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Your Time: Spring Story Slam, Northampton

  • Ezzell Floranina<br/><br/>
  • Sabrina Hamilton<br/><br/>
  • Carolyn Sadeh<br/><br/><br/>
  • Andrew Shelffo<br/><br/><br/>
  • Virginia Dare<br/><br/><br/>
  • Virginia Dare<br/><br/>
  • Heidi Ehrenreich<br/><br/><br/>
  • Evan Benjamin, Kristen Benjamin, Lee Mackinnon, Bill Cutler<br/><br/><br/>
  • Cathy McNally<br/><br/>
  • Cathy McNally<br/>
  • Myka Plunkett<br/><br/><br/>
  • Paul Ita<br/><br/><br/>
  • Paul Ita<br/><br/><br/>
  • Ralph Hurwitz<br/><br/><br/>

Storytellers entertained more than 100 people Saturday who gathered at the A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton for the city’s first Spring Story Slam, held as part of the annual KŌ Festival of Performance.

The slam was open to the public and required that all stories be first-person, true stories, told live and without notes. The audience members voted for their favorites from among 14 contestants.

The evening’s theme was “Fish Out of Water,” defined by organizers as “a moment when you made a leap, crossed a bridge to a new setting, or felt like you were from Mars.”

Cathy McNally, of Northampton, got the crowd laughing with her story of an airline flight during which two people sitting near her began drinking, kissing and making a video of themselves. It was especially odd, she said, because the woman was a grandmother and the man was a 20-something — and the two had apparently never met.

Another audience favorite was a story told by Andrew Shelffo, also of Northampton, in which he recounted bolting from a barber’s chair, still wearing a smock, to run down a thief.

Ezzell Floranina, a Shutesbury resident who also told a tale, said part of the appeal of storytelling is that it’s so raw. “It’s a real human-to-human connection that creates passion,” she said.

To suggest a subject for Your Time, email Suzanne Wilson at swilson@gazettenet.com.

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