‘Drunken Telegraph’ dials up community storytelling

Posted on Apr 10 2014 - 2:44pm by Jessica Trondsen, Editor-in-Chief

For some, the key ingredients of a good night out are drinks and interesting stories. Having new people to share both with can make the evening even better.

Those are the makings of “Drunken Telegraph,” a storytelling series that co-founders Tad Monroe and Megan Sukys will host the seventh installment of tonight at the Tacoma Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.Hot Pursuit Logo

Monroe, a Pacific Lutheran class of ‘97 alum, and Sukys, his friend and neighbor, co-founded the series in 2012 when they realized they were “both interested in connecting to our community and building community,” Monroe said.

To do so, Sukys and Monroe wanted to bring strangers together to share stories usually reserved for closer acquaintances.

“I think the joy of the show is getting a glimpse of people’s lives that you never would see unless you were friends,” Sukys said.

The two have worked with local storytellers to curate tales revolving around a quest or chase for this show, which they titled “In Hot Pursuit.”

With a range of ages, styles, emotions and personalities, Sukys said the performers will explore the theme in a lot of different ways.

“It’s great hearing someone who is 22 and then someone who is 72,” Sukys said. “It breaks down the boundaries of generation.”

Monroe said the experience of hearing someone’s story can be profound. “Sometimes even a really simple story well told with a storyteller who understands what they are trying to communicate is really powerful.”

After the six pre-planned stories — one of which Sukys will tell — audience members will have the floor during a portion called Story Slam. Attendees are invited to share their own impromptu anecdotes, which they must finish in five minutes.

“It’s hilarious watching people reach the cut-off,” Sukys said.

Past themes have included exploring the idea of firsts or transformations, as well as the topic of neighbors or the greatest gift someone’s received. The pair like to choose “broad themes with multiple applications,” Monroe said, because they are “universal and can be made specific.”

Their previous event — and the first to be located at Broadway Center’s Studio III — was themed around “Epic Battles,” and attracted 171 attendees. “It was standing room only,” Sukys said.

While past performances have been held in bars and restaurants, Studio III has a cabaret feeling, Sukys said. She said there is also no stage, which puts performers on the same level as the audience and builds a sense of community.

Monroe and Sukys plan to have another episode of “Drunken Telegraph” this summer, although they have not finalized a venue yet. They had a two-show contract with the Broadway Center.

“Drunken Telegraph: In Hot Pursuit” begins April 11 at 7:30 p.m. and is free to the public with ticket reservation.

1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Mariesa April 10, 2014 at 2:51 pm -

    Great piece! Thank you for connecting with us to tell the story of Drunken Telegraph.