Tres Dillon has performed in all manners of production from improv to sketch to burlesque. Her offstage contributions include comedy writing and choreography for the stage and screen. Tres is also an accomplished hair stylist with over 15 years of experience under her belt, leading her clients and friends to coin her The Hairapist. Tres realized her love of creativity, teaching, and personal growth needed a new outlet. Now in her journey of storytelling, Tres is ecstatic to share the experiences and lessons she’s learned along the way!
Sheila is a professional violinist who recently finished a master's degree in social work and is now working in community mental health. She enjoys her family, her dog, canoeing/camping trips in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, and being a fierce advocate for better mental health treatment. Inspired by storytelling friends, she decided to take the leap into presenting in front of an audience. She loves storytelling but has never officially been a storyteller!
Laura has been a storyteller her entire life – from keeping classmates awake during naptime in preschool with her constant chatter, to the invented stories that her teachers had to write home about, to finally learning to write and getting hand cramps from furiously writing them all down. Now Laura delights her family, friends and coworkers with stories via writing, art, videos, music, dancing, photoshop, sign language, and occasionally even verbally. This will be her first experience speaking at a storytelling event. Laura is originally from Hawaii but now lives in Chicago with her two cats, 900 books, and an explosion of color. By day she works in technical support, which she promises is a lot more exciting than it sounds (mainly due to her own creative antics).
Philip Kenner is a Chicago-based writer, educator, and administrator originally from New Rochelle, NY. Philip’s poetry and prose have been published in bookstore poets vol. 1, Let My People Cum, Colectivo Tabú, HAVOC for the Holidays, and COPY Magazine. His play, THE MALL THE MALL THE MALL, recently had a 4-week run in Chicago as one of two mainstage productions in The Once and Future Festival. Philip loves to throw us in the mud of our collective shame so that we can have a good, filthy laugh. For more of his work, check out philkenner.com. Photo by Grace Barry.
Oleg is a traveler, photographer, and an aspiring writer, exploring his experiences as an immigrant as well travel adventures in his writing. He is recently married, and lives in Chicago with his wife and their new pup Leon.
I am a recovering evangelical, Pentecostal pastor's daughter and professional mediator using my middle child super power to help people talk through their conflicts like adults. I am also a survivor of domestic violence, a visual artist and vocalist. I've been a Chicago area resident for 38.75 of my 39 years. Every winter, I swear I will move away from this hellish cold for good, and every summer I am again seduced by our beautiful city's many charms. I am honored and delighted to share my stories.
MAGGIE CAIN has been an actor for a long time and a storyteller for a short time. She has also been short for a long time. She has performed at many theatres around Chicago like Steep, Griffin, The Factory, Mary-Arrchie, Broken Nose, City Lit and Raven, and has pretended to be everyone from Anne Frank to Amanda Wingfield to Mrs. Claus. You may have seen her on Chicago Fire, in her COVID TIME YouTube videos or in Watching Game of Thrones with Your Mom. She is now enjoying performing as herself.
Dan Cooney is a long time Chicago performer. He is an Equity actor and recorded singer-songwriter. His CD Islands in the Desert is available on Apple I-Tunes and Spotify. Dan studied with Del Close (a GREAT Storyteller) at Second City. He is a lifelong Chicago resident (reflected in his tales) and hopes to find friendly stages ad infinitum…..
Despite being just shy of 30 years old, Annie Gibson has led a myriad of lives: a decade as a competitive volleyball coach, a four-year stint as a starving art student, a two-year tenure as a disgruntled bartender, followed by three years as a motion graphics artist for STARZ. Now, Annie is currently trying her hand as a storyteller. She is a Chicago transplant of 3 years, trading Colorado mountains for hot dogs and rats. She is a devoted single mother to a dog with a fetch addiction, and these days you'll find Annie working as an Art Director, playing on her Kindle, striving to connect with others through her stories, doodling occasionally, and man-handling her camera.
Colleen has spent her life perpetually in 2 worlds: Ireland and the USA, theater and healthcare. She grew up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, practiced as a physiotherapist in Belfast and also worked in local theaters when there weren’t bomb scares. She came to the US in 1984, practiced physical therapy and also worked in Irish theater as well as Improv. She was about to head back to Ireland when she met her husband, Brian. With the birth of her son Sam, the theater work went on the back burner for 30 years. But now that he’s fully launched, and she has retired from healthcare, she is delighted to have found Scott and Storytelling.
Claudia Maru is very happy to be part of Story Lab. A vegetarian with a huge affinity for all animals (particularly very tiny chihuahuas), she spent most of her adult life to this point working for the man in healthcare research. She discovered the power of storytelling just this past summer and was instantly hooked. She'd like you to tell her your story sometime!
Joel Simon’s family thinks his stories are too long and complicated- hopefully not all of you will agree. Most of what he says is mostly true - at least as he remembers it. He wasn’t born or raised in Chicago but is a pretty decent Chicagoan nonetheless despite not giving a damn about sports. He doesn’t get upset if you put ketchup on a hot dog - only if you try to call it a Chicago dog after having done so. He had long curly hair as a young adult, and then again during COVID, cutting it short again in the summer of 2023. In 2022he visited his 50th state - Delaware. His favorite cookie type recently changed from oatmeal raisin to ginger molasses. He plays several instruments - the mandolin most competently . Professionally, he studies regional economies to help schools and job training programs prepare underrepresented populations for good jobs and careers. He lives just a few minutes walk from Story Lab’s cozy venue.