Story Circles Bilingües @ Third Way Cafe!!!

Join us at Third Way Café for a Story Circle and Community Discussion about the Hilltop!

Thursday October, 24th 7:00-8:30pm


Do you have something to say about living in the Hilltop or just like sharing stories?

Be the Street is a community-engaged performance project that makes original performances with folks in the Hilltop. We’re holding story circles to share and listen to stories about belonging, pride, and what you wish people payed more attention to in your communities.

These circles and conversations will help determine the topic of our spring performances.

Come join us! We’ll have some food, conversation, and a lot of stories!

All ages, identities, and abilities welcome!

Event RSVP Here


¡Únase a nosotros en Third Way Café para un círculo de historias y una discusión comunitaria sobre Hilltop!

Jueves 24 de octubre 7:00-8:30pm


¿Tienes algo que decir sobre vivir en Hilltop o simplemente quieres compartir historias? Be the Street es un proyecto de actuación comprometido con la comunidad que realiza performances originales con personas en Hilltop. Estamos organizando círculos de historias para compartir y escuchar historias sobre pertenencia, orgullo y sobre lo que desea que la gente preste más atención en sus comunidades. Estos círculos y conversaciones ayudarán a determinar el tema de nuestras performances de primavera.

¡Ven y únete a nosotros! ¡Tendremos algo de comida, conversación y muchas historias!

¡Gente con todas las edades, identidades y habilidades son bienvenidas!

Event RSVP Here


Goose on the Loose Improvisation/Storytelling Festival October 12 & 13

Hi Be the Street Friends! I wanted to personally invite you to these free workshops on improv and storytelling! I’m helping teach both days along with an improv troupe from Chicago and a professional storyteller. It would be amazing to see some of you there  This event is not hosted by Be the Street, but has overlapping goals and I wanted to make sure folks who might be interested knew about it.  

Here’s a facebook link and how to register:

More schedule information is below.

Saturday, lunch is included! I hope to see some of our participants there.

— Moriah

Columbus Unscripted Sassy Do Improv and The Wild Goose Creative in partnership with The United Way and guest artists from Chicago and Kansas City will conduct workshops and performance sessions for community residents to learn creative communication skills using the forms of improv and storytelling during the inaugural Goose on the Loose: When Comedy and Community Collide.

FREE EVENT—registration required through EVENTBRITE (see below)

About this Event:

Saturday, October 12th: Reeb Center 9:45AM – 2:00PM
FREE to the public; Limited Registrations available

9:45AM-10:15AM: Welcome participants, check in

10:15AM-12:15PM: Hitch*Cocktails Improv class
Join in a celebration and discovery of what it means to discover, create and play through the tools of improvisation! Comedy and community collide when we use improvisational games to connect with others, build story and experience co-creation! Join us in a safe space to build together!

12:15-12:45PM :Lunch to be provided by United Way

12:45-2:00 PM: Show co-created with instructors and community members,
A free offering for our community, please join your friends and neighbors for a showcase when comedy and community collide! Experience improvisation, story, laughter and fun as workshop participants share their experiences with you!

Sunday, October 13th: Reeb Center, 12:00-4:30 PM
FREE to the public; Limited Registrations available

12:30-1:00 PM: Welcome participants, check in, Jamie Arrives

1:00-3:00 PM: Jamie Campbell leads workshop –
Funny Story – Everyone has a story to tell – some of us just need a little help finding it. This workshop focuses on those moments in our lives that may not have been funny at the time, but with a little distance have become something we can laugh at. Award-winning comedian Jamie Campbell will guide participants through improv and writing exercises to find those true stories and craft them into a performance that allows them to connect with an audience and laugh at life.

3:00-4:00PM: Jamie Campbell leads co-created story show

Check out Goose on the Loose Eventbrite for additional festival events, October 10-13, held at Wild Goose Creative.

Devising Performance with a Community-in-Flux

By Nicholas Shannon Savard | April 18, 2019

In my time working with Be the Street at the Hilltop Library, I’ve gotten to know dozens of brilliant, generous, funny, creative, and courageous young people. Together we’ve told stories, built community, played countless theatre games, and have had a wonderful time doing it. That being said, devising performance with teenagers carries some unique challenges. Devising performance with teenagers in a public library without the structure of after-school-style programming adds a few extra layers to those challenges.

Many of the obstacles we faced to developing our ensemble were due to a combination of the age of our participants and the nature of the public library as a community space. Because many teens only come to the library when there is a specific gathering (often Dungeons and Dragons-related), most are not there every day, or alternatively, their attention is divided between potential activities. For the first six weeks of the project we had one or two consistent participants while the rest of the group consisted of teens just so happened to be in the library on a Friday afternoon. Since kids are often not in charge of their own schedules, many could not guarantee whether they would be able to return the following week. Getting grounded at home could mean that they would no longer be able to come to the library after school; getting a phone taken away would mean that they could not contact us, nor could we remind them about upcoming workshops. For minors we needed signed permission slips from parents for general participation in the program, compensation, photo releases, and transportation to and from the actual public performance. As the teens are often at the library before we arrive and waiting for a ride home after we leave, each of those permission slips had to complete the journey from the workshop to their homes to their parents to school and back to the following week’s workshop.

With guidance from the Albany Park Theatre Project, the Be the Street Library team was eventually able to craft a workshop structure and final performance piece that could work with rather than against our community-in-flux. One of the things we did in workshops after the first few weeks was to create a consistent routine. We began every rehearsal with the same check-in (Bam-Pow!) and played a focusing game which emphasized group listening. At the end of the story-gathering or skill-building portion of our workshop the group would stand in a circle and together put our “best foot forward” to move into the rest of our week.

Having familiar activities allowed teens to step back into the workshop space even if they had missed the previous week. The ensemble members who could attend consistently quickly stepped into leadership roles, volunteering to explain our activities to newcomers.

Traditionally, theatrical performance relies on an extensive rehearsal period with the same group of people telling a single narrative. Early on in the process we knew that we would need to take an alternate approach. Our strategy was to use a performance structure that highlighted each individual’s story and allowed for a flexible way to show the ensemble-based nature of our project. It had to provide an opportunity to work as a group but not rely solely on any one person.

The final performance was assembled from a combination of poetry and stories told in previous workshops. Each performer had an opportunity to tell their own story about a time that they stood up for something they believed in or a time that they felt truly accepted (themes that emerged from earlier workshops). The rest of the group worked together to create frozen images, or tableaux, to support the storyteller’s narrative. Participants wrote their own individual poems inspired by the prompt: “What ingredients would make up a recipe for you?” and the ensemble cut up and rearranged all of the lines into a single poem that served as the through-line for the whole piece. Although some of the original authors were not able to be part of the community sharing, the teens who assembled the poem decided to include lines that resonated with them and were excited to speak the words their friends had written on stage. Ultimately, the community of teenagers represented in the Hilltop Library group’s “A Cookbook for Us” extended far beyond the seven artists who the audience got to see.


Check out more of facilitator Nicholas Shannon Savard’s blog entries about Be the Street here

Public Sharing April 13th

Announcing our April 13th public sharing of work!

Please follow this link to reserve your seat:

Performances Made in the Hilltop/ Performances Hechas en Hilltop


THE STEAM FACTORY — 400 W. Rich St., Columbus, OH 43215

April/Abril 13 4:00PM – 6:00 PM

Accessible for differing abilities, refreshments following performances, free parking, free to the public


Following BTS on Social Media

As we approach our spring performance on April 13th, be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date on all the fun we’re having at the Hilltop YMCA, the Hilltop Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Center.

We’re on Facebook


Instagram: @btsosu

Filming the work at the YMCA as seen on Instagram

Artist Talk and Albany Park Theater Project Residency

On stage and in community performance workshops for youths and adults, the Albany Park Theater Project challenges inequality and racism by asking people to bear witness to stories that might otherwise get overlooked or misrepresented. APTP performances humanize complex issues like immigration, foreclosure, poverty, abuse, hunger. Audience members emerge from their journeys at APTP with greater respect for the struggles and dreams of others – and with a desire to learn, have genuine dialogue, and take action. In the process of creating original plays, APTP has joined grassroots organizations throughout Chicago fighting against detentions and deportations, new prisons, foreclosures – and in support of humane immigration policy, investment in neighborhood schools, affordable housing, and more.

On Thursday, February 28th, Migration, Mobility and Immobility hosted Artist in Residence, David Feiner of Albany Park Theater Project.  Feiner’s talk, “Performing Migration, Mobility, and Immobility” was hosted in collaboration with the Multicultural Center, the Performance Studies Working group, and Discovery Theme’s Be the Street. In his artist talk, Feiner described APTP’s thirteen-month process for creating a piece of theater entitled Home/Land, which opened in Albany Park in 2012 and later went on to the Goodman Theatre. Home/Land is an ethnographic theater piece created by APTP’s youth ensemble that “brings to theatrical life a collection of real-life stories of desire, risk, resilience, heroism, love, and hope – as immigrant families strive to stay together and make a better life in the land they’ve come to call home” (Feiner 2012). A piece structured in three acts, Home/Land explores origin stories, a demonic system, and small miracles.

Feiner emphasized that in the APTP youth ensemble, they start with themselves and then expand outwards.  He spoke of how important it is at APTP that artists have direct connections to a subject matter and shared that this piece was particularly resonant as a quarter of the ensemble members were undocumented, themselves. APTP’s ethnographic process began with story circles and then progressed to attending rallies and planning meetings. At these events, the ensemble met leaders of the movement and these encounters led to interviews.  At each interview, the youth would ask, “who else should we be talking to?” Conversations with a father, Padre José, and a group that called themselves, “Women divorced by ICE” greatly influenced the piece. Feiner remembered the women commenting that it was so important to meet young people who wanted to hear their stories. Comments like these frame APTP’s work in memorializing this moment of the immigrant justice movement.

Maggie Popodiak, Stephany Perez, and David Feiner during the Q&A

Following Feiner’s talk, there was a Q&A with Director Maggie Popodiak and Actor Stephany Perez.  During this Q&A, we discussed some of the complexities of ethnography, the impact it had on the young people in the ensemble, and how the relationships with interviewees and activism continued after Home/Land opened.

In addition to this artist talk, APTP’s residency included David, Maggie, and Stephany visiting Be the Street’s community workshops and providing feedback to the graduate student facilitators as they create original performances with folks in the greater Hilltop area.

Session at Our Lady of Guadalupe Center

Session at the YMCA

Session at the Library