Meet the Cast of “Out From Under The Rug”

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Don’t miss these upcoming stories told live @ Dallas City Performance Hall on Wednesday, September 21.

This fall, Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales) sweeps out the shame with “Out From Under The Rug: True Life Tales of Abortion.” Powerful, personal stories, “Out From Under The Rug” will tug at your heart strings with empowering tales from men and women whose lives have been affected by abortion and women’s rights activism. Taking the Dallas City Performance Hall stage on Wednesday, September 21 at 8 p.m., our eight storytellers will motivate, impact, and encourage audience members to join them in chipping away at the stigma of abortion. From renowned physicians to clinic workers, women’s rights advocates to clergy, and brave young women to devoted best friends, “Out From Under The Rug” will personalize stories that often get distorted by the political spotlight. In advance of the presidential election this November, our presenters will leave viewers with more understanding of real experiences from a variety of different perspectives. Do not miss this show! $25 tickets are on sale now! Keep an eye out for more details: storyteller profiles will be published in coming weeks. First, though, some introductions are in order:

  • Unitarian Minister Rev. Daniel Kanter reflects on his life, looking back to a moment in his youth and revealing how one decision shaped his future.
  • His best friend wants to have a baby (desperately), but when things go wrong, Clark Harding supports her through a difficult decision.
  • Not having any practical or even theoretical knowledge about sex, Lulu Ward gets pregnant at 15.
  • After being asked to by the clergy, Dr. Curtis Boyd starts performing illegal abortions in his family practice in 1965 then goes on to open the first legal clinic in Dallas.
  • Raised in a Mexican Catholic family, Emily Cortez wavers between feeling guilty and believing she made a selfless decision after having an abortion.
  • After having an abortion as a teenager, Elise Bilodeau devotes her life to working in an abortion clinic and helping other women.
  • Caught up in a brittle on-again-off-again relationship, Britt Payne learns that her pregnancy will not create the stability and life she longs for.
  • Show host, Nicole Stewart, opens up about her own personal experience with a late-term abortion due to medical anomaly and her passion to protect women’s reproductive rights.

Join us on Wednesday, September 21, at 8 p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall. $25 individual tickets are on sale now. More info to come on every storyteller as their profile is published in the coming days. We can’t wait to see you there!

“Icing On The Cake” featuring Jacob Longoria

Theme: “Icing on the Cake”
Storyteller: Jacob Longoria

With both hilarity and sweetness, Jacob Longoria entertained the audience with a tale about how his 28th birthday went wildly awry. Fired, rejected by a sexy neighbor, and then physically assaulted, he was “bleeding like a 1970s pro-wrestler!” That night, however, everything changed. Spotting the girl of his dreams, Jacob boldly asked, “Are you a single lady by chance?” Indeed she was, and today, she’s his wife!

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“Icing On The Cake” featuring Alyssia Birnbaum

Theme: “Icing on the Cake”
Storyteller: Alyssa Birnbaum

When personal chef, and Mama’s Gotta Eat owner, Alyssia Birnbaum shared her experience of auditioning and participating in the NBC reality cooking show Food Fighters, we were clutching our sides in laughter. “Casting agents were clearly more interested in each person’s story rather than their food,” she recalled. “And I had a great story: Biracial infertile mom who adopts and wants more kids! When it was my turn, I laid it on thick!”

Follow our RSS, podcasts, social media (Facebook and Twitter) streams, and our YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest stories.

“Icing On The Cake” featuring Valerie Stokes

Theme: “Icing on the Cake”
Storyteller: Valerie Stokes

Communications Professional Valerie Stokes’ heart-wrenching story of her twin daughters’ micro preemie birth had many in the audience shedding tears. And when her daughters came home after more than three months in the NICU, we all rejoiced right along with her. “Today, I’m grateful, because it’s one more day with my girls,” Valerie shared. “Every day with them is the icing on the cake.”

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“Icing On The Cake” featuring John Stanton

Theme: “Icing on the Cake”
Storyteller: John Stanton

Management consultant John Stanton’s wild tale of a Colorado-bound road trip with two of his sons enthralled the audience with both beauty and laughter. From “the breathtaking landscape of orange and yellow clouds against sunlit, rough mountains” to the tales of “cactus butt” or the moment John realized that he’d become exactly the dad his boys need, we were all in, relishing the ride.

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“Icing On The Cake” featuring Penelope Taylor

Theme: “Icing on the Cake”
Storyteller: Penelope Taylor

With her detailed descriptions of cakes and cupcakes galore, freelance writer Penny Taylor had many in the audience wishing for actual dessert! Spinning tales of her life’s ups and downs and the many sumptuous concoctions along the way, she concluded, “There’s something I will always insist on: There must be cake.”

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“Icing On The Cake” featuring Bill Holston

Theme: “Icing On The Cake”
Storyteller: Bill Holston

Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Inc. Executive Director Bill Holston took the audience from the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama to the court rooms of Dallas, where he routinely helps survivors of torture who are seeking asylum. “There is no better feeling than knowing that I had a hand in saving someone’s life,” Bill said. His humility and commitment to others inspired us all.

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“Icing On The Cake” featuring Megan Mayo

Theme: “Icing On The Cake”
Storyteller: Megan Mayo

With heaping portions of sweetness and laughter, Megan Mayo kicked off the night perfectly. Her true tale of wrangling her toddler to help deliver her husband a semi-homemade birthday cake and surprise celebration resonated with every parent present. “Our finished cake didn’t resemble the picture on the box at all,” she lamented to loads of laughter.

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Vote for Best of Season 5!

Help Us Cast the “Best Of Season 5”

The “Best of Season 5” is coming up in August, but first we need your help to pick the cast! Please vote in our survey below or click here.

“Pulling Teeth” featuring Stan Cobb

Theme: “Pulling Teeth”
Storyteller: Stan Cobb

With a story that spanned decades, Stan Cobb — dentist, painter, pastor, professor, and cowboy — shared his challenging tale of starting over at age 42. “I was jumping off a cliff and taking three people with me,” he said. With a Texas twang that filled the performance hall, Stan tied up our evening perfectly by reminding us all, “it is the people in our lives that matter most.”

Follow our RSS, podcasts, social media (Facebook and Twitter) streams, and our YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest stories.

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