By Kevin Edwards
BC Staff Writer
The Delta Arts Alliance will host its fourth “In Our Own Words” event beginning at 6 p.m. Friday in the newly renovated Ellis Theater, which re-opened in December.
The theme for this year’s event is “Believe” and is centered on story telling.
“We have eight members of our cast who will be telling stories that go along with that theme,” said Susannah Wessel of Delta Arts Alliance. “We’ve got some shocking stories. We’ve got funny. We have sad. We have enlightening stories. All are different perspectives of a theme of believe.”
The cast list includes Don Conger, Stephanie Melton, April Lawrence, Jeremiah Smith, Cade Holder, Kimberly Cooley, Sean Wessel and John Cox.
Usually held in the upstairs gallery of the Ellis Theater, Wessel said she is excited to use the newly renovated theater space.
“This year is going to be extra special because this is the first time we’ve been able to host the event in the auditorium space in the back of the Ellis that’s been newly renovated.”
Wessel pushed for the event upon returning to Cleveland after being involved in a similar style of event while living in Spokane, WA.
“We have so many rich stories here in the Delta. Why are we not having a story telling event here?”
Wessel was directed to Delta Arts Alliance Executive Director Rori Heribson and the two collaborated on what would work best.
“Thankfully Rori thought it was a great idea and so, thinking about how we wanted to do it and we decided that people would want to see a different theme each year,” Wessel said. “Something that is different each year, so we don’t have to worry about people thinking it’s the same old thing.
“We’re always on the hunt for other cast members and also hoping to reach those who may not have done something like this before because it is really a great experience to be a member of the cast and share those experiences with others.”
Wessel said the audience is in for an engrossing experience.
“When you’re in the audience, a lot of times you hear these stories and it reminds you about having a similar situation, or they handled that a lot differently than I did. You usually relate to the stories that are being told in some way and maybe how similar experiences have touched your life.
“It’s one of those things where we have said each year, it’s just a magical evening and you just walk out of there smiling and still playing the stories in your mind of all the different things that you’ve heard,” Wessel said. “And again, it’s like nothing else that we have in town.”
Tickets are $50 and may be purchased by calling 662-843-3344, online at deltaartsalliance.org or by dropping by the Ellis Theater.