Past Events

Trying to remember who that fantastic storyteller was at that great 2nd Story show you saw last month? Want to find out the name of the band at the Stories and Music show that just ended? Check out our past shows here!

Into the Light: Stories of Secrets and Searching

Doors at 7pm; stories at 8pm.

Sometimes secrets are personal, kept in the dark by individuals for their own protection. Other times they’re political, kept hidden between the cracks of the system so that system stays afloat. But what happens when we find out, when the secret is a secret no more? What do we do with that information? How does it change us? On May 31 at the Promontory, hear four stories of secrets large and small, revealed all at once and bit by bit, from a sister searching Facebook for information about her brother, to an artist realizing his advantages in the airport security line.

Curated by Jess Kadish. Directed by Dorothy Milne.

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Something Different, Something New: Stories of Changing Perspectives

Doors at 5:30pm; stories start at 6pm.

Our day-to-day routines provide structure for our lives: they tell us what to do, and when, and how. But what happens when something interrupts that routine — an unexpected event, or a surprise discovery? What do we do with this newfound knowledge? How do these out-of-the-ordinary experiences affect us and alter our perceptions? Join us at Siam Marina on Sunday, May 17 for 2nd Story’s Tinley Park debut with four stories of changing perspectives.

Curated by Jess Kadish. Directed by Liz Rice. Sound Design by Jazz.ology.

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Almost There: Stories of Pursuit and Surrender

Doors at 7pm; stories at 7:30pm.

There’s no triumph quite like reaching the end of a journey—but what happens if we don’t make it all the way there? What if we’re stopped short by something, or choose to stop just shy of that final step? Sometimes surrender is a necessary choice — or the only choice — but what does that mean for our journey and how we reflect on it afterward? Join us on the West Side this month at Inspiration Kitchens to hear a story of one woman’s defeated return to her parents’ home, the tale of a fateful night between two former lovers, and two more stories of pursuit and surrender.

In addition to our regular tickets ($20), we offer Pay What You Feel tickets at the door (you can pay $1 or $1,000, whatever feels right to you). Same show, same seating, same experience. Read more about this initiative to eliminate real and perceived financial barriers here.

Curated by Jessica Young. Directed by Lee Stark. Sound Design by Nick Kawahara.

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Many Identities, Many Stories: Celebrating 20 Queer Years with UIC GSC

Doors at 5:30pm; show at 6pm.

The Gender and Sexuality Center at UIC is celebrating 20 years of education and action that affirms and supports multiple LGBTQ identities. On April 16th, join 2nd Story and the GSC for an evening of stories inspired by the GSC’s work of creating spaces for self determination, personal connection, and academic success. From a UIC alumnus facing his worst fears for the sake of helping a friend, to an artist having an epiphany about her work and life in a Waffle House, experience four original, true-to-life stories from across the broad and beautiful spectrum of LGBTQ lives.

While we honor the multiplicity of LGBTQ identities at UIC, we recognize that some students encounter increased financial barriers due to their gender identity and expression. To address this, the GSC is initiating a new fund for trans* students to provide financial support in emergency situations. Some of the proceeds from this event will support the launch of this new fund. We thank you for your generous support.

Curated by Jess Kadish. Directed by Tyler Greene. Sound Design by DJ Swaguerrilla.

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Passing Through: Stories of Journey and Revelation

Doors at 7pm; stories at 7:30pm.

“Passing” can be a lot of things – from a lone ranger passing through an old Western town to someone who feels like they have to “pass” for something that society can fit into a box. Either way, we’ve all found ourselves passing through at some point or another. How does being forced to change our presentation affect who we are beyond the surface, and in what ways can it be revelatory? And as you pass through a place, time or even a person in your journey, how do you make sure that they have a lasting impact–or don’t?

In addition to our regular tickets ($20), we offer Pay What You Feel tickets at the door (you can pay $1 or $1,000, whatever feels right to you). Same show, same seating, same experience. Read more about this initiative to eliminate real and perceived financial barriers here.

Curated by Earliana McLaurin. Directed by Nic Dimond. Sound Design by Brakes on the Highway.

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This Frenetic World: Stories of Finding Meaning in the Chaos (at UC)

Since 2006, Sliced Bread has been publishing poetry, prose, photography, cartoons, drawings, and other works of art — “things that make us laugh, make us cry, make us ponder our meandering existence” — from members of the UChicago community. On Wednesday, April 8, join Sliced Bread to celebrate the launch of the spring 2015 issue with live storytelling performances from 2nd Story, Chicago’s premier storytelling series. From a UChicago student’s trip to the motherland on a medical mission, to a lonely college grad’s attempt to meet new people in Grant Park, to a young actress caught in an affair of words with a poet twenty years her senior, hear three stories of seeking connection and meaning in the chaos of this frenetic world.

Curated by Jess Kadish. Directed by Stephanie Chavara. Sound Design by Nick Kawahara.

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Talking About A Revolution: Stories of Returning, Rebelling and Reflecting

Doors at 6pm. (That’s when the free craft beer and buffet starts!) Stories at 6:30pm.

Revolution can mean many things. Sometime it’s making a full turn around the sun, and noticing what’s different since your last time around. Sometimes it’s taking to the streets to fight for change that you believe in. And sometimes it’s reflecting on your actions and resolving to make change within yourself. At 2nd Story’s annual fundraiser at Revolution Brewing, hear new tales from across the entire collective – company, board, and staff – of personal and communal revolution.

The ticket price includes two hours of Revolution Brewing’s craft beer and a buffet of delicious food. We’ll also hold a silent auction!

Curated by Jess Kadish and Megan Stielstra. Directed by Jess Kadish. Sound Design by Mikhail Fiksel.

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2nd Story at Story Week

Doors at 5:45pm.

2nd Story is thrilled to be a part of The Story Week Festival of Writers, a celebration of story in fiction, film, theater, art, music and publishing. This is our sixth year opening this jam-packed week of readings, performances, panels and discussions and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve got four brand-new stories digging in to the Story Week theme of “The Power of Words.” From a trip to Puerto Rico to find out if a single word can encompass one’s identity to a moment on the side of the road when the right words were never said, join 2nd Story for one of our favorite parties of the year!

Curated by Megan Stielstra. Directed by Jess Kadish. Sound Design by Brakes on the Highway.

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What Lies Beneath: Stories of Finding Out Why

Doors at 7pm; stories at 7:30pm.

What happens when you dare to venture past the tip of the iceberg? Often times we’re afraid to find out—to begin to explore what’s under the surface. And not just what’s there, but why it is the way it is. But how do we go about finding out why? Do we dive right in, or dip a toe first? From a graduate student risking academic repercussions by joining an anti-war movement to a young boy coming to terms with his best friend’s dark side, join us at Peckish Pig for an evening of discovering what lies beneath.

In addition to our regular tickets ($20), we offer Pay What You Feel tickets at the door (you can pay $1 or $1,000, whatever feels right to you). Same show, same seating, same experience. Read more about this initiative to eliminate real and perceived financial barriers here.

Curated by Julie Ganey. Directed by Reshmi Hazra. Sound Design by Billy Eline.

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Plot Twist! Stories of Changing Paths

Doors at 7pm; stories at 7:30pm

It’s what we all hope for in a good story: an unexpected plot twist, a game changer. These moments pop up in our lives all the time, whether we’re ready for them or not – especially when it comes to love. How do we react to these curveballs? Do we ignore them, fight them, or embrace the opportunity to go in a new direction? Join us at Peckish Pig this month to hear about four stories of path-changing plot twists that lead to finding all types of love – romantic, parent-child, extended family – in unexpected places.

In addition to our regular tickets ($20), we offer Pay What You Feel tickets at the door (you can pay $1 or $1,000, whatever feels right to you). Same show, same seating, same experience. Read more about this initiative to eliminate real and perceived financial barriers here.

Curated by Jess Kadish. Directed by Julian Stroop. Sound Design by Nick Kawahara.

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