Madison Story Slam is an organization that believes that stories lead to connection, which leads to real community!
Founded by Adam Rostad in 2013, Madison Story Slam grew out of JPH Story Slam and has become a staple in the Madison comedy and storytelling community. Don't let the laughs fool you though; stories told from our stage have run the gamut from joyous to sad, spiteful to redemptive, and everything in between. We've got laughs, we've got drama, and we've got an open mic for great people to deliver the goods live from the stage.
Way back in 2013 we started meeting at Johnson Public House where we put on live events that offered an open mic and stage for anyone to sign up and tell a story based on the night's theme. Eventually, our numbers far outgrew the small coffee shop's legal capacity; in fact we more than doubled their capacity by the middle of our second season.
When we needed to find a new venue, The Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center was the first place that came to mind. Wil-Mar embodies the spirit of what Madison Story Slam is, meeting people where they're at. We have been teamed with Wil-Mar ever since (with an exception for the pandemic years where nothing happened).
Along with our regular events at Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, we have produced regular shows at State Line Distillery and Robinia Courtyard. We've also been fortunate enough to produce shows for Wisconsin Public Radio, McFarland Public Library, and more!
We always say that the real meat of what we do at Madison Story Slam happens when we take breaks between stories. Storytellers sign up to tell a story and we take a 5-10 minute break after every third storyteller.
It's during these breaks that audience members connect with each other, and storytellers, to talk about how the different stories being told connected with them. Maybe they finally don't feel alone, or were reminded that they are not the only one who went through something like what the storyteller shared.
The individual line of connection that is drawn between the storyteller and each audience member is the very same connection that is then used to build real, lasting community between the people in attendance.
Each live event is recorded (audio and video) and is then released online as a podcast.