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Valley Voices Story Slam returns for 8th season

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Nov. 7, 2022, SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Valley Voices Story Slam collaboration between the Academy of Music Theatre and New England Public Media (NEPM) embarks on its eighth season beginning December 2022. Valley Voices Story Slam reimagines one of the oldest forms of entertainment for today by adding a bit of competition to the mix and inviting everyone — from experienced storytellers to complete newbies — to share their true stories in front of a live audience. Tickets for the full season are on sale now through the Academy of Music Theatre’s box office. Curran & Keegan Financial is NEPM's Valley Voices Season 8 sponsor.

Valley Voices Story Slam events are held at venues around the region from Holyoke to Greenfield, with each show built around a theme. Over the course of the evening, the audience can look forward to hearing ten unique stories told live, without notes in five minutes or less. At the end of the night, the audience votes for their favorite story, and the top three storytellers go on to compete in the Best of Valley Voices in April 2023. This year, Valley Voices Story Slam will present shows at two new venues, The Drake in Amherst and Marigold Theater in Easthampton, along with Hawks and Reed in Greenfield and the Divine Theater in Holyoke, which have supported the series for many seasons.

“We have a blast at these shows,” said Vanessa Cerillo, co-executive producer of Valley Voices Story Slam and senior director of marketing and events at New England Public Media. “You can’t imagine some of the crazy things your neighbors get up to and live to tell about.”

“We have incredible storytellers each year," said Debra J'Anthony, executive director at the Academy of Music Theatre. “Whether it's their first time on stage or not, some of our contestants have moved on to much larger slams and have even been featured on The Moth.”

Storytellers are invited to audition to be part of the show by calling the Valley Voices hotline at 413-735-6688 and sharing the first line of their story during the set audition period. Valley Voices producers choose the storytellers based on the strongest first lines, and storytellers are supported with a free coaching session ahead of the show.

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Lyrical Faith, left, and Vanessa Cerillo, co-producers of Valley Voices Season 8.

Valley Voices Story Slam Season 8 dates and details

Thin Ice
Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.
The Divine Theater, Gateway City Arts
Holyoke, Massachusetts
Audition Dates: Oct.18 - Nov. 7

Kiss & Tell
Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Hawks & Reed
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Audition Dates: Jan. 19 - Feb. 2

Sorry, Not Sorry
Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.
The Drake
Amherst, Massachusetts
Audition Dates: Dec. 8 - Jan. 2

Nope
March 16, 7:30 p.m.
Marigold Theater
Easthampton, Massachusetts
Audition Dates: Feb. 16 - March 2

More from Valley Voices

What started out as a live event series nearly eight years ago has grown to include a podcast and video shorts produced by New England Public Media. Valley Voices fans can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts or at nepm.org, and see performances from past seasons on NEPM’s YouTube channel. This summer, NEPM piloted Valley Voices Radio, a 30-minute show featuring stories collected from Valley Voices Story Slams which is available to stream at nepm.org.

Storytellers and those who love to listen are invited to join the Valley Storytelling Community Facebook group to keep up with Valley Voices Story Slam and other local storytelling events in the region.

Tickets for all shows this season are on sale now for $17 per seat, including service fees. Tickets can be purchased at www.aomtheatre.com, through the box office, open Tuesday-Friday from 3-6 p.m., or by calling 413-584-9032 ext.105.

For more information on Valley Voices Story Slam, including how to audition, visit nepm.org/valleyvoices.

For approved promotional photography and video contact Vanessa Cerillo at valleyvoices@nepm.org.

ABOUT NEW ENGLAND PUBLIC MEDIA

New England Public Media is a community-supported, independent non-profit organization based in Springfield, Massachusetts. Through a deep commitment to independent local journalism, trusted educational content, inspired cultural offerings, and civic engagement, NEPM endeavors to share new voices and inspire new conversations. It provides audiences with a broad array of local and national programs across all media —TV, radio, online, and mobile, including PBS and NPR programs as well as locally produced series, podcasts and specials. Its four digital TV channels, and two radio networks present news, jazz and classical music, documentaries, talk, drama, plus cultural and educational programming.

For more information, visit nepm.org or follow NEPM on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

MEDIA CONTACT

Vanessa Cerillo
Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and Events
New England Public Media
413-735-6605
vanessa_cerillo@nepm.org