SPARK storytelling

Stage Left's SPARK storytelling series seeks to bring the community together through the telling of personal stories that excite, entertain, touch, teach and pass on the unique culture of the Rust Belt and the Ohio River Valley.

Submissions are now closed for our November 12 event!




Help revive the art of oral storytelling in Northeast Ohio, the Ohio River Valley and upper Appalachia by mentoring community members to share personal stories that reflect the unique struggles and successes of the region. 



Each event will have 2-3 professional storytellers to help coach our amateurs. Our professionals will also share a story at the end of each event.


Each storyteller will have several workshopping sessions with our professional coaches. These sessions are intended to help polish stories and, maybe, discover hidden meanings within them.


Each SPARK event will feature a theme of the night. The storytellers must stick to the theme, even loosely. Themes will be posted prior to open submissions.


One rehearsal will be scheduled the night before the main event. This rehearsal is an opportunity for the tellers to get comfortable in the space, and for coaches to give any last-minute tips.


A call for submissions will occur several weeks prior to the event. The submission form will ask several important questions and will also provide space for the teller to write out their story for approval.


Invite your friends, family, coworkers and anyone else who supported you during the last several weeks. It's time for the big event!


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REGINA REES became interested in storytelling many years ago when she used stories to motivate her fourth-grade students. She joined a storytelling club, honed her skills, and became a professional storyteller in 1992.


Since then, she has presented programs for libraries, social gatherings, and professional organizations throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana. She has also presented workshops at storytelling and literacy conferences. 

Regina received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Youngstown State University and her doctorate from the University of Akron. She has taught grades 4-12 and was a professor in the Beeghly College of Education at Youngstown State University.



KEVIN CORDI is a nationally renowned storyteller, performer, educator and author. 

Cordi has written multiple books on the art of storytelling including "Playing With Stories: Story crafting for storytellers, writers, teachers and other imaginative thinkers."

He is also one of the "nation's primary advocates for youth storytelling," according to the National Storytelling Network.

He hold a doctorate from The Ohio State University in Education, Storytelling and Story Making. He served as OSU's first "Academic Storyteller in Residence." 

Cordi is now a storytelling consultant, and is an Assistant Professor of Literacy and Language at Ohio University Lancaster.





WILL FLANNIGAN is a multimedia journalist, writer and stand-up comedian. 

He's worked alongside master storytellers, of numerous disciplines, to help hold government accountable, shed light on injustices and document undercovered communities.

Will studied creative writing and English literature at Kent State University. He also has lectured on writing and multimedia at the Walter Cronkite Journalism School at Arizona State University. He currently works for The Wall Street Journal.

He enjoys photography, film, hiking, cycling and walking his dog, Arlo. He's also an avid reader of non-fiction and creative non-fiction.



Thank you so much for your interest in storytelling with SPARK. We're so excited to help you bring your story to life.

From late September through October, our storytellers will workshop their stories with our three professional storytellers. There will be five virtual workshop sessions conducted via Zoom. Each session will be 2-3 hours long, and will include our other storytellers. 

The theme for our November event is "Tradition!"

You are free to interpret the theme however you'd like. However, we do ask that the story you tell be truthful and personal.

Our November event only has room for 15 storytellers, with each story being a maximum of 7 minutes.


Please apply soon, as storytellers will be welcomed in the order their application is received.

Please don't feel like you need to already have a story in mind. It's not required! Our professionals will be there to help!

If you have any questions, or run into a technical issue with the form below, please email sparkstorytellingohio@gmail.com

Are you available for an in-person rehearsal in Lisbon, Ohio, on November 11, 2022?
Are you available to tell your story to a live audience in Lisbon, Ohio, on November 12, 2022?
Have you ever storytold before?
How did you hear about SPARK?

Thanks for submitting! We'll be in touch soon!

This form no longer accepts submissions.