The 18th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival

Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline Theatre and Live Bait Theater are thrilled to bring 16 storytelling collectives and numerous solo performers together for a three-week, multi-venue selection of powerful personal stories.

The 2015 solo performance and storytelling festival features the work of:

Plus: solo performances by Rose AbdooStephen Bastien, and Kim Morris; stories by GeNarrations and Five from Rogers Park; and a storytelling panel discussion led by Story Sessions alums.

Performances are at Lifeline Theatre and Heartland Studio Theatre (free parking and shuttle available; see Performance Venues below for more details).

Tickets are only $10 for each performance, and Festival Passes are available for only $50, which allow admission to any number of performances.

Lifeline Theatre
6912 N. Glenwood Avenue

Heartland Studio Theatre
7016 N. Glenwood Avenue

Both venues are located in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, in the Glenwood Avenue Arts District, steps from the Morse Red Line CTA stop. Free parking is available at the designated lot west of the theatres (NE corner of Morse and Ravenswood) with free shuttle service before and after the shows. Street parking is also available.

For all performances, call the Lifeline Theatre box office for tickets (773.761.4477) or click here.


Rose Abdoo

Rose Abdoo in Rose Abdon’t
Written and performed by Rose Abdoo
Directed by Ronald Zate

Rose Abdoo is known by television fans for her roles on Gilmore GirlsThat’s So RavenBunheadsParenthood, and The Comeback. Rose happily spent the 1990s in Chicago at the Second City and with the Sweat Girls. She is excited to return for Fillet of Solo!


Stephen Bastien

A Championship Life
Written and performed by Stephen Bastien
Directed by Mary Beth Liss

Placed in a tuberculosis sanitarium at the age of 11, expelled from Catholic high school and kicked out of his home at 16, Stephen Bastien weaves his stories and original songs with wit, humor and hope.


The BYOB Story Hour

The BYOB Story Hour is an intimate night of storytelling and live music. Once a month, six of Chicago’s best storytellers take the stage to share personal narratives based on that month’s theme. In addition to hearing some incredible stories, you will also get to see a live musical performance by local Chicago musicians. The event is normally BYOB (hence the name) but we are sure it will still be a night of laughter, tears, and music!


Chicago Slam Works

Chicago Slam Works seeks to advance performance poetry, both in Chicago and around the world through live performances, education and outreach. The Chicago Slam Works’ staff and founding members are pillars of the international poetry slam movement and the organizational force behind dozens of major poetry events all over the world.



An ensemble of solo performers who write together and perform alone. A little bit of non-fiction, story telling, and performance art with no 4th wall. Everything biographical. enSOLO strives to find universal truth through specificity and brutal honesty.


Five from Rogers Park

Five Rogers Park residents, including:

The Sword of Damocles
Written and performed by Allison Cain
Directed by Dorothy Milne

Allison is an actor and the Managing Director of Lifeline Theatre. She has lived in Chicago for over 20 years and, despite the extremes of its weather, can not imagine living anywhere else. Allison is a first time story teller.


Following the Elephants
Written and performed by Chris Hainworth
Directed by Dorothy Milne

Chris is a Lifeline ensemble member, where he recently adapted Monstrous Regiment and Hunger, acted in A Tale of Two Cities and The Killer Angels, and can also be seen in The Hammer Trinity with The House Theatre opening across town in March. He is a first time storyteller if you don’t count telling tales at the bar. He’s here to tell a story of living in the city and following your dreams.


Written and performed by Lisbeth Maxwell
Directed by Dorothy Milne

Liz is a long-time editor of healthcare publications, recently downsized. She now has time to focus on that partially written Civil War novel she’s moved across three successive computers without finishing. She is a first-time storyteller and she’s here to tell a story about a big-time crush.


Southern Heritage: Post-Civil War Reconciliation Continues on I-65 in an SUV Rented from Alamo
Written and performed by Kelli Strickland
Directed by Sharon Evans

Before he dies, a native son of Georgia places his memoir into the hands of his Yankee, urban granddaughter and says “Do something with this.” The granddaughter nods, takes the eighteen type-written pages and says “I will granddaddy,” having no such intentions. Until, that is, she finds herself sitting in an unmarked Confederate cemetery in Georgia where every headstone is etched with her own last name.



Chicago’s longest-lasting LGBTQ sketch comedy organization turns 18 years old this year. They’ve performed for massive, enthusiastic, sexy gay & straight audiences in Chicago and around the country.




Stories of Love and Transformation from Chicago Third-Agers

A vibrant, politically engaged and nostalgic (but never sentimental) evening of stories. Writing generated as part of Goodman Theatre’s GeNarrations writing program.



The God, SEX & Death Variety Hour

Stories, comedy, sketch, games, interviews, music & more… themed in GOD, SEX & DEATH.




the kates

An all-female comedy group that encompasses the distinct voices of up-and-coming Chicago performers. The kates provide an intimate night of comedy with pieces ranging from darkly amusing musical numbers, the awkward art of clowning, absurd solo performances, and uproarious stand up comedy.


The Lifeline Storytelling Project

The Lifeline Storytelling Project produces monthly live music and storytelling events designed to develop and showcase young artists affiliated with Lifeline Theatre.

2015 FoS performers: Katie Adams, Jessica Wright Buha, Tiffany Keane, Alex Kyger, Amanda Link, and Darren Meyers

Kim Morris

The Man in the Yellow Windbreaker
Written and performed by Kim Morris

Three friends unwind the sticky web of redemption, forgiveness, and revenge.





Chicago’s monthly LGBTQ storytelling event featuring self-identified and out LGBTQ performers.





The Seven Deadly Sins Show

The Seven Deadly Sins Show features seven storytellers, readers, and comedians performing pieces along the theme of one of the seven sins: envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, wrath.



Stir-Friday Night!

Turn Down Pho Work
Written and performed by Kannan Arumugam, Dacey Arashiba, Loreen Targos, Christina Seo, Jonald Reyes, Nic Park, Ray Hui
Directed by Anna Lucero
Music Direction by Katie Manning

“We are Asian. We do comedy.” Based in Chicago and one of the nation’s premier Asian-American sketch comedy troupes. Having worked with The Second City and iO, Stir Friday Night has become a fixture in Chicago’s illustrious comedy scene.


The Stoop

The Stoop is an off book (no notes/reading) storytelling show. Featured storytellers are given a theme. They take that theme and share a 7-10 minute story related to that theme. Hosted by Moth GrandSLAM champion Lily Be and Badass Clarence Browley.



Story Club

Story Club is a non-fiction storytelling show. Story Club mixes the spontaneity of an open mic with the experience of live theatre. Each show has both featured performers and open mic performers.



Story Sessions

Story Sessions is a collection of performers sharing true personal stories that tug at your heart strings, tickle your funny bone and take your mind on a wild adventure.



Story Sessions Panel

Moderated by Jill Howe and Rachael Smith, co-producers of Story Sessions; also with Roger Batton, producer of the Michigan-based Indigan Storyteller group.

Storytelling live lit, getting your truth on: What is it? What makes a story sing? And many tips and kickstarting ideas to get you started as a storyteller in Chicago and beyond!


Sweat Girls

The Sweat Girls Are: Tribal Elders

With 21 years of shared history, the Sweat Girls have been called “the undisputed tribal elders” of the solo performance scene (Chicago Reader, 2014). Known for their “contagious gusto,” the Sweats are glad to represent the greying edge of Chicago’s burgeoning Live Lit community.



Tellin’ Tales Theatre

Tellin’ Tales Theatre builds community through story — adult solo performances as well as “Six Stories Up,” a mentoring program and show featuring kids and adults, with and without disabilities.

Tekki Lomnicki is a solo performer, playwright, director and educator. She is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in New Performance Forms, the 2008 3Arts Artists Award in Theater and the 2010 Grigsby Award for Excellence in Solo Performance.


You’re Being Ridiculous

A group of real people telling real funny stories about their lives with a theme as their guide. They laugh at themselves and laugh with each other. Everyone has a story to tell — what’s yours?



Live Bait Theater developed more than 200 world premieres over its 20-year history and was nominated for over 50 Non-Equity Jeff Awards, predominately in the category of New Work. Sharon Evans was the Artistic Director from 1987-2008, and in 1995 she created the Fillet of Solo Festival, which featured over 200 solo artists in its first 13 years.

In 2009, Live Bait closed its doors, but Evans’ enthusiasm for new work and for the Festival remained undiminished. When searching for a new producer of the Festival, it was important to her that it be a theater dedicated to new work and she was delighted to find a perfect fit with Lifeline Theatre. In 2010, Lifeline and Live Bait co-produced the 14th Annual festival, and Lifeline has been carrying on the tradition ever since.