We started off in SEPTEMBER, 2013 with Big Blue Door Jam at The Southern Cafe & Music Hall produced by Sean McCord featured true stories about sex. We also offered three classes: Improv 1 and Telling True Stories at Live Arts, and our first independent Improv 1 at the Director’s Studio.
(Speaking of classes, we have a special summer-bargain Telling True Stories class starting July 20th.)
In OCTOBER we held our first ever Big Blue Open Door at Cville Coffee, hosted and put together by Ray Nedzel along the lines of our Big Blue Door Jams but for the Charlottesville web community. Our October Big Blue Door Jam returned to what was once called Black Market Moto Saloon and is now renamed Woolly Mammoth. The theme was ‘hauntings.’ Toward the end of the month we started a third fall Improv 1 at Director’s Studio.
In NOVEMBER we put up the three class showcases. Our November Big Blue Door Jam with true stories inspired by the theme ‘Working Hard, Hardly Working’ It was hosted by Jude Silveira.
DECEMBER featured the final Improv 1 class showcase, and our December Big Blue Door Jam, featuring true stories inspired by the theme of ‘The Kids Are All Right.’
Our third-ever Big Blue Door Slam in JANUARY at Woolly Mammoth broke all our attendance records with true stories inspired by the theme ‘Schemes & Dreams’ and old-time tunes by Green Willis! We also started the new year with Improv I and Telling True Stories at Live Arts, and an Improv 2 class at the Director’s Studio.
In FEBRUARY Big Blue Door Jam storytellers were first published as a group, with several featured in the Valentine’s Issue of the C-ville. (Go ahead and click. You can still read it online.) The C-ville also partnered with us on our February Big Blue Door Jam featuring true stories inspired by the theme of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ at the Woolly Mammoth.
In MARCH our Big Blue Door Jam featured true stories inspired by the theme of ‘The Big Show’ presented at our home-away-from-home, the Woolly Mammoth. Speaking of ‘the big show’ our own St Patrick Day extravaganza was snowed out. We did a combined Improv 1 and Telling True Stories show on the top floor of Live Arts and an Improv 2 show at Director’s Studio. That was the show when the fuse blew and the improvisers performed in the dark. We also started another Improv 2 through Live Arts, and Big Blue Door’s first ever Improv 3 through the Director’s Studio!
APRIL’s Big Blue Door Jam at Woolly Mammoth featured true stories inspired by the theme of ‘Obsession.’ It was produced by Anna Jones and hosted by Jen. Also our first ever Door to Door brought veterans of our monthly Jams on the road to tell some of their best stories at Four County Players.
In MAY our Big Blue Door Jam featured true stories inspired by the theme of ‘Flirtin’ with Disaster’ and hosted by Sean McCord and produced by Miller Murray Susen. May also meant Harold Night, as the Lady Pills, first-ever graduates of Big Blue Door’s improv program, performed two Harolds at BON.
The Lady Pills continued to perform throughout JUNE at the Director’s Studio for regular Sunday night gigs, plus they were a part of our line-up for our World Refugee Day benefit for the IRC, which also included our first ever collection of oral histories. June also included our Improv 2 Showcase. We had our year-end Big Blue Door Slam at BON, featuring true stories inspired by the theme of ‘Entrances and Exits.’ Also during June we applied and were accepting as Associate Members of McGuffey Art Center, and we finished the month and our second season with the Lady Pills traveling to New York City to perform at the Magnet Theater as part of their weekly Rundown.
Throughout the year live recordings of our storytellers were broadcast on weekly editions of WTJU’s Soundboard. Thanks so much to Lewis Reining and everyone at WTJU for including us!
Speaking of media, thanks as well to Rick Moore WNRN’s Sunday Morning Wake-Up Call for featuring us for their show this year. Thanks to the Piedmont Council for the Arts for interviewing us as part of their January ‘Member Profile.’ Thanks to the C-ville for publishing our storytellers in their special addition (as mentioned above in February), and thanks To WVTF for their segment that ran in May!
Our website continued to grow. This year we averaged over 700 visitors and over 2750 views per month. (That’s in contrast to 535 visitors per month and 1900 views last year.) Our Facebook page only has 259 ‘likes’ however, which is kind of sad. It’s not just a matter of vanity either, since ‘likes’ seem to effect the mysterious algorithms of who sees what.
Speaking of seeing, what to see pictures of our events by April Muniz, Martyn Kyle, and other fine photographers? Look up the individual months or search for pics under ‘tags’ or in the home page search feature.
In a week or so, we’ll be back to regular postings, including a third-season preview, fall classes, pictures from recent shows, and much, much more!