In the News

The Annenberg Center presents First Person Arts’ annual Grand Slam as a part of its By Local series

April 25, 2012

(Philadelphia, April 25, 2012)—The widely acclaimed Annenberg Center By Local series closes the 11/12 season in style with the presentation of First Person Arts’ beloved Grand Slam. This annual event features the winners of First Person Arts’ monthly StorySlams as they go head to head for the title of “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia.”

The performance will take place in the Harold Prince Theatre on May 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM. Tickets are $20-$30 (prices are subject to change). For tickets or for more information, please visit or call 215.898.3900. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Annenberg Center Box Office.

The Grand Slam will feature 11 storytellers in total, 10 of whom have won a StorySlam, plus the highest-scoring Audience Favorite, since December 2011. The evening’s designated theme is “Burned.” Judges for the evening include Liz Spikol (writer for Philadelphia Weekly, The Philly Post and Curbed Philly) and Elijah Dornstreich (founder of Fourth Wall Arts Salon).

Contestants include: Diana Spechler, Bernardo Morillo, Evan Roskos, Marjorie Winther, Jake Frechette, Chris Oberlin, Anissa Weinraub, Katie Samson and S.M. Shrake.

Entering their sixth season, First Person Arts’ StorySlams are popular storytelling competitions at which audience members share true stories from their lives based on the night’s specific theme, ranging from “Burned” to “the EX-Files.” Anyone can sign up for a chance to be one of 10 randomly selected storytellers. Each contestant has five minutes to captivate the crowd with their storytelling prowess. Winners from Slams in December through April go on to vie in the Grand Slam for the title of “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia” and free Slam admission for life.


Storytelling in Hyperdrive with First Person Arts
May 19 at 7:30 PM

Patrons can join First Person Arts before the show to learn storytelling fundamentals in a flash with popular StorySlam winner, Martha Cooney. Martha's expertise and First Person Arts' StorySlam format will guide guests in crafting a two-minute micro story sparked by a theme suggested on the spot. Guests can perform their story for the group or just sit back and enjoy. This workshop is for storytellers at all levels, will take place in the Montgomery Theatre and is free to all ticket holders.

Learn more about StorySlams and First Person Arts at