Tag Archives: Stephanie Douglass

Fuck Yeah: Ray’s Tap is Back.
by Alba Machado

Oh PicklesDid you know that a number of Chicago’s foremost live lit performers are either current or former members of The No Cussing Club? That’s right. This Saturday, for one night only, playwright Chris Bower reunites this unlikely group of malediction-conflicted writers for an installment of the popular Ray’s Tap Reading Series: Ian Belknap, Daniel Shapiro, Carly Oishi, Dave Snyder, Stephanie Douglass, Mark Chrisler, Tim Racine, Alicia Swiz, Ben Harpe, Matt Test, John Cahill, and Randall Colburn. These members of the “most cyber-bullied anti-profanity club in history” will each offer a literary response to the NCC’s manifesto, as well as its alternative-to-swearing handbook, Oh Pickles, shedding some light on what it’s like to “remain PG in an X-Rated universe.” Music by Tijuana Hercules will also be featured. Author and seasoned potty mouth Mason Johnson (Sad Robot Stories) highly recommends the series, saying, “Ray’s is, without a doubt, my favorite reading series in Chicago. Now that Encyclopedia Show has ended at least! It happens rarely, it happens late, and it goes for a long time, but it’s all worth it (especially because of the “happens rarely” part). For those involved, this isn’t another reading series they have to read another goddamn piece for, this is extra special, and you can tell by the quality of the readers’ pieces. It’s fucked up and it’s amazing and everyone should go.” Bowers seems confident that this event will be as successful as the club meeting his reading series hosted four years ago for The Grand Lodge of the Steam Donkey Operators.

UPCOMING EVENT: RAY’S TAP READING SERIES | PROP THTR | 3502 N ELSTON AVE | $15 OR PAY WHAT YOU CAN | SATURDAY, JUNE 21, 2014 AT 10:30 PM | Website


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This Much Is True

Seven different true, personal stories “revealing the humorous, embarrassing, and poignant moments that make up a life remembered,” some from core performers and some from featured guests. Hosted by Stephanie Douglass, Larry Kerns, and Scott Whitehair. (Scott Whitehair also hosts Do Not Submit and Story Lab.) Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro | 3905 N Lincoln Ave | Free | 21+, unless with parent | 7:30pm every second Tuesday of the month | Website

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Coming of Age in Chicago Live Lit: An Interview with Xavier Jordan
by Alba Machado

Xavier Jordan

PHOTO COURTESY OF HERE, CHICAGO

Sometime in February, I braved the cold and snow to see Xavier Jordan tell a story at the Jazz Showcase. It was a true story about someone who is a school teacher and also a horrible person. He reveals himself to be a horrible person through a series of escalating incidents, starting with kicking a student out of his class for sneezing. Now, four months later, that story continues to stay with me. Of course, it’s not surprising that a story told by one of Chicago’s live lit performers is memorable. What is surprising is that this storyteller is seventeen years old. You may know a number of teenagers who can spin a hell of a good yarn. I certainly do. But how many of them tell stories on stage alongside local literary celebrities? Xavier Jordan is one of a kind. The son of The Moth Grand Slam Champion Lily B, he has come of age at the epicenter of the live lit movement and has performed at a variety of the city’s reading series so many times that everyone has lost count. He’ll be leaving Chicago for college come summer’s end, returning to perform only during breaks. But he’s a tireless storyteller, so keep an eye on the calendar for show announcements or come out to the Printers Row Lit Fest this weekend, where he’s featured at a special installment of Stoop-Style Stories taking place at the Guild Literary Complex tent at Dearborn and Polk on Sunday at 11am. This week, he performed at The LitMash on Monday, graduated from high school on Tuesday, and got together with me for an interview at Fabcakes on Wednesday. We ate triple berry cheesecakes because, as he put it, “Why would anyone get raspberry cheesecake when you can get triple berry cheesecake?” Continue reading

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