Based on The Moth Radio Hour, an extraordinary hour of true stories that airs on National Public Radio, Elmwood Playhouse presents our own version of this national treasure.

Porch Stories: True Stories, Told Live from the Elmwood Porch will be an hour of storytelling that lifts up our mission to share the stories from our community that connect our lives. This is also Elmwood’s response to the current pandemic, the civil unrest, and the turbulent political times that are dividing people. It is our desire to forge bonds among local Nyack and surrounding area residents, our theater members, and our patrons.


WHO – We are seeking 8-10 storytellers of all ages, races, genders, ethnicities, and experiences interested in crafting and sharing their stories at this live event. We are also recording/archiving the stories as well.

WHAT – Participants will have five (5) minutes to share an “open-mic” personal story slam, speaking conversationally about themselves, their histories, and their truth. There are no notes permitted.

WHEN – Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24 at 7pm, (rain date October 25 at 7pm)

WHERE – Elmwood Playhouse porch and patio.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE – Please send the audition “pitch” for your story to:

WHAT ELSE – Claudia Stefany and Larry Gabbard will be available to work with you to hone your story to five minutes. Because the stories are not read, they should feel natural and you should know your story “by heart,” not by rote memorization. Please check out The Moth Storyteller Tips for insight on telling your story.

THEME – For our 2nd Porch Stories event, the theme will be: FALLING: IN, OUT & OVER

However you interpret that theme is up to you, as it is your perspective and your experiences. One could speak about childhood, your time in Covid 19, divorce, love, leaving home for the first time, recognizing their children’s autonomy, special memories, events unique to their family’s history, etc. The bottom line, your story should have stakes: What do you stand to gain or lose in the story? Why is what happens in the story important or meaningful to you? That will make the story special and interesting to the audience.


For our presenters: we will be practicing CDC guidelines. Only one storyteller at a time will be permitted on the porch. While “backstage,” all participants will wear masks. The microphone will be disinfected in between each storyteller. For our audience members: The patio and sidewalk be sectioned off at recommended distances, two people max in a “party” may sit beside each other, masks are required. The event is FREE.

Click here to view photos from our last Porch Stories event »

Click here to see videos from our last Porch Stories event »

You may also wish to read our Twelve Commandants of Auditioning post.

Elmwood Casting Policy

Elmwood Community Playhouse is a Non-Equity theater and cannot cast members of Actors Equity. Casting of actors in roles is done on the basis of acting skill and ability demonstrated during the audition process, as well as on the actor’s appropriateness and suitability (physical, vocal, mental, emotional) for available roles. We are committed to providing equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all aspects of our organization. Except in plays where race, gender, or age is an issue, casting is decided on the basis of ability. Any member of the community or any invited guest artist regardless of race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, or special need is invited to participate. Non-traditional and equal-opportunity casting is encouraged. If, in the opinion of the director, a suitable cast cannot be selected from those who have auditioned, auditions may be extended beyond the original schedule, or else specific individuals may be invited to fill the need(s). Elmwood has an open door casting policy, meaning you do not need previous experience with us to be cast. We often cast performers the first time they audition for us. Elmwood maintains a “no pre-casting” policy, meaning all roles are available during the time a show is auditioning. If you have a part that you are interested in, make note of it on your audition form or speak to the director. Anyone cast in a show must become a member of the Elmwood Playhouse. Elmwood Playhouse maintains an “open auditions” policy. All are welcome to “try out” for a show or a particular part in a show. Dates for upcoming auditions are listed on the web site, and announced in the members’ newsletter. Some casting processes may involve two dates for primary auditions, and one date for callbacks. You will be asked to fill out an audition form, and if you have a head shot &/or resume, definitely bring it along, but it is not necessary for our audition process. Come prepared to list all your schedule conflicts from the day of auditions through the closing performance of the show.

Acting Opportunities

Elmwood Playhouse produces: Six “main stage” shows a year. Involvement in these generally requires an average of 2-3 nights a week rehearsal for approx 8 weeks, and 12 to 20 performances over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Actual schedules will vary by show. A variety of “one performance” workshops for the monthly membership meetings, generally the first Monday of the month and open to the public. Special event performances throughout the year. This gives a broad range of opportunities for actors of varied skills and backgrounds to get on stage, whether you’re looking for a leading role or a small part to “get your feet wet”. Our shows run four to five weekends, occasionally with benefit performances during the week.

If you are cast…

All cast and crew personnel are required to become members of Elmwood Community Playhouse and are required to attend strike, which is held the Sunday after the final performance. By taking part in a production, you also allow that images of yourself captured by Elmwood Community Playhouse during their activities (including but not limited to rehearsals, productions and special events) through video, photo and/or digital camera, to be used solely for the purposes of Elmwood Community Playhouse promotional materials/publications and web site, and waive any right of compensation or ownership thereto. As is true in the professional world of theatre and dance, if the director or choreographer believes that a cast member’s participation in a production is unsatisfactory, it is his/her right to replace the person. A professional attitude and commitment to productions are expected at all times.