ADDRESS: Sandy Creek Park
This month's Rabbit Box story showcase, Out on a Limb, took place last night at Sandy Creek Park. The audience was larger than I expected, expanding out of the amphitheater. Guests were advised to bring blankets and warm clothes since the temperature dropped, but people thought to bring other provisions as well, such as food and dogs. The result was a warm, comfortable atmosphere.
The premise of Rabbit Box is simple: tell a true story. Participants recite a 7-8 minute story pertaining to the event's theme (so in this case, the stories were about going out on a limb). Paper isn't involved: you can't read a speech or bring any notes onstage. If you're interested in telling a story for an upcoming event, contact Rabbit Box here.
Seven slated storytellers and one guest (more on that later), took the stage adjacent to a fire pit. Some stories covered relationships, such as Scott Shamp's tale about his grandfather, David Noah's experience on top of the water tower with a girl he had a crush on, and Alex White's hike in the Ocala National Forest with his father. Other stories were about amazing or crazy experiences, such as Jim Ford's first encounter with whales, Brittany Barnes' road kill hunt, Bert Parks' first night in the army, and Grayson Morris' misadventures of young adulthood.
During intermission, the crowd was encouraged to move around, socialize, and roast marshmallows at the fire pit. One of the slotted speakers, Danetta Silmon, was unable to attend, so guests were encouraged to put their names in a box (the Rabbit Box) to be drawn for a "Cracker Jack story." Because Cracker Jack stories are spontaneous, the speaker only has to tell a four-minute story. The drawn speaker, Andy, told us about how he went out on a limb when he got lost in Rome when he was 17.
Most of Rabbit Box's showcases are indoors, at the Melting Point, but I really like that my first experience was an outdoor show. With nice weather and a theme such as "Out on a Limb," it only makes sense that the stories are told among the trees. As it darkened, the atmosphere changed. Such is nature. The campfire and string lights on the stage grew brighter and felt warmer, a crowd of fireflies served as both an audience and a backdrop, and the words mattered more than ever.
On May 14th, the Melting Point will host "Silver Box: Stories from our Elders." Then, on June 11th, Rabbit Box is teaming up with Art Rocks Athens for a special event. Part of me is sad that the next few Rabbit Box events aren't outside or around a fire, but that just means I'll have a new experience to encounter and new stories to hear.