Over the last 8+ years, we have provided the space for OVER 600 people from every walk of life and experience level to share their true personal stories with packed houses of attentive listeners. Each show is an unpredictable mix of the hilarious and the heartbreaking featuring memorable tales from your friends, neighbors, and fellow Chicagoans.
Come hear what people are saying, then get involved.
Third Wednesday of Every Month
Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro
3905 N Lincoln Avenue
(Doors at 6:00. Please arrive early if you are dining.)
New Voices Telling New Stories
Join us for an intimate evening of storytelling in the cozy back room of one of Chicago's best pubs. Each month, an entirely different lineup of up-and-coming storytellers will share their stories. Hosted by Scott Whitehair.
Our next performance is on
Wednesday, August 21st,
Jeffrey Bates is a midwestern, liberal, corn-fed white boy in an era when descriptors like these cause knees to jerk (even in his hometown of Tilton, IL). Jeffrey is a proud dad of three sons who are his greatest achievement. While earning a Masters of Divinity in St. Louis, MO he solidified his tenure as an unapologetic Cardinals fan. Jeffrey is the BBFE (Best Boyfriend Ever), according to the woman he adores. Now, Jeff remodels homes and leads retreats for Victories of the Heart, an organization that encourages men to step out of their isolation and into their best selves. While this is Jeffrey’s maiden voyage into public storytelling, his best life stories cherish the marginalized and powerless in our midst.
Oba William King
Special visiting guest
Since his debut with the National Association of Black Storytellers at the San Diego conference in 2006, Oba has ignited audiences with his ability to capture their attention and gently release them into the playful realm of rhythm and rhyme. Oba is an entertaining educator, as well as, workshop facilitator sharing the traditional art form of Storytelling as if it were a sacred gift. Oba’s most significant influence came as a result of his sojourn to Benin, West Africa resulting in solo performances within the USA and Canada. In addition, Oba has been a featured performer at several renowned storytelling festivals and venues across the country, including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 4 time presenter and artist in residence at Jonesborough International Storytelling Center. Oba is a multi year featured artist and workshop presenter The National Association of Black Storytellers Annual Conference and Festival, Signifying and Testifying Master Storytellers’ Festival of Minneapolis, St Paul, the Portland Oregon Tellabration performance and Master Storyteller's Workshop as well as a 3 time presenter of Juneteenth programing at the George Bush Presidential library and museum - College Station, Texas .
Mercedes Landazuri is Vice President of Indace. She serves on the board or directors of the Society of Plastics Engineers and is active in the Industrial Designers Society of America. She's passionate about sustainability and linguistics, recycles adamantly and speaks eight languages. In her spare time, she learns new words from her children and plays Brazilian jazz professionally in and around Chicago.
Mike Mitchell is a 25-year veteran high school teacher of English, speech and drama who has directed over 75 plays and musicals in his career. Recently, he earned his Doctorate in Education and, according to his students, no longer answers to “Mr.” Mitchell but only to “Dr.” Mitchell. Mike has also been happily married for 24 years to Maureen, is the father to three lovely girls: Maddie, Mollie and Mia and the owner to a Yorkie Poo named, Scout. In retrospect, Scout should have been named “Muffin” to keep the alliteration among all his family members. In his spare time, Mike enjoys playing his guitar in the sun, having a beer with friends and family and grilling in the backyard of his home in Aurora.
Wendy is a sizzling blend of Canadian, Mennonite and missionary-kid. She uses these characteristics any way she can to impress others and manipulate situations in her favor, much like an international spy. If there’s a tense situation, Wendy’s instinct is to apologize and try to make peace, eh. The burrata on your artisanal canape wasn’t hand-milked and made fresh that morning? Ha. Wendy ate dodgy food cooked in a dirt pit over hot stones with her bare hands during her years in Papua New Guinea. Worried about political disaster and civic collapse? Wendy’s not. When it gets too scary, her plan is scram across the border to the gentle North. Byeeee! Kidding. She’s got dual citizenship, votes every time, and never backs down from a social justice challenge. Or any challenge really. She took some martial arts classes a while back and would be somewhat dangerous for the first 7-10 seconds in a fight. Wendy’s life experiences and active curiosity have provided her with lots of stories, weird anecdotes and an odd combination of super random trivia knowledge with large gaps in pop culture knowledge. She’s excited for her adventures in storytelling and being part of the storytelling community. She lives in Portage Park with her husband and her two fur babies Mochi and Rizzo.
Kristine Rosencrantz Is a union actress (SAG-AFTRA), writer and speaker who loved doing theater and voiceover before getting sick with a major traumatic illness, Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Experiences surviving GBS, climbing back from neurological paralysis and spending many years incredibly weak afterward changed her work interests substantially, though she's still incredibly happy standing onstage (standing pretty much anywhere, actually) sharing what she can. She's completely excited and grateful to be telling a story tonight
Kristina has spent most of her life as a designer of one sort or another. First doing windows for the now defunct Marshall Field and Co.; then moving into graphics, where she spent the next 20+ years until family life collided with her 70-hour workweek. Seeking more flexibility, she completed a degree in interior design only to discover that she had no patience for the clientele. The need to use her training [and justify her existence], compelled her to accept a position as set designer for a theater company housed in a local church basement. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. During the next 15 years, she tried her hand at nearly every aspect of theater including directing, writing and acting. Now retired, she spends most of her time lunching with friends, but can still be seen occasionally in a storefront theater production, commercial or student film portraying a young director’s version of an “old woman.”
Drink and Dine
Mrs. Murphy & Sons generously offers a $10 burger and beer special on show nights. No better way to enjoy stories than with a full stomach and a cold one in your hand.
Tell YOUR Story
Story Lab Chicago is open to anyone wanting to share his or her story, regardless of experience or background. Click here for more details on getting started.
Take a Class
Do you feel like you need a little more guidance and experience before taking the stage? Click here for more details.