!


  • Do I need to be an actor? No, you do not have to be an actor.  If you have ever read a story in class or read to your children then you are familiar with the art of storytelling.  You will want to use your voice to paint pictures and help your audience visualize your story but you don't have to memorize your story or act out any specific scenes.  Ideally however, the story is so familiar to you that you only need to reference bullet points occasionally and gesturing or acting out portions are just natural elements of the story.  The Full Disclosure team will help if needed.
  • Do I have to tell my story or can I have a friend or family member tell it for me?  We prefer that you tell your own story.  If a friend or family member is going to tell the story then it would have to be from their perspective and they will have had to share the same experience.  In other words, it would be their story, not yours.
  • Can I have props?  We want you to be as creative as you like but within reason.  If you are telling a story about your first Girl Scout merit badge and want to have it on stage as part of the story then great!  If you are planning on complex sound effects, lighting and set pieces then no.  But don't eliminate yourself based on this. Tell us what you would like to do and we will assess on a per case basis.
  • What about costumes?  As with props, if they are simple and further the story then absolutely.  Submit your request and we will evaluate on a per case basis.
  • Can a friend or family member join me on stage to help tell the story? Interesting.  We will have to look at this request on a per case basis.  If that person is only on stage to give you moral support then we would have to look at that in context of the story.  If they shared the same experience and are can effectively assist in telling the story then we would also consider this on a per case basis.
  • Will I get paid?  No.
  • Will I get comps for my friends and family?  Each storyteller will receive two complimentary tickets.

If you don't see your question here, please submit it using the "contact" page.