What to see at the First Person Arts Festival

FPAfest-LG
The First Person Arts Festival returns for another year of storytelling events.

First Person Arts once again holds its annual festival highlighting the art of spinning a yarn. From podcasts to the written word to story slams, the event, running Thursday, Nov. 5 through Sunday, Nov. 15 shows the diversity in the medium.

The festival kicks off with the ultimate showdown. Find out who’s the top storyteller in Philadelphia during the 15th season Grand Slam, where winners of this year’s First Person Arts StorySlams compete to win over the judges. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 at World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.).

An honest and open performance from Philly-born poet and activist Ursula Rucker on Friday, Nov. 6 will utilize multimedia elements like poetry, music and video. She’ll take the stage at 8 p.m. at Plays and Players Theatre (1714 Delancey Place) to tell tales concerning addiction, domestic abuse and forgiveness. 

Get started on your memoir after mastering the art of the personal essay. This two-day seminar, running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 8, will teach writers how to adequately translate their experiences to the page in their own voices. It all takes place at Head House Books (619 S. 2nd St.).

See the First Person Arts podcast in action when they record live at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St.) on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Starting at 8 p.m., guests will share their personal stories around top headline-making events that occurred this year.

From one podcast show to another. On Wednesday, Nov. 11, “Welcome to Night Vale” creators Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor come to the Annenberg Center’s Zellerbach Theater (3680 Walnut St.) at 8 p.m. to chat with podcast start Cecil Baldwin about their new novel.

When storytelling gets a soundtrack, you get this concert at the Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St.) on Thursday, Nov. 12. Five vocalists will sing a pretty tune to some heart-wrenching, hilarious and nostalgic memories starting at 8 p.m.

In a Philadelphia premiere, performer and storyteller David Crabb performs a true account of a rebellious goth boy living in Texas in 1991. “Bad Kid” starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13 at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St.).

Local musicians Bilal and Freeway get in on the festival action when they take to the Zellerbach Theater (3680 Walnut St.) stage on Saturday, Nov. 14 alongside everyday Philadelphia men to share stories that break misconceptions at “BEyond Expectations: Engaging Males of Color.” The show starts at 8 p.m.

The festival closes out at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15 with a showcase of true stories exploring the diversities of the LGBT community. “Out/Spoken” takes place at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St.).

Of course, there’s plenty of other happenings during the festival. Check out the full schedule here.

For more Things to Do, check out our calendar for the most up-to-date happenings.

Continue Reading