Genre: Comedy, Drama, Festival, Solo Performance
Produced by Asher Novek

Speak Up, Rise Up, runs August 14 – 20 at the historic Connelly Theater in the East Village. The inaugural festival showcases 18 diverse solo and storytelling shows. Show topics range from immigrant rights, stories from former inmates, a storytelling game show, dating in NYC, stories from women leading the resistance, social and racial justice, growing up in East New York, and following in love with a cult leader, among others.

Speak Up, Rise Up Line-Up and Schedule:

Monday, August 14 @ 8:00 pm

SCARS – Written & performed by Ophira Eisenberg (Solo-show)

I, as you can imagine from the title of this show, have a lot of scars. And I don’t mean metaphorical ones, I’m talking actual physical scars. I’m actually covered in them. This show is about my scars, filled with both comedic and tragic stories, and how to accept these patterns etched in my skin day after day after day.

Monday, August 14 @ 9:30 pm

Raised by the East – Written and performed by Gastor Almonte (Solo-show)

Raised by the East is a collection of stories by Gastor Almonte centered around his childhood memories from his neighborhood, East New York Brooklyn.

Tuesday, August 15 @ 8:00 pm

Shannon Cason's Homemade Stories Live – Created & performed by Shannon Cason (Live podcast)

Homemade Stories Podcast is short stories and commentary shared by writer/storyteller Shannon Cason. Shannon lays out his life for the listener, blemishes and all. Many of his vivid stories are insightful and true, others are imaginative works of fiction.

Tuesday, August 15 @ 9:30 pm

This Isn't Helping – Written & performed by Jude Treder-Wolff (Solo-show) with Opening Act David Crabb

In a world that seems to be getting crazier, how does a therapist whose been practicing for 20 years, deal with a bad case of burn-out? Go to therapy.

Wednesday, August 16 @ 7:30 pm

Represent Live at the Speak Up, Rise Up Festival – Hosted by Aisha Harris (Live podcast)

Represent is a forum to discuss movies and TV series from the perspectives of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, particularly through one-on-one interviews with artists in the industry.

Wednesday, August 16 @ 9:30 pm

Singleling w/Vanessa Valerio – Hosted by Vanessa Valerio (Storytelling show)

Singleling is a monthly storytelling podcast and live show series that showcases love and dating stories from regular people and storytellers around the world, as well as advice from dating experts.

Thursday, August 17 @ 8:00 pm

Awkward Hugs With Beautiful Women – Written & performed by Josh Johnson (Solo-show)

From school dances to first dates to proposing to the woman he thought was his girlfriend, Josh Johnson has had the pleasure and pain of being terribly awkward in front of some beautiful, intense, and incredible women

Thursday, August 17 @ 9:30 pm

Great Bloomer – Written & performed by Giulia Rozzi (Solo-show) with Opening Acts Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin

Giulia Rozzi workshops a new collection of stories about self-help, self-esteem and how we are all f*cked up.

Friday, August 18 @ 8:00 pm

The Story Studio Presents: "In It Together: Stories of Strength in Diversity" – Hosted by Kevin Allison (Storytelling show)

In today's political climate, it is more essential than ever that the stories of Americans from minority communities be heard. These are stories of courage and hope from people who learned they were viewed as "different" by many, but did not let it stop them from being all they could be.

Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 9:30 pm

I AM OTHER________ – Written & performed by Seena Jon (Solo-show)

Seena always checked the “other” box when it came to race. Little did he know, he would check the “other” box for the rest of his life too

Saturday, August 19 @ 1:30 pm

Good at Cults – Written & performed by Cait Elliott (Solo-show)

In 2014, Cait met a man in a NYC coffeeshop. Three years later, she shares the raucous tale of joining a cult, falling in love with its leader, and life on the other side.

Saturday, August 19 @ 3:00 pm

Journeys of the First: When American and Immigrant Identities Collide - Hosted by Dawn Fraser (Storytelling show)

Journeys of the First feature stories and experiences of first generation Americans, and times when their identity as an immigrant, has come into some kind of conflict with their identity as an “American.”

Saturday, August 19 @ 6:00 pm

SLIGHTLY FERAL – Hosted by Catie Lazarus (Storytelling show)

Join Catie Lazarus, Andrew Bancroft, Leslie Goshko and more for a night of stories about being slightly feral. It is August in New York. Who doesn't feel a little feral?

Saturday, August 19 @ 9:00 pm

A Night of Subjective Comedy with Aparna 'N Friends – Hosted by Aparna Nancherla (Storytelling show)

Aparna has always been unsure of herself. In fact, she has spent a good deal of her life trying to figure out why exactly other people aren't. Spend an evening with her, aided by some extraordinary cohorts, as she bumbles her way through a show that offers no answers, but does raise more questions.

Saturday, August 19 @ 10:30 pm

Surprise Stories – Hosted by Colin Wilhm (Storytelling show)

Surprise Stories is the world's first storytelling game show. We combine storytelling and improv in a cage match setting. The audience gets to choose the themes and winners of each round. It's fun for the whole family.

Sunday, August 20 @ 12:00 pm

The Defiant Network

Defiant is a next-generation community committed to rebuilding the promise of America. We do this by identifying, curating, and amplifying successful leaders and communities taking democracy into their own hands.

Sunday, August 20 @ 1:30 pm

How Hard? – Hosted by Nisse Greenberg (Storytelling show)

As the prison industrial complex grows, people working to fight against it are also growing in numbers. In this show, we will hear stories from those have been on the inside and been in the trenches working to stop 21st century slavery. We will hear the struggle from those effected most personally.

Sunday, August 20 @ 3:00 pm

No, We Won’t Shut Up! – Hosted by Robin Bady (Storytelling show)

There’s lots wrong in the world today, and these women have something to say about it.  And, no you can’t stop them because their time is NOW!  The issues range from white privilege, racism, wage theft, gentrification in Brooklyn, sexual harassment by a police officer.

Speak Up, Rise Up, under the Artistic Direction of Asher Novek, is a first-year storytelling festival which focuses on bringing traditional and non-traditional performers together. The focus of the festival is to raise the profile of people and communities, whose stories we don't often hear. The Advisory Committee includes: Destiny Arturet, David Crabb, Nicole Ferraro, Anita Flores, Susan Kent, Mark Pagan, Larry Rosen, and Jordan Schulze.

Open:   08/14/17
Close:   08/20/17

Shows run at various time Monday, August 14 to Sunday, August 20.:
Theater:   Connelly Theater
Address:   220 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10009
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Closest subway: 6 to Astor Place. Walk south to 4th Street, east to theatre

Cost:$15 online/$20 at the door
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Fractured Atlas at