Live Storytelling Thrives at The Trap Door
Oct16

Live Storytelling Thrives at The Trap Door

Get Directions When you hear someone tell a live story, you form a personal connection with them. Fort Wayne’s Ben Larson says, “you get an understanding of people that is rare these days, with everybody being so attached to social media. You just get a small glimpse of a person [on social media] and we’re so quick to make snap judgments without getting to know someone, where they’ve been, what’s in their mind. Storytelling helps alleviate that; people are now craving that instead of micro-doses of humanity. We’re 3D people with our own lives, our own back-stories.” Background Larson was an English major in college, and he’s always loved a good story. He became interested in storytelling as theatre after discovering podcasts like “The Moth,” “Risk” and “Snap Judgment.” In 2015, he decided to bring the idea to life in Fort Wayne with The Trap Door. It began with a one-off show, but then the concept was shelved for about a year. In the late summer/early fall of 2016, Larson decided to revive the project. When John Cheesebrew and Becca Bell came on board, the project really began to take off. These three have known each other for years. Larson had worked creatively with Cheesebrew before – they used to play together in the black metal band Fodalla. “John is a good sounding board, he’s brutally honest and he has great ideas,” said Larson. “Becca has been a writer forever and she has a stronger organizational aspect than John or [me]. Also, I knew she could contribute to the creative side. So we all had different sets of skills and they combined well.” Format The Trap Door does two different types of shows, alternating each month. There are story slams and showcase shows. The story slam is a contest. Anyone interested in sharing a story will put their name into a hat. Names are draw and each storyteller tells a five to ten minute story. There are two winners: one chosen by the audience, one by the judges. “We’ve been fortunate in that we haven’t had to worry about filling up time. Sometimes ten minutes before the show we’ll only have two names, but by the time the show starts we’ve gotten 15,” said Larson. In contrast, showcase shows are planned out ahead of time. The team will accept pitches in the form of a 100-word synopsis, and then they’ll choose the storytellers. They occasionally reach out to specific people, but that varies depending on the month. Storytellers will prep their stories ahead of time, working with Larson, Bell and Cheesebrew before the show. Then they decide on an...

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Our Top 10 Articles from 2016
Dec28

Our Top 10 Articles from 2016

This year was an exciting year in Fort Wayne! We saw several new businesses and events come to our city. Take a look at our top articles for 2016! First up, clocking in at number ten, our article on the eighth annual Taste of the Arts Festival by Stephen J. Bailey was a hit with our readers this year. Keep an eye out in 2017 for information about the next festival (and keep supporting the arts)! Bravas, tacos and our new “Food & Drink” writer Reneta Thurairatum. What more could you want from an article? Checking in at number nine for the year, The Tacos Are Coming at Tacos Bravas. At number eight, the “Food & Drink” series continued to be popular as Reneta gave us the lowdown on GnomeTown Brewing Co. in June. At number seven, Reneta checked in with Junk Ditch Brewing Company to get a taste of their entry in Fort Wayne’s Weekend Brunch Game in July. Information about food and dining options was popular all year in Fort Wayne. Coming in at number six, Travis Bartlett and the team gave us their picks for the top breakfast and brunch spots in the city in February! And coming in at number five, Rhonda Ladig Moxter gave us a rundown of Thanksgiving Dinner Alternatives in Fort Wayne. Coming in at number four is Rivers Relaxation, A New Way to De-Stress in Fort Wayne by Leslie Snare. This article about one of Fort Wayne’s newest stress relief options has only gotten more popular in recent months. Our always popular listicle on Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, and More Fall Fun (updated by Micheala Pattison) checked in at number three for the year. Coming in at number two, The Golden Fort Wayne was preparing for its debut at the Ash Brokerage building in downtown Fort Wayne. Becca Bell caught up with Aaron Butts, Carmen McGee and Sean Richardson in this extensive Q&A from January. And finally coming in at number one for 2016, a new sweet spot hopped into downtown Fort Wayne. Reneta got the scoop in The Yummi Bunni Is Hopping onto Fort Wayne’s Food Scene. This article about ice cream treats was HOT, HOT, HOT! We can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for Fort Wayne! Keep up with Living Fort Wayne on Facebook, Twitter and...

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