Orpheum Announces Virtual StoryFest 2020

Two-Night Interactive Event Featuring Stories from Memphis Youth In Their Own Words

WHAT: When we hear each other’s stories, we grow as a community. In March 2020, nine students from Overton High School were rehearsing their live storytelling performance. Across town, seven students from The Live Seed at Douglass High School were wrapping their original documentary. Both projects were slated to premiere as part of the inaugural StoryFest this past April, but then the pandemic hit and StoryFest was postponed.  While we may not be able to gather together in-person, the Orpheum Theatre Group is committed to sharing and honoring the stories of these young people. Please join us on YouTube for a two-night interactive virtual event where we will premiere filmed stories, hear from the students, and reflect live as a community.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 13 7-8pm CT and Wednesday, October 14 7-8pm CT

TICKETS: FREEat https://virtualstoryfest2020.eventbrite.com.

WHERE: YouTube, link will be sent to registrants

EVENT WEBSITE:  https://orpheum-memphis.com/storyfest.


“I learned to step out my bubble and tell my story to people who have been in my shoes. I’m so happy I joined From Where I Stand because the story I told had an impact on me. I found the real me.” – Klenisha 

“Being a part of From Where I Stand and sharing my story means that I am doing something right. It is a blessing to be able to lift my voice and extend it as far as possible to be able to help someone else who may need to hear what is being said.”– Adrian

“Being in From Where I Stand has showed me there is a greater purpose in others and myself. Every story is connected in all kinds of ways.” – Maze 

“I feel it so paramount that our young people give voice to their personal narratives. So often they are marginalized or seen as foreign entities that don’t matter. This platform offers that opportunity . The opportunity to speak and to share their stories. Deconstruct any notions of the single narrative that prevents some from seeing others as human. This is relevant even more so now than ever. With the lingering effects of COVID-19, people are afraid . It is platforms such as these that give us the time we need to learn about others. This new way of connecting may give us new eyes in a world that always makes young people invisible.” – Crystal L. Johnson-Evans, Live Seed, Inc. Executive Director

“To hear our story while a pandemic is still in effect should give relief. Relief for the simple fact we have plans that will make this world better and that theres individuals that actually care. Whether its face to face or virtual the message that should be received from this will still remain the same, that we have a voice and its about time its heard.” – DeAndre


“As a storyteller, I believe there is great power for healing and transformation when people have the opportunity to share their perspectives and listen deeply to the stories of others. Deep listening is what this program is all about, so I’m glad that we are still able to make StoryFest happen, even in a virtual setting.” – Jenita Nakamura, Manager of Education Engagement

“StoryFest asks everyone (storytellers, teaching artists, and audiences alike) to listen with curiosity and share in what makes us human; both what makes us the same and what makes us beautifully different. When we listen that deeply to the real experiences of young people, we are taking a stand–we are demonstrating that the voices of our youth are essential to who we are as a community.” – Taylor St. John, Education & Engagement Specialist 


Night One: Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 7-8pm

From Where I Stand: Lost and Found

Meet Adrian, Arionna, Maze, Monte, Klenisha, Tyler, Jazsmine, Nivea, and Sheniah and hear their stories in their own words. This filmed storytelling performance (in partnership with Overton High School) explores stories of being lost and found. What does it mean to be lost? What does it mean to lose ourselves, relationships, and ideas as we develop? What does it mean to find your passion, your friends, your sense of identity?

Night Two: Wednesday, October 14, 7-8pm

Listen Up!: LEGACY²

This digital storytelling documentary (in partnership with seven student artists from The Live Seed at Douglass High School) follows the journey of Antonio, Detriunna, Dre, Kaiitea, Sincere, Charles, and Whitney as they define and shape their individual legacies.

Virtual StoryFest 2020 is part of the Orpheum Theatre Group’s ACTS of Engagement (Access. Create. Transform) – free community programming that believes in the value of all stories and making space for those stories to be shared. For more information, please visit orpheum-memphis.com.

About the Orpheum Theatre Group:

The mission of the Orpheum Theatre Group is to enhance the communities we serve by utilizing the performing arts to entertain, educate, and enlighten while preserving the historic Orpheum Theatre and the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education. For more information, visit www.orpheum-memphis.com

Education Declaration of Action: We commit to engaging and collaborating with the people of the Mid-South through the transformative power of the arts.

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