Laura Crawford’s father, Dr. Robert Popper, narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Nazis during the antisemitic pogrom known as Kristallnacht. The unbelievable journey that ensues is a globe-spanning journey of courage, luck, endurance and love. Crawford, who founded the world-renowned Centenary Suzuki School, was kind enough to share her father’s awe-inspiring journey at an All Y’all live storytelling event on Saturday, March 12, 2016.
Ghost stories can be a lot of things: visceral, frightening, unnerving. But very seldom do they drift into territory that could be described as intimate or personal. Storyteller Steven Abney took the stage at our Nov. 12, 2016 live event, “Haunted”, and delivered a ghost story that was as equally suited for Ghost Hunters as it was for Dr. Phil. This spine-tingling tale of a haunted house and one man’s struggle to shake loose of his demons continues to be one of the most unique All Y’all stories told to date.
Coming Soon: All Y’all Live, “The Skin I’m In”
On Saturday, Aug. 26, All Y’all will return to the Woman’s Department Club for our 12th live storytelling event, “The Skin I’m In”. We are looking for six great stories of identity, acceptance (or the lack thereof) and the journey of self-discovery. If you think you’ve got a story for “The Skin I’m In”, please call our storyteller hotline at (318) 582-0665 and leave us a message.
“Stories of the Strings”
If you’re reading this post during the summer of 2017, check out our upcoming “Stories of the Strings” nights. Chris and Sara from All Y’all host these “show and tell”-style evenings featuring guitar players and collectors discussing their most treasured instruments. Events will be held at Artspace Shreveport every Wednesday night in June and July. Shows begin at 6 p.m. and admission is $5. Join us!
Help Us Say “Thanks”…
The 2017 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group and Maccentric. Without the support of these sponsors, All Y’all live events and podcasts would be extremely difficult for us to pull off. Please consider thanking our sponsors with your patronage.
On May 11, 2016, Christopher Louis Wilson published a post on his blog, From the Desk of Mr. Coach Wilson, about his lifelong love affair with Shreveport-based restaurant Wing Taxi. Within 24 hours, the post had gone viral in Shreveport, with thousands of views and social shares leading the owner of the restaurant to reach out to Wilson. As it turns out, Wilson isn’t the only Shreveporter obsessed with the quirky, gypsy-like wing joint. For many locals, the taste of home is Cajun ranch lemon pepper garlic Parmesan.
For our November 2016 live storytelling event, “Haunted”, Wilson took the stage and shared a surprisingly personal, heartfelt story of love, loss and yearning.
All Y’all Live: “I Just Work Here” Tickets Available Now The 11th All Y’all Live storytelling event, “I Just Work Here,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 1, 2017 at The Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport. For lots more information and a link to buy tickets, please check out the official event announcement. We’d also be thrilled if you’d consider sharing the official Facebook event.
Thank You, Nate Treme
If you enjoy the background music in this episode of the podcast, you can hear more work from producer Nate Treme on his Bandcamp page. Nate has performed live musical interludes at most of our live storytelling events to date and has become an integral part of the All Y’all family. He’s also an incredibly gifted graphic designer, whose work you can see here. Thank you, Nate!
During the second half of our July 2016 storytelling event, “I Fought The Law,” we featured stories from three attorneys who shared an insider’s perspective of our complex legal system. Our last storyteller of the evening, Meghan Shapiro, moved to Louisiana in 2013 to practice death penalty defense law in a place with greater need than most. From 2010 to 2014, more people were sentenced to death per capita in Caddo Parish than in any other parish or county in the United States.
Meghan has almost exclusively represented poor individuals charged with capital crimes or sentenced to death, a cause to which she has been heavily devoted since her teens. This story is about her first death row client.
Coming Soon: I Just Work Here
We’re currently recruiting storytellers for our Spring 2017 live storytelling event, “I Just Work Here,” a collection of great stories about the working life. As always, we’re looking for all kinds of stories: funny, sad, inspiring, confusing – the only requirements are that your story is true and you’re willing to get up onstage in front of a few hundred friends to tell it. If you think you’ve got a story for “I Just Work Here,” please call our storyteller hotline at (318) 582-0665 and leave us a message.
Few All Y’all storytellers have ever seemed so comfortable in the spotlight as “Momma and Daddy” storyteller Dr. Jaya McSharma. Jaya had our sold-out audience in the palm of her hand from the moment that she stepped onstage, eliciting roars of laughter and more than a few tears. Her story takes us inside an Indian-American family on the cusp of gaining a new family member.
I will never forget the first conversation that Sara and I had with Colonel Samuel Mims, a pastor, environmental activist and community organizer who spoke at All Y’all Live: I Fought the Law on July 16, 2016. Colonel Mims was sitting in his pickup truck in a gravel parking lot in Minden, Louisiana, where we’d arranged to meet. When Sara and I began to explain how the All Y’all process works (we meet with storytellers, rehearse and help them refine their stories in the weeks leading up to each live event), Colonel Mims gently but firmly held up a hand and said: “Now, I’m not going to be doing any rehearsals. That’s just not me.”
When he took the All Y’all stage, we had no idea what Colonel Mims was going to say. He delivered a fiery call to action fueled by his righteous indignation over what he sees as systemic failures of leadership in Louisiana. In his voice, we hear anger and exasperation, but we also hear love and hope.
Storyteller Sarah Smith took the All Y’all stage in July 2016, during our live event entitled “I Fought the Law,” to share her personal account of trial by fire. The first case that Smith ever took to trial during her time as a public defender turned out to be a maelstrom of media coverage, protests and social media outrage.
Much of the public has only heard one side of this highly publicized story, which involved accusations of animal cruelty against a young black man from Shreveport. In this episode of the All Y’all podcast, we present another perspective on this controversial case.
All Y’all Live: “Haunted” Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12
The 10th All Y’all Live storytelling event, “Haunted,” will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 at Remington Suite Hotel & Spa in downtown Shreveport. For lots more information and a link to buy tickets, check out the official event announcement. All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Louisiana Association for the Blind thanks to the kindness of our season sponsors as well as special “Haunted” event sponsor Remington Suite Hotel & Spa.
Further Reading: Louisiana’s Public Defender Funding Crisis
The Sixth Amendment guarantees all Americans “the right to an attorney.” The idea is simple: if you find yourself in legal trouble and lacking the money to hire a lawyer, the state will hire one on your behalf. But…what happens when the state doesn’t have any money, either?
All Y’all isn’t a resource for “hard news” stories like Louisiana’s public defender funding crisis. But several local news outlets have filed stories about the situation, and the situation continues to draw national attention. We encourage the All Y’all community to get educated about this insane situation. Here are a few links that may be useful in doing so:
We first met Daniel Ukpabi on an unseasonably cold October morning at Shreveport Farmers’ Market, where he was ladling out steaming bowls of spicy Nigerian stew and telling anyone who’d stop to listen about his fledgling not-for-profit organization, The Pacemakers. At the time, we were just beginning to plan All Y’all Live: “Momma and Daddy,” and we walked away thinking: “Wouldn’t it be great if he had a story about his parents?”
It turns out, he did. Daniel took the stage on Saturday, March 12 at Bossier Arts Council’s East Bank Theatre and charmed the crowd with memories of his youth in Nigeria, a bumpy road to America and a father who wouldn’t give up.
The 2016 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our season sponsor, Holiday Lanes. Holiday Lanes has a special program called Laney’s Club that offers a staggering $1,530 worth of free bowling for kids ages 18 and under! Sign up for Laney’s Club here or tell a friend about it.
If you’ve ever been to an All Y’all live event, chances are good that you’ve eaten a TABASCO-spiked brownie during intermission. Those brownies are baked and donated by All Y’all mentor and supporter Judy Williams, who shows up with two heaping trays of the spicy treats before each and every show. Thank you, Judy!
If you enjoyed this episode, please post it on your Facebook wall! You’d be surprised how much this helps us.
The seventh and eighth All Y’all live storytelling events, “Momma & Daddy,” will be the first-ever multi-night All Y’all event, March 11-12, 2016 at East Bank Theatre in Bossier City. “Momma,” an evening of stories about moms, motherhood and more, will be held on Friday, March 11. “Daddy,” featuring stories from, to and about fathers and fatherhood, will be held on Saturday, March 12.
Both shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased here. Storytellers for the “Momma”-themed event on March 11 include Kathy Melancon, Angela Doe, Lido Villaseñor and more. Storytellers for the “Daddy”-themed event on March 12 include Will McGrew, Laura Crawford, Daniel Ukpabi, Luke McClung, Michael Chisum and more. There will be live musical interludes, vegetarian snacks at intermission prepared by Libby Patterson Smith of gogreenly and a cash bar serving wine and Great Raft Brewing products. Momma & Daddy” are presented in partnership with the wonderful folks at the Bossier Arts Council.
All Y’all live storytelling events feature true stories told live on stage without notes. Some stories may contain adult references or strong language. All Y’all events are recommended for mature audiences.