Telling tales has been in our blood as a species since the dawn of time, be it myths, fanfiction or an unfinished seven-part dark fantasy series, but sometimes even more important than telling the story itself is how, and even where, you tell it.
Today that happens in as many ways as there are stories, from movies and books to videogames and music, but the one I want to talk about right now goes back many many years. It is the simple telling of a story by the light of a cozy hearth. The experience of sitting by a crackling fire, as the light fades away outside and listening to someone telling a story of fairies, gods or their own life.
It is that experience the Grand Pillow Society aims to emulate. As the name implies it fully embraces an atmosphere of comfortable luxuriousness, transforming the cafe of the Grand Theatre into a cozy stage once per month.
Each of their evenings starts out with an optional dinner together, after which various performers take the small stage, surrounded by an audience scattered equally across the floor, pillows, and chairs.
The evening features storytellers from all walks of life, telling stories of love, life, loss and more. Either fictional, non-fictional, or even told from personal experience. Though each story is wholly unique and different they are all connected by a theme that differs each time.
Woven throughout the stories are short musical performances to set the mood. At the end of each evening, there is room for people who feel inspired to throw their names into a hat for a try at telling a story of their own.
In the times that I have been there, I have heard (and told) a broad variety of different stories, some of them even daring to venture into the broader waters of theater and music. As a big fan of folklore, I chose to draw inspiration from there to weave tales of Trolls and Chairs going on grand adventures, but there were some who drew inspiration from entirely different sources. There have been immigrants who told of their perilous journey to flee a country in conflict, guest speakers who told stories of growth and self with a practiced voice, and those with a mind full of ideas telling stories of their very own. In short, it’s a place for everyone to sit back with a drink and maybe even tell something of their very own if they feel they have something to say.
The Grand Pillow Society story evenings take place the second to last Sunday of every month in the grand theatre.