A $100 prize will be awarded to the overall winner of the evening, and the top two storytellers will move on to the finals that are held in December. Winners are determined by audience vote and a panel of guest judges.
Some stories are pre-submitted to assure variety, but the rest of the evening’s storytellers are chosen “on the fly,” straight from the audience. Those who have a story to tell are encouraged to attend and put their name in the hat.
The judges of the spring event will be: drama teacher Frederick Ponzlov; Grunion Gazette Editor Harry Saltzgaver; former Naples Improvement Association President Jonathan Schnack; novelist Darlene Quinn; and surfer/ecology activist Jericho Popler.
Each judge’s vote counts for five points and each audience member’s vote is good for one point. The votes are tallied up on the spot, and the winner is announced to the excited audience.
“The Playhouse is for the community,” said Andrew Vonderschmitt, producing artistic director of the Playhouse. “We like to host a wide range of the arts and open our doors to the community any chance we get. The stage is not just for actors with scripts, but for storytellers of all kinds.”
Producer Mariana Williams has broadened the event this year. Starting April 28, each of the four shows will be televised on local TV. Edited to a 30-minute segment, every show will feature the winning five-minute story with bits of the evening’s festivities, including pieces from all storytellers. Charter Channel 32 and Verizon Channel 41 will air each show several times.
To submit a story directly to Mariana, email her at marianaStoryteller @gmail.com .
Tickets are $5 at the door, online or at the box office. Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St. The box office may be reached at (562) 494-1014, option 1.