Meet the Cast of “Happy Camper”

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Grab your s’mores supplies and gather ’round the campfire, because this month, Oral Fixation will send off its fourth season with an evening of true, personal tales on the theme, “Happy Camper.”  On April 20th, at the Wyly Studio Theatre, with an encore performance on April 22nd, at Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff, both at 8 p.m., seven Dallasites will share their happy place. But first, some introductions are in order.

  • Ken Bethea shares how he quit his corporate gig at age 30 to pursue life as a musician with the Old 97’s.
  • Randy Brown remembers finding himself deep in the heart of the Grand Canyon without a lifeline.
  • Ryan Gifford-Robinson works as a counselor at a remarkable camp for disabled youth.
  • Self-described “weird kid” Xuan Nguyen  relives her dream of camping at a Vietnamese Catholic retreat.
  • Charles Scudder turns his passion for the Goatman ghost story into a career in investigative reporting.
  • On a mandatory 8th grade camping trip, Melissa Smrekar learns that “it’s really liberating to say no to shit you hate.”
  • Oral Fixation creator Nicole Stewart shares how getting kicked out of her summer camp in Colorado taught her it was OK to fail.

Join us on Monday, April 20, at the Wyly, or Wednesday, April 22, at Texas Theatre. Tickets are on sale now. More info to come on every storyteller as their profile is published in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to see you there!

“Two Peas In A Pod” featuring Danny Fulgencio

Theme: “Two Peas In A Pod”
Storyteller: Danny Fulgencio

Struggling writer Danny Fulgencio, describes falling in love with an equally lost but beautiful photographer. Though her parents viewed him as their “daughter’s rebellion,” the couple moved to picturesque Hawaii together. Nevertheless, their relationship was declining rapidly. Against the backdrop of paradise, the couple endured excruciating turmoil and heartache, including an unwanted pregnancy, as they struggled to make ends meet. Danny’s portrayal of love gained and lost takes the audience on a visceral journey that tugs at every emotion.

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“Two Peas In A Pod” featuring Trish Batson

Theme: “Two Peas In A Pod”
Storyteller: Trish Batson

The hilarious and fierce Trish Batson introduced the Oral Fixation audience to her two personalities: “Black Trish” and “White Trish.” After her behavior during an argument at work led to unshakable repercussions — including being passed on by co-workers for promotions she deserved — Trish humbly learned how to balance both sides of her personality. Eventually, Trish managed to strike the perfect balance between harnessing her emotions while remaining true to herself.

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“Two Peas In A Pod” featuring Tami Stowe

Theme: “Two Peas In A Pod”
Storyteller: Tami Stowe

A chance encounter with a repairman led Tami Stowe to the love of her life, her best friend Brian. Wounded by the failure of past relationships, and seeking solace in the arms of food, Tami opened her heart and home to Brian. When Brian, a personal trainer, began to champion and encourage Tami in her life as a steadfast friend, she lost more than 100 pounds and, in the process, gained the love and loyalty she always deserved.

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“Two Peas In A Pod” featuring Robert Hunt

Theme: “Two Peas In A Pod”
Storyteller: Robert Hunt

The charming and eloquent Robert Hunt peels back the curtain and offers a peek into life as a twin. While their youth certainly included classic twin stunts — like switching places in class to see if the teacher would notice — growing up as a twin is also a process of allowing each other to create your own identities, Robert reveals. In doing so, Robert learns that he and his twin weren’t two of the same; they were always twice as much.

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“Two Peas In A Pod” featuring Kathryn Kowal

Theme: “Two Peas In A Pod”
Storyteller: Kathryn Kowal

The innately kind and compassionate Kathryn Kowal described her earliest memories, which were of being on the run from an abusive father with her mother and siblings. In recalling the bed they shared for the first 18 years of her life, Kathryn articulated the impenetrable bond she shares with her sister. These two little peas literally shared the same pod until they went to college, reminding us of the strong ties that bind a family together, even amid pain, heartache, and growing up.

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“Slippery Slope” featuring Robert Schmidt

Theme: “Slippery Slope”
Storyteller: Robert Schmidt

All Robert Schmidt ever wanted was his father’s approval, and when he didn’t get it, he turned to strippers.While his secret life eventually led to infidelity and cost him his marriage, Robert speaks about how redemption is always possible.

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“Slippery Slope” featuring Christine Zanjanipour

Theme: “Slippery Slope”
Storyteller: Christine Zanjanipour

Veteran Oral Fixation storyteller, and self-professed adrenaline junkie, Christine Zanjanipour, tells the story of a vacation adventure in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that includes an infamous bear and a snowmobile tour during one of the worst snowstorms the town has ever seen! Through this wild ride, Christine reminds us that the line between heart-pounding fun and genuine fear is a very slippery slope, indeed.

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“Slippery Slope” featuring Donny Hornstein

Theme: “Slippery Slope”
Storyteller: Donny Hornstein

An introspective Donny Hornstein detailed the great heartbreak of witnessing his grandfather’s sudden death when he was a young boy, an event which snowballed into a life defined by anger. For Donny, his deep-seated anger and attitude got him fired from many jobs, but ultimately led him to a program of healing and recovery.

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