All Creatures Great and Small
Summary by Melissa Harward
Lions and tigers and bears and chickens and coyotes and beavers, oh my! Rabbit Box storytellers brought the whole animal kingdom to May’s “All Creatures Great and Small.” Sean Polite, who joined us back in November as a storyteller was our Master of Ceremonies of the evening. He kicked things off by identifying the spirit animal of each of our presenters, which included a horse, a guinea pig, and even a vulture. Read about the night’s creature tales here:
In the first story of the night, naturalist Tommy Tye examined the way animals have taught him to be still over the years, enabling him to explore and share their world.
Almost every little girl, at some point, asks Santa for a pony for Christmas. Despite her mother’s fear of horses, Mel Cochran Davis was no different.
Wildlife rehabilitator Thomas Guillebeau delighted the audience with a hilarious tale of a beaver rescue that quickly gets out of hand.
Through her work at UGA’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Lynsey Jackson lends a calming hand to those creatures who stress about treatment. After traveling to a wildlife park in Thailand, Lynsey met an elephant who really needed her help.
Our crackerjack storyteller of the evening was Evelyn Mackenzie, who introduced us to Bob the chicken.
Sometimes old cats can teach us new lessons. Loren Hansen described how he learned resilience from his cat, Skeeter.
Sometimes the natural world reminds us there are unseen reasons for everything. Sarah Hubbard shared her story of a quiet dawn interrupted by one of these surprises.
Few relationships come close to those that we have with our pets. They are there for us even in the toughest of times, wagging tails at the door or a soft bell around the corner. In this tribute, Rachel LoPilato remembers her cat, Mia.
Virginia Baumgartner ended the night in laughter as she told us of the many mischievous undertakings of a Basset Hound named Dupree.
Rabbit Box returns in June with “Tying the Knot – Wedding Stories” and in July with “On the Run.”
Interested in telling a story? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us on Wednesday, May 11th, at The Foundry for tales on the theme All Creatures Great and Small! Listen to Naturalist Tommy Tye, Executive Director of Wild Intellegence Sarah Hubbard and others as they share their triumphs and tragedies, reminding us what it is like to watch nature unfold.
Doors at The Foundry open at 5:00 PM for dinner, and the show starts at 7 PM or a little after. The show ends by 9 – 9:15.
Our emcee is Sean Polite
Mel Cochran Davis
Put your name in the box and you could be our Crackerjack storyteller at the end of intermission!
Rabbit Box is for adults.
Thursday, APRIL 28, we’re unveiling a new storytelling format…Rabbit Boxing.
Have you ever kept a secret that you shouldn’t have? Been burned by someone who shared yours? Watched, or participated, as a secret became public?
Craft a 5-minute story around the theme “Secrets,” come to Hi-Lo out in Normaltown and put your name in a box. The first eight names chosen will perform their 5 minute stories for the crowd–and a panel of judges.
Winner gets a $25 Hi-Lo gift certificate.
Don’t want to share your secrets? Come watch, listen, and cheer for your favorites!
Stories start at 8:30.
March 9, 2016
by Marci White
In March, the theme of “My Brush with Fame,” yielded a surprising variety of takes on the concept of fame. Some storytellers were seeking fame, while others unexpectedly met someone famous. There was a tale of small town fame, another of hob-nobbing with celebrities in the big city, and one story of unwanted internet fame.
Our lovely and lively emcee for the evening was Tara Stuart.
When high school English teacher Laurie Allen was in college, she challenged herself to audition for a big part in a play. It was a difficult role with a demanding director, but she was determined to make her mark and be forever immortalized as, “an American bitch and Irish whore.” There would be dignitaries attending, and press write-ups. They would be famous!
As a teen living in Atlanta, David Finkel loved playing basketball, and he modeled his game after one of the most famous pro players of the time. He never dreamed that a series of coincidences would bring him into close contact with his idol.
After Emily Eisenman moved from West Palm Beach to the small town of Winterville, Georgia, she made the decision to run for mayor of Winterville, and won! As mayor and sudden local celebrity, she found herself the recipient of surprising perks, even beyond getting to be the judge of the middle-school spelling bee.
When Naji Lyon was an active duty combat Marine stationed near Hollywood, California, his unit got a call from a reality TV show producer looking for a Marine to be on the show. Lyon saw his big chance at stardom and jumped at it. Would the limo-ride to Universal Studios be his ticket to a walk down the red carpet…or maybe a different kind of walk?
At the end of intermission Tara pulled a name out of the Crackerjack Box and the winner was Landon Bubb. As the manager of the local Ben & Jerry’s ice cream store, Landon posted some pictures on the store’s Facebook page and was shocked to see that one photo went viral, and not in a good way. An ice cream icon had to be called in for a peace-keeping mission.
As a teen, Russell Cutts, an aircraft enthusiast, volunteered to help out with security at an aircraft convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was given a brown security shirt, a hat, and keys to a golf cart. He loved it, but things got really interesting when he was standing in line at the concession stand and the person in front of him turned around.
When Wyler Hecht was invited to accompany her friend to the island of Dominica for her friend’s 60th birthday, she was psyched to go. They would be on a rugged island near gorgeous beaches; they would see Sperm whales off-shore and pythons in the jungle. But the creature she saw walking through the fruit orchards of the estate they were staying on was the most shocking and memorable part of their trip.
When Katie McDermott traveled with her comedy improv troupe to the Del Close Marathon improv festival in New York City, they had high hopes of being recognized as brilliant and hilarious performers. And then there was the after party…
Aaron Strand moved from Athens to attend NYU and study acting in New York City, where, to his dismay, he met a lot of cocky fame-seekers just like himself. He scored a job at a high-end night club, where he and his colleagues thought of themselves as the elite “ambassadors of fun to the rich and famous.” There he saw the dark side of what it can mean to be rich and famous and entered a “dark energy vortex” that was nearly his undoing.
Mixcloud playlist here!
Black Like Me: A Collaboration with Chess and Community
By Melissa Harward
As community leader Life the Griot puts it, there are about 130,000 people living in Athens, and that gives each of us 129,000 different ways to grow. Last week, Life served as Rabbit Box’s wonderful emcee for Black Like Me, a collaborative event with Athens’ local Chess and Community program. Our storytellers gathered to talk race, embracing the culture you come from, and overcoming adversity.
Up first for the night was Celest Divine, who wowed the audience v with her spoken word piece on celebrating skin color and avoiding judgements.
After being tried at age 15 and imprisoned for 10 years under Senate Bill 440 – in which teenagers are prosecuted as adults — Athens native Joseph Houston shared his story of rebuilding a life after life is taken from you.
LaTasha Sheats told the audience about her struggles with self-doubt growing up, now using these lessons to encourage young women through her mentoring organization Strong, Beautiful, & Godly Girls.
As leader of the All Love Movement, rapper and producer Versatyle Tha Wildchyld encouraged us all to choose love over anger, even in the face of dire circumstances.
Local writer and mentor Earnest Thompson, the Crackerjack Surprise storyteller of the evening, is no stranger to the Rabbit Box family. Thompson, a former Rabbit Box engineer, told of his (thankfully) brief encounters as a black man with law enforcement in Athens.
In his story about his a journey to find his father, Ismeal Cuthbertson (the acclaimer rapper Ishues) illuminated a few of the big cultural issues facing the black community.
Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander explained how her mother taught her never to internalize the hate or threads of racism found in their Washington, D.C., neighborhood. Her story is about standing up for yourself and not messing with moms.
Life the Griot concluded the evening with a story that landed somewhere between the dream world and reality and left us all with the idea of mending bridges, not just between family but between our selves.
Our March show at the Foundry — Wednesday, March 9th — centers on the theme “My Brush with Fame.“ In April we’ll gather at the outdoor amphitheater at Sandy Creek Park for a collaboration with the Athens Science Cafe. Those stories will adhere to the theme “Trials by Science: Dead Ends and Discoveries.”
A big thanks goes out to all of our volunteers and brave storytellers!