What should you expect? $5 entry to listen to talented storytellers, and experience a true Big Blue Door Jam!
What exactly is that? Six to eight minute improv true stories, sans notes, told into a mic and timed by an official audience time-keeper, and judged by panels of volunteer audience judges, of course. The judges work in teams to choose a favorite storyteller, to be featured in the Big Blue Door Jame SLAM in 2013!
Cville Niche was able to get an inside scoop from Jennifer Jones herself in a recent email.
Describe Big Blue Door in 10 words or less.
True stories. Original writing. Improv. Funny. Spontaneous. Revealing.
Who are the faces (the people) behind Big Blue Door?
Big Blue Door was founded by Joel and Jennifer Jones who couldn’t have started it and couldn’t keep it going without lots of other wonderful people and organizations. Joel is from Cville and was involved in the theater scene from the time Live Arts and Offstage were getting started. Eight years ago he moved to NYC to be a playwright and stumbled onto improv and storytelling. He was inspired by how effective some of the teaching methods were at the comedy schools. Jennifer was an actress and producer in Charlottesville best known for the weekly children’s radio show on WTJU’s Tell Us a Tale. She moved to NYC in 2008 as a fundraiser and worked on theatrical productions there, too. Soon after, she and Joel began dating.
How did Big Blue Door get started? How long was it in the works as an idea before it was in action?
For two years we talked about coming back and how great it would be to share some of our New York experiences — things that might contribute to the community. Getting pregnant really was an impetus to turn talk into action. Having a baby made us think about what really mattered to us and what we wanted our future to look like. We saw ourselves with our friends in Charlottesville.
Big Blue Door – what’s the story behind the name?
Joel was working for the Magnet Theater in New York in exchange for his teacher training. He was installing a door (that he later painted blue) in an opening between two rooms. It seemed meaningful. Plus, blue reminds us of Virginia.
How is each event set-up, and how can someone get involved?
The Big Blue Door True Stories Jam happens the third Thursday of every month with changing venues and themes. Anyone can come to a show to sign up to tell a story at a future show. Check out bigbluedoor.org for locations and showtimes.
Our True Stories class is offered about every two months. You can find out about the next class on our website. The website also posts all the producing, teaching, and performing that Joel and Jen do with other great organizations like Hamner Theater, Live Arts, and The Bridge PAI.
What’s your true story?