Contrary to Popular Belief: Stories of Making Our Own Meaning

What is the meaning of life? 2nd Story has the answer and it will be revealed in this show! Disclaimer: The question turns out to be complex. Come learn how our four storytellers have wrestled with and found meaning in unexpected places. From a woman’s resignation from the Mormon Church and search for her own community to how the daughter of Iranian immigrants tries to makes sense of her full identity, join us for an evening of stories that ask the big questions.

For the second year in a row, 2nd Story will be at The Teal Room at Pub 626 in Rogers Park for one full weekend every month. Tickets available online or at the door. See you there!

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The Storytellers

Camille Acker

Camille Acker is a writer who advocates for social justice in her creative and nonprofit work. A graduate of Howard University with a B.A. in English, Ms. Acker also holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New Mexico State University. She has attended workshops at the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, Callaloo Writers' Workshop, and Voices of Our Nations Arts. She was a Millay Colony for the Arts resident in 2012 and is co-editor of Dismantle: An Anthology from the VONA/Voices Workshop, an anthology of work from the Voices of Our Nations Arts workshop for writers of color. Currently, she works as Programs and Development Associate for the National Public Housing Museum and teaches gender studies at University of Illinois at Chicago.

JC Aevaliotis

JC does a lot of different things. He received a master’s degree in religion and theater from the Yale Divinity School. During grad school, he taught at a magnet school for the arts, performed at the Yale Drama School Cabaret, and took classes on comic theory, Scandinavian theater, and linguistics. Since his 2006 move to Chicago, JC has taught and directed at Northwestern University’s Cherubs program and worked as an actor and dramaturgical consultant for various theater companies. JC performs regularly with Second City’s Training Center House Ensemble and currently works as a grant-writer at an art-education not-for-profit called Marwen.

Sadaf Ferdowsi

Sadaf Ferdowsi studies and teaches at Columbia College Chicago. Originally from Michigan, she moved to Chicago in 2009 and has fallen in and out and back in love with the city ever since. She is interested exploring the ways creative nonfiction can transform into the space for political and discursive activism.

Sarah Alexander

Sarah Alexander goes by Alex because there are too many Sarahs in the world and also because she's a rebel like that. A bookworm, fangirl, and all-around nerd, she's never very far from a book in her work as a librarian at the Chicago Public Library. Before realizing libraries were the secret base for the resistance, she was a middle school teacher, a professional singer, and a really, really bad waitress. Her academic and creative work has appeared in journals, blogs and anthologies including B-Sides, Teen Librarian Toolbox, and I'm from Driftwood: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Stories from All Over the World. No stranger to the stage, Alex also has a background in music and theater and has previously performed in Chicago with OUTspoken and Fillet of Solo.

About the Neighborhood Series

There is nothing like listening to a good story with great company and sharing drinks and food around the table. For over 17 years, 2nd Story has been offering up just that at venues throughout Chicago and beyond. Instead of finding one single new home for ourselves, we are always on the lookout to sow seeds in a variety of neighborhoods across the city. In pursuit of our vision of fostering community through the experience of sharing stories, we will host shows, workshops, and other events in each neighborhood. If you have a favorite neighborhood venue that you think would be great for 2nd Story, we'd love to hear about it. Drop us a line at!