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Gorton Center Live: Truth Be Told Under the Stars Saturday, July 17

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Gorton Center Live: Truth Be Told Under the Stars

  • Date: July 17, 2021
  • Time: 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Price: $20.00

Gorton Center Live Presents: Truth Be Told Under the Stars

Presenting Sponsor: The Lake Forest Bank & Trust Company
Event Sponsor: North Shore Gas 


Join us Saturday, July 17th for a fabulous night of storytelling in our Gorton parking lot, “Ravinia Style!”  Many of you have enjoyed personal stories on NPR while sitting at your desk or driving home, but it simply does not compare to the live experience of face-to-face storytelling.

Please bring your own chairs/blankets.  You may park in our upper lot, across the street at the train station, and along the north side of Illinois Road. *Pets are not allowed at this event.

Lot opens at 7pm with entertainment by Sylvia Kollasch. Storytelling begins at 7:30.

Scott Whitehair is a storyteller, producer, and teacher from Chicago,IL.  He is host of This Much Is True, the city’s longest running monthly storytelling series, creator of Story Lab Chicago, recently mentioned in Forbes and Newsweek, which has put 600+ new and first time tellers on stage since 2011, and director of Do Not Submit, a citywide network of open mics with the goal of creating empathy among neighbors. He tells stories anywhere someone will listen, which has included Steppenwolf Theater, The National Storytelling Festival’s Exchange Place, and on NPR and The Risk Podcast. Scott teaches a perpetually sold out monthly class, and trains corporations, non-profits, and individuals to find their voices. In 2014, he was the featured instructor at Hong Kong Story Worthy Week, headlined by David Sedaris.

Connie Shirakawa is a Chicago native who writes, acts, and tells stories about growing up in her parents’ rooming house on the westside.  She has appeared in many Fillet of Solo Festivals with the Goodman Theatre’s GeNarrations program, at This Much Is True, with Do Not Submit, in the film SCUTLY with Women of the Now, in Free Street Theatre’s production of “Los Milagros,” and is a frequent 2ND STORY teller.

Willa J. Taylor has been the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Goodman Theatre for countless seasons, and has held similar positions at Lincoln Center Theatre in New York and Arena Stage in Washington, DC. In her dreams, however, she is the space cowboy—poet-chef aboard the Firefly-class spaceship, Serenity.

Kevin Biolsi is a statistician by trade but has managed to avoid the glamorous and fast-paced — though ultimately self-destructive — lifestyle so often associated with that profession. He homeschooled his two daughters for a total of fourteen years, yet even with this clear disadvantage, both have become fully functioning adults. Despite an impressive inability to dance, Kevin is a longtime member of the board of directors of the Evanston Dance Ensemble. He started telling stories in front of audiences in 2016 and found it to be more exhilarating than any drugs he’s ever taken, although to be honest, those have almost exclusively been analgesics and anti-inflammatories. Kevin has told lots of stories at lots of places and has recently been hosting a number of the virtual Do Not Submit open mic shows. He is also the producer of Cabin Fever Stories and co-producer of Telling Favorites, both born of the pandemic.

Francesca Sobrer comes to Chicago via Bloomington, Indiana where she was the director and teacher of North Theatre for over 20 years. An east coaster, she is the girl from Nantucket, where there are more stories than limericks. Also an actress, a writer, a semi-retired teacher, Francesca has presented stories for This Much IsTrue, Story Lab, Do Not Submit, Soul Stories and is a recent MothStorySLAM winner. Presently working on various online theatre projects: Online Drama Club anyone?

Seen on PBS, Nightline and in the New York Times, The Chicago Reader says Sue O’Halloran “has mastered the Irish art of telling stories that are funny and heart-wrenching at the same time.” Susan has several times been a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival and the International Storytelling Center Residencies and as a National Storytelling Network and Smithsonian Institute keynote speaker. For the last twenty years, this author, keynote speaker and corporate diversity consultant has been producer of multicultural events featuring stories to build racial and ethnic bridges. Sue also produced the first ever social justice online storytelling festival which reached over 112,000 people in 52 different countries. www.SusanOHalloran.com

Sylvia Kollasch

Kollasch goes above and beyond with her music; she does not just sing covers, but she writes her own music. Currently, Kollasch is working on her own album, including some songs already published on her SoundCloud. Some of her beloved songs include “Sunset Hair,” and “Nothing Like You.”  Kollasch has been writing songs for years, but in the past few years she has been partaking in the competitive songwriting program at Interlochen Center for the Arts, a nonprofit arts education institution in Michigan.


*This program may contain mature content*

Cash bar/concessions will be available for sale during the show.


Gorton Community Center will take and may use photos and videos from this event for its promotional purposes. Your attendance indicates your consent to the above.

Film and Event Refund and Cancellation Policy: There is no refund given for unused film or event tickets.

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Artists, dates, times, prices and fees are subject to change.