What’s your life’s story?

Confabulation showcases locals telling their own stories, live and on stage

By Kyle Wells

Everybody has a story, it’s said, and Confabulation is giving them a chance to tell it.

This storytelling show features locals telling true tales, live and on stage.

“True stories, by the people who lived them, as best as they can remember them, no props, no gimmicks, no script,” said producer and co-artistic director Cassandra Togneri. “It’s just the storyteller, the stage and the audience.”

Piggybacking off of existing Confabulation events in Montreal and Toronto, the Victoria version started in the fall of 2016, just the third to exist in the nation. Its first season consisted of 10 shows at the Victoria Event Centre, and its second season kicked off this September.

The concept has proven extremely popular, and there is now a devoted crew of storytellers and audience members alike who come to every show to participate and listen. All are encouraged to stay after the show to mingle and make new friends, and the organizers say they notice people start to tell their own stories, inspired by what they’ve seen and heard.

“We kind of discovered a community that didn’t really know it existed,” Togneri said.

The show’s storytellers are anybody who has a story and they come from all walks of life. Togneri and her co-artistic director Carol-Lynne Michaels have seen everyone from artists, poets, musicians, scientists and local celebrities, such as CBC’s Bob McDonald, to a psychologist, a military wife and a lawyer, take the stage and share their story.

“You get to look through someone else’s eyes and have a seven to 10 minute long deep-dive into what that person’s experience was,” said Michaels.

To take part, storytellers are asked to submit a rough outline of their story as far as possible before the show they want to participate in. Individual workshops are then held prior to the show to help the storytellers craft their tale.

“We will help you find your story, plan it out, find the important bits, get rid of the extra bits, shape it,” Togneri said.

Each event’s theme is intentionally broad, but do work to provide some focus. The November 16 event’s theme is War, Peace and Politics: stories of battle and alliances in professional, personal and societal spaces. “We want to see where people go with it, I think we’ll find some interesting stories that aren’t just about elections,” Togneri said. “I’m pretty interested to hear what kind of directions people go.”

For more information and/or to submit a story visit confabulation.ca.

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