In 2009, I created a comedy storytelling show in Los Angeles called Storytime, born mainly from my frustration at the average standup comedy audience’s impatience with stories. The show was a ton of fun, and when I moved back to Denver in November of that year, I was eager to move the show with me.
Once I finally found a home at the Paris on the Platte wine bar, the first order of business was to change the name to The Narrators, since I discovered there was already a Colorado-based jam band called Storytime. (Much later I would discover that there is also a pretty terrible hip hop group called The Narrators.) I had created the show somewhat self-indulgently as a means to tell funny stories, and for others to do the same, but it took on a life of its own, with its own fan base. I was finding new and amazing storytellers every month who were not comedians, but playwrights, songwriters, novelists, etc. The show grew immediately, and soon outgrew the intimate little wine bar.
I decided to move the show to a new venue, but knew it also needed more attention than I could give, so I asked my good friend Robert Rutherford to hop aboard, as he had already demonstrated both a passion for storytelling and a passion for this show, both crucial ingredients. We moved The Narrators to the Deer Pile art space, which was a terrific upgrade. The space was still intimate, but very intentional. Everyone present was there to hear the stories, which significantly improved the show’s quality.
As fortune would have it, the show continued to steadily grow until it was normal to see audience overflow spilling out into the hallway. We stayed at the Deer Pile as long as we could, but eventually resigned ourselves to look for a larger space.
We ended up linking with one of our very favorite Denver cultural institutions, the Buntport Theater and again the fit was perfect, and is to date our current home. The space is larger, but still ideal for storytelling.
Robert’s life decided to take him to San Diego, but his love for the show is undiminished, and in fact he will soon be launching his own chapter of The Narrators from southern California. I’ve never had anything I created bear the sort of fruit that can be taken away to a new place to grow, which is super cool. (Yes, I know it’s just a storytelling show which is neither unique or amazing, but it still feels neat.)
We’ve also partnered up with Rooftop media out of San Francisco, who will distribute some of our stories across their various platforms. Hopefully this partnership will lead to other big ideas- like perhaps a StoryFest here in Denver?
I had to find a new co-host for the Denver Narrators show, and after some real thinking, I found the perfect candidate. I will introduce him to the show on August 20th, hope to see you there!
To everyone who has told a story, or just listened over all these years, thank you so much!