Memories of Sunday: Rabbit Box and Unitarians Collaborate

23 Sep

Rabbit Box is collaborating with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens (UUFA) for a special Sunday afternoon show called “Rabbit Box, Too: Sunday Memories.” The event, a benefit for Rabbit Box, is Sept. 27 at 2 in the afternoon in the UUFA sanctuary at 780 Timothy Drive.
What a powerhouse line-up! Storytellers include Thinc UGA director Jared Ruiz Bybee; the founder of the Athens Tutorial Program, Barbara Thurmond Archibald; retired principal Larry Johnson; UUFA lay minister Myrna Adams West; political activist Madelyn Clare Powell; and UUFA member Caryl Sundland, who has overseen adult religious education at the fellowship in the past. The performers will each tell a true, eight-minute story from their childhood memories of Sundays.

Judge David Sweat will emcee the show.

This will be the Fellowship’s first afternoon CommUUnity Forum, a new initiative to develop programs of interest for the community at large.

Keeping with the Sunday theme, the collection plate will be passed around for donations for Rabbit Box. We’re a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the Athens Area Arts Council and use donations and ticket sales to record all our events, update our searchable archive and website, and pay a small stipend to our director, bookkeeper, photographer, and web guru.

As with our regular shows, people can put their name in a hat during intermission if they’e game to be the “Crackerjack Surprise” storyteller who gets four minutes to tell a story about their Sunday memories. Attendees are also encouraged to pin a small photo of themselves in their childhood Sunday best as an icebreaker at intermission.

For more information, contact UUFA member Betsy Bean at

Recap of Busted!

20 Sep

By  Melissa Harward
“Uh oh.” Two words that everyone has probably uttered. What do they mean? Trouble. Thursday night’s Rabbit Box: Busted features tales of just that. Tara Stuart was our emcee of the evening and introduced our trouble-making storytellers.

Ian Campbell started us off with a tale about breaking the rules. Rules, as he put it, specifically designed to keep disaster from happening on a study abroad trip to Fez, Morocco. When one of his students gets a taste of rebelliousness, he vows to never take the trip again.

After finding a revealing clue written in her father’s handwriting, Sharon Camp McDearis has a heart-wrenching confrontation with her mother. Relationships collapse under the weight of evidence, and painful and long-term consequences mount for a young girl blamed for a shattering truth.

Break-ups can be pretty awful. In the aftermath of his heartbreak, Theodore Lawrence learns about the three stages of getting busted. This story will make you cringe and then laugh. We feel you, Theodore.

Mony Abrol began his story in 1964. As a young ship engineer, he finds himself in Singapore with a brighter outlook on how to meet women despite his strange working hours. His new jacket and optimism don’t last long as Mony finds himself in a life-threatening, chaotic situation.

Our crackerjack storyteller of the night was Amy Watts, who reimagined a story as told by her parents about repainting the bedroom wall with a crayon. As Amy learns, if you’re going to find a scapegoat, make sure you erase the evidence.

A young Denise Mount faced quite the dilemma: show her busted-up face in public or miss the circus? After her mother makes the decision for her, Denise must face the embarrassment of her injuries. Thankfully a few kind souls help her along the way.

After a disastrous solo performance, Jen Holt swears to never singing in public again. As she becomes more involved as a volunteer at Girls Rock Camp here in Athens, she realizes she can’t keep her silence forever. Bust a move (or a note), Jen!

Neal Priest brought us home for the night with his tale of youthful California-based shenanigans. When hijinks ensue and the police pursue, Neal describes the slippery slope toward juvenile delinquency.

Rabbit Box will return October 8th at Sandy Creek Park for tales on Wild Things. As a reminder, starting in 2016, we will be returning to Wednesday nights at the Foundry.   

RB38 Audiocast – Busted!

18 Sep

Rabbit Box-sept 2015-page-001

On Thursday September 10th, Rabbit Box is getting Busted!!

2 Sep

Join us on Thursday, September 10th at The Foundry for an evening of stories on the theme Busted!! Doors open at 5:30pm, come early to order drinks and dinner! Storytellers will include Neal Priest, Theodore Lawrence, Jen Holt, Sharon Camp McDearis, Ian Campbell, and others to be announced!

Rabbit Box-sept 2015-page-001

RB37 Audiocast – Summer Lovin’

20 Aug

REV_Rabbit Box poster aug 2015 show

Recap of Rabbit Box: Summer Lovin’

20 Aug

Rabbit Box: Summer Lovin’by Melissa Harward

Why is it that love usually comes to us in the sweltering months? School is out, and it seems like everyone has sweet summer romance on their mind. It’s an iconic notion, from flashes of Grease to beach fronts and first kisses. Last Thursday, our Rabbit Box storytellers brought us their tales of Summer Lovin’, butterflies, and bittersweet goodbyes, all wrapped up in hope, hilarity, and heartbreak.

Former Rabbit Box storyteller Tara Stuart made her first appearance as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and welcomed everyone at The Foundry to reflect on their own story of summer love.

Our first storyteller of the evening was none other than Rabbit Box founder, Marci White. Marci shared a story from her travels in Israel, where her 17 year-old self falls for a stranger. The connection made with him expands beyond their fleeting summer romance to somewhere Marci never expected.

In the summer of 2004, Robby Bailey had two goals: One, to be Carrie Bradshaw and two, to kiss a boy. After stumbling into a surprising crowd, Robby struggles to realize his second goal, but learns an important lesson about being yourself in the process.

Laurie Allen, teacher and mother extraordinaire, reminded us all of the importance of having a core group of friends, those you know will pick you up, carry you through, and get you home.

You want your first date to go perfectly. Unfortunately for Naji Lyon, not everything falls quite into place for his first case of first love in the summer of 1992. Thankfully, he gets a couple more chances to get it right.

Our crackerjack storyteller of the evening was Rabbit Box veteran Ivan Sumner, who had the audience rolling with laughter with his tale of a thank-you gift to his wife back in 1972.

After leaving home, Mark Evans joins the United States Army and finds himself at the invasion of Panama in 1989. With his brothers in arms, he finds that some of the deepest connections we make in life don’t necessarily have to be romantic.

Paul Guillebeau has a reputation for making the Rabbit Box audience laugh and cry with his stories, occasionally at the same time. This particular tale about the many loves of Guillebeau on a cotton farm in South Georgia happens to be hilarious.

Madelyn Powell told of the power that just a few people possess to make changes for a cause they love. In this case, Madelyn works her way through the Atlanta political scene in the 1980’s and saves her original summer love, Willie B.

Sometimes, the most heartbreaking part of saying goodbye is the thought of “what if?” Christopher Becerra reminds the audience that it might be better to let a summer love live in memory.

Rabbit Box thanks its numerous volunteers and supporters, and will return on September 10th with Busted!. As a reminder, Rabbit Box will return to Wednesday evenings in 2016.

Thank you!

14 Aug

Last night’s show, Summer Lovin,’ was a truly great set of stories and storytellers! Athens is truly lucky to be gifted with so many talented and passionate folk. Thanks to everyone who came out and made it possible! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again for our next show on September 10th – Busted!! If the hype is to be believed, it’s going to be scandalously good!

Also, come get ice cream with us this coming Wednesday, August 19th, at the Athens Ben & Jerry’s! Ben & Jerry’s has been a wonderful partner for Rabbit Box, and we encourage you to come out and support us both!

Rabbit Box Summer Lovin’ on Aug. 13!

1 Aug

Our emcee will be the charming Tara Stuart and storytellers will include new faces and old favorites. Join us for an evening of stories on the theme of Summer Lovin’, including stories about summer romances, lifelong friendships and finding yourself!

RB36 Audiocast – For Art’s Sake

16 Jul


Recap of RB36 – For Art’s Sake

16 Jul

Rabbit Box: For Art’s Sake: Celebrating 40 Years of the Lyndon House Art’s Center

Summary by Melissa Harward

Athens has always been flush with creative types. Our tiny town is home to a community of incredible artists running the gambit of skills: photography, painting, sculpture, design, production, architecture, and more. Thursday night’s Rabbit Box: For Art’s Sake highlighted nine community members who have been touched by the power of art cultivated in Athens and beyond. The lovely Lorraine Thompson, who teaches drama at Athens Academy, spoke of the power of stories during her first event as emcee.

The very funny Greg Benson kicked off the evening in high gear. A well-known local landscape painter, Greg touched on a dilemma many successful artists encounter: When you’re no longer creating for yourself, it can be difficult to stay inspired.

Dantae “Danny” Robertson, another first-time storyteller at Rabbit Box, said that art was just another word for opportunity. After being rejected from a prestigious arts-centered high school, Danny soon learned that sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you try — or even how hard you don’t.

Local writer and musician Elsa Durusau spoke of the power of a single work of art. After loving Van Gogh’s The Starry Night for most of her childhood, Elsa had the opportunity to view the painting at the High Museum. She reflected on the painting’s beauty and reminded us that art can keep us going when we falter.

After describing the public’s angry reaction to an art exhibit she helped pull together in rundown, downtown Augusta, Lauren Fancher emphasized the importance of providing context for art and artists. She noted that we’re lucky that the Athens community has access to a variety of venues such as the Lyndon House and Athica that encourage artists and provide this much-needed context.

Our crackerjack surprise storyteller of the night was Christopher Carpenter, who told of the challenges that occur when someone close to you doesn’t “get” art — or wants to pull you toward them and away from an enthralling engagement in the arts.

Athens artist and Pylon co-founder Michael Lachowski recalled his early immersion in an emerging Athens art scene in the 1970’s, including a surprising first-place finish for a conceptual piece he entered in a local, big-deal sculpture competition.

Back in high school Morgan Middleton was one of the founding members of Social Suicide, a rap group known throughout the school for their cool T-shirts. When a prank goes wrong, Morgan and friends find themselves defending their artistic abilities to school administrators and the school’s cop.

Art is the greatest adventure, says Phillip Elie, who described toiling for years as part of a horde of rasping crickets in Silicon Valley before finding himself — miserable — in one of the world’s finest hotels.

Director of the Lyndon House Arts Center Didi Dunphy recalled her years as a teenager exploring the art scene in New York City with a close group of girlfriends who lived in the Upper West Side. Through celebrity sightings, pining over teachers and cultural figures such as Cat Stevens, and taking in the city, Didi describes the moment she knew she would be an artist.

Rabbit Box will return in August with Summer Lovin’ on August 13. September will feature stories on the theme Busted! on the 10th.

Thank you to all of the Rabbit Box volunteers who help make the show great each month!


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