A Recap and a Good Cause

Well, the turnout tonight was admittedly a bit on the dismal side, which is a pity seeing as the performers were (in my opinion) even more spectacular than the night before. Quick recap:

Nancy Donoval: Oh. My. GOD. She has an informal and welcoming style you can’t help but sit back and enjoy. And she told a beautiful story, funny and sad and everything in between, that just drew me in like a black hole.

Andrea Stern: At the risk of repeating myself, oh. My. GOD. Okay, I thought the stuff I’d listened to online was good–that was nothing. She blew that out of the water. I was mesmerized just watching her pluck the strings; if you had told me that her hands had gained sentience and were doing it all on their own, I probably would’ve believed you.

Dean Seal: Heresy is fun! 🙂 Well, I already knew that. But Dean Seal brought a lot of cool new facets of Biblical characters to life through the readings of his plays. I particularly liked the one about Miriam of Magdala.

Kay Kirscht: Mmm, more awesome stories. I could get used to this. Everything she said was infused with such warmth and feeling that I felt like I was a little kid again, sitting cross-legged on the floor with my friends, waiting for the nice librarian lady to tell us another story.

Axial Age: Utterly, utterly kick-ass. The movie was chilling and haunting and mysterious; its grasp of the power of images and movement amazing. And the music just continued the awesomeness, surging back and forth between different emotions, swirling around and around inside my head.

In conclusion, I hereby sentence those of you who did not go to a lifetime of regret. The pain will never fade.

Also, Nancy Donoval needs your help. She has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, a federally-recognized disability that makes it very hard for her to find safe housing. She is currently working on making an apartment safe, but this is a major strain on her finances. Please help out: we all need this paragon of awesome to continue telling stories. No donation is too small (or too big)! You can find more information, and/or donate online through the following address:


Or if the Internet’s not really your thing (though if so, why are you reading a blog?), you can send a check made out to Nancy Donoval, or cash, money orders, and in her words “lottery tickets, wooden nickels, and shiny, lucky pennies” to:

Nancy Donoval, 2415 24th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55406

Nancy Donoval

So shame on my face for not bringing your attention to this sooner, but there’s another performer joining the line-up Friday and Saturday: the talented Ms. Nancy Donoval. In the grand tradition of college students everywhere, I shall now blame my exceedingly busy schedule and fail to mention other pertinent information, such as the fact that I compulsively sign up for events and organizations I have no time for, and delay doing homework in order to devour the latest Terry Pratchett novel. Speaking of which: OH MY GOD TERRY PRATCHETT IS A GENIUS! LET US ENSHRINE HIM AND WORSHIP HIM FOR ALL TIME!


Anyway, here are some long-overdue factoids on Nancy Donoval. An accomplished storyteller (she was awarded the 2008 VSA Minnesota Artist Recognition Grant, and her stories have been broadcast on Chicago and Minnesota Public Radio) she tells tales that are at once hilarious and heartbreaking. For ‘Spirit in the House’ she will be performing a work entitled ‘Bride of Christ’ vs. ‘Bride of the Stage.‘ It is described as the chronicle of her ongoing wrestling match between spiritual and theatrical paths. Her work explores the need to give a name and a voice to our experiences so that we can understand them, and in doing so, more fully understand ourselves.

She has performed at various festivals and conventions all over the country, and was in fact featured at the 2004 National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. In addition, her one-woman shows Dancing Rats & Vampire Moms and Monster Movies with my Undead Dad were sold out at the Minnesota Fringe Festival (North America’s largest performing arts festival), and the Minneapolis Star Tribune named her as “Cream of the Crop.” An MFA in Directing/Theatre from Northwestern University, Nancy Donoval is also a workshop leader and performance coach to actors, writers, and public speakers all over the U.S.

And if you need any further inducement to come see her, just listen to this audience members’ testimonial: “I laughed so hard my cramps went away.”

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