Shows

Updates for Testify’s 2020 season

Hello, Testify community! There’s a lot going on these days, and we just wanted to let y’all know that the producers of Testify have decided that we will continue in a virtual format for the rest of our 2020 season.

This was not an easy decision, but given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Austin (and Texas) and the sentiments of a recent audience survey done by #ATXTheatre (a collaboration of 100+ theatres in the Austin area) we feel this is the right direction to take the show in the short term for the safety of both our audiences and our storytellers.

This is not a “forever” decision – we have no intention of permanently transitioning to a virtual format – once the option to safely returns we will very happily return to a live format! Our community – our audience – is one of the things that makes Testify so special, and nothing quite compares to the experience of telling your story, speaking your truth, to a room full of people rooting for you. We also miss the Spider House Ballroom, which has become our home over the years.

But the reality of the situation is that it looks like it is going to be quite some time before we will be able to do that, and storytelling is too important to be put on pause for that period of time.

So what does this mean for you, our storytelling community?

A lot will be fairly the same – our show will stay at last Thursday of the month at 8pm, featuring five storytellers telling true stories from their own lives. This month’s show will be July 30 and will be live-streamed for free, but starting in August we will move to a ticketed format – tickets will stay $5 as they were with the live show. The themes for the rest of the years are listed here.

We’re still (always!) looking for storytellers, though the stories will be a bit shorter, running 9 – 11 minutes instead of 11 – 13 minutes. If you’d like to tell a story, just fill out this form. It doesn’t need to be a fully fleshed out story, and you don’t need to have any performance experience. At the heart of it, all you need it the start of the story and a willingness to be onscreen and we’ll get you the rest of the way. You don’t even need to be in Austin!

You will however, need a device to connect to Zoom and the internet – a phone can work. If that’s an issue we can work with you on temporarily supplying you a device in order to particpate.

If you submitted a story for a live show and you want to tell that story for a virtual show, if you could fill out the form again (or contact Testify or a producer directly) that would be appreciated for now.

These shows and this format will be different that what we’ve built and what we’re used to, but we’re excited for the opportunities to innovate and work with a wider range of people!

Shows

Calling all virtual storytellers

Hey storytellers! While the shelter at home order has postponed our monthly in person show, we’re planning on hosting live, virtual Testify shows in the meantime. Stories will be a bit shorter 7 – 9 minutes with the following themes:

5/14 – Out the Window
5/28 – This is Fine
6/11 – Sold Out
6/25 – Not Here

If you’d like to tell a story, just submit a story at https://testifyatx.com/submissions/ as usual and we will get you up in our (virtual) stage!

Performers

Picking Up Performer Spotlight: Mason Wheeless

Mason has been sober for 9.5 years after a 13-year “career” in severe alcoholism & some not so short jail/prison stints. In the time since finding sobriety & his new life, Mason has run 11 marathons & the Grand Canyon, has visited 26 countries as an avid traveler & lover of the Earth and has met & married the absolute love of his life & his partner in (non-)crime. He looks forward to a long life pursuing various passions & hopes that this evening with Testify can be the start of a new path sharing his experiences with anybody who might be able to learn from his mistakes.

Tonight, Mason will tell his tale of what he picks up after embracing accountability in his piece Crashing.