Real People. Real Stories. On Stage.
HOW WE BEGAN
Claire Dee loved the connection and the feelings stories evoked. After a few months, Rachna and Claire grew hungry for more stories, so went to a live storytelling show in Chicago. When they emerged from the show, they decided that Naperville was ready for its first live storytelling event.
In January 2017, that wish became a reality.
The People Tree seeks to
By stopping to listen to real stories of growth, realization, or transformation our audience grows stronger, more empathetic and sympathetic to those around them.
Support and grow incredible storytellers
Who are the people behind TPT?
Just as stories evolve, so has The People Tree.
The People Tree worked with the late Scott Potter to create a series of engaging Micro-stories for TEDx Naperville.
The People Tree’s creative director Kat, moved to California. Improv workshops and High School storytelling workshops were added to the schedule.
The pandemic brought new challenges but also created the opportunity for monthly Greenhouse workshops and virtual ‘one story’ shows on Zoom.
Claire moved to Virginia and continues to mentor Naperville storytellers. Rachna was joined by Erica Katz and Simi Krishnan, two wonderful and experienced storytellers on the Empire stage.
The People Tree created and launched Sprout: Youth Storytelling for Middle and High School students. Claire started an RVA branch of TPT.
A Proud story
The People Tree is proud of the storyteller community and audience that it continues to build – new relationships formed and old ones strengthened. We are so pleased that our audience keeps coming back, and almost every time, someone new is inspired to submit their first story outline for a future show!
Storytellers return often, and many say that The People Tree has the most attentive, passionate, and supportive audience of all of the shows they attend, What could be higher praise than that?
"To me, telling a story is all about connection. Without someone to listen you are just talking to yourself."
Sayard Bass - Storyteller
"The People Tree is a gathering place that nourishes authentic community….we all have lives worthy of recounting, and nothing brings people together more powerfully than shared narrative. Also beer."
Mike Rossi - Storyteller
"Being a storyteller with the people tree provides many amazing outlets for me. I love to make people laugh and when I share funny stories I love seeing people enjoy the absurdity of my life as much as I do.
When I share an emotional or heartfelt story, I find a connection with people we never knew we had. Simply by opening myself and sharing my experiences, audience members recognize that they have felt the same way, they have shared the same sadness or hope, they are going through a similar journey.
I know from experience that there are people who feel peace recognizing that I share a bit of their path, and because of that, they don’t feel alone. I feel it as a teller and as a listener, and it’s a connection that is one of the most rewarding of my life.
As a seasoned storyteller, I participate in workshops as much as possible, because:
1) practice makes perfect,
2) some of my best lines were inspired by feedback during workshops; but also workshops help my stage presence, confidence, ideas, and the impact my stories will likely have on the audience.
In return, I try to provide feedback and ideas to newer tellers. Taking the time to listen to others’ writing and provide encouragement only improves my skills overall. It is truly time well served.
Tips for being performance ready: relax, have only one glass of wine, and try to have fun. It might seem scary, but it’s not life or death. It’s just entertainment."
Clare Clayton - Storyteller
"The workshops help you practice your storytelling with the group and great constructive critique from all the producers."
Mini Dalawari - Storyteller
"My mentor helped me realize that I have stories within my story that are all beautiful and worthy to be told.
The workshops helped immensely with fine tuning and positive feedback. It’s also wonderful to be a part of the process for other speakers. "
Meg Dagnino - Storyteller