Over the last 7+ years, we have provided the space for over 500 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 Show Will Take Place on
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19TH,
I was named after the two coolest Pauls my dad knew of, Paul Newman and Paul McCartney. My childhood was filled with their works and passions and tears that I could never be as cool as them. I am a student at DePaul studying International Studies and I am originally from Westmont. If you’ve heard of Westmont you may have bought your car there or know it was the origin of the beanie babys 90s fad. My career path is quite confused with me working for Fish and Wildlife in Massachusetts this past summer to teaching english abroad the summer before. When asked what I want to do with my life at family gatherings, I have an answer that wards off concerns of me being directionless, but I am about as sure as the next college student. I originally started coming to storytelling events for a class that I took called the "Art of Storytelling”, which I thought to be really interesting. Since then, I have been trying to do interesting things in my life to make interesting stories so that I can be interesting. I am tall and gangly as you will see in a second and I am psyched to share a story with you all.
Parla Hoelter is originally from New Orleans, and owns over twenty different hot sauces. Parla enjoys reading, cross stitching, sunscreen, sour beers, improv, and figuring out how to stop her cat from eating every plant she owns. She is currently taking a 80's jazzercise class and is now the proud owner of three pairs of legwarmers.
Tracy Lytwyn is native to the Chicago area and recently returned after a brief foray in Indianapolis. She found her passion for writing and storytelling at a young age and has had her words published in The Atlantic, WBUR Boston, Prevention Magazine, xoJane and others. When she isn't spinning a yarn, she enjoys rock climbing, singing, playing piano, biking, exploring and advocacy work. Professionally, she works in public affairs for a non-profit and lives in Lincoln Square with her "dog-child," Juno.
Valerie Mrak is a speaker, storyteller and coach as well as an award winning documentary filmmaker. She has interviewed a wide range of people from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a Blackfoot Medicine Woman, Fortune 100 CEOs and “everyday” people with fascinating stories. She is a TEDx speaker, https://youtu.be/NpHe2QE and leads workshops and talks on Conflict to Possibility: Insights from Nobel Laureates and Former Gang Leaders. She produced the Telly Award-winning documentary, Shadow Over Tibet: Stories in Exile, a film about Tibetan immigrants in America and India striving to maintain their religion and culture in exile. It is narrated by Richard Gere and aired nationally on PBS.
Darren Stephens is a voiceover talent, actor, writer and singer who is happy to be a successful full-time freelancer living in Chicago. Onstage he was Pastor Dave Shepherd in the critically acclaimed parody church service The Best Church of God at various venues around town and played Rod Blagojevich at the Athenaeum Theater. He has performed long-form improv with Baby Wants Candy, Cast On A Hot Tin Roof, and the Free Associates. He can be heard at local venues with his three-part bluegrass harmony comedy group, The Famous Brothers. Darren has voiced hundreds of regional and national radio and television commercials, including during football season as the announcer at the end of Corona Hotline TV spots. His MFA in Acting is from Ohio University.
Born and raised in Jackson Hole, Wyoming Jeffrey spent much of his childhood roaming the peaks and valleys of the Grand Tetons and beyond. When it was time to grow up, he moved to the bleak and muggy prairies of Iowa to attend Grinnell College, and then on to Chicago where destiny lead him to many amazing adventures and his soulmate. Jeffrey is now a cowboy of financial planning, focusing on helping physicians manage all aspects of their wealth. He’s come to StoryLab to realize his true passion for storytelling, and when he’s not telling a long-winded tale, he can be found obsessively tracking the US Men’s Soccer team and DJing the underground techno beats!
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.