The People Tree’s “Love is Storytelling” Night

A mid-speech pause, silence, followed by a single word: “Sorry.”

Going blank in the middle of a speech is a speaker’s biggest fear – one that almost came true for Nicole Zaccaria before she found the strength to go on.

“I had met this guy during my graduate school program,” she said, speaking of an abusive ex-boyfriend. “One night I was sitting on the couch, looking at my barricaded front door, and I knew that it was not normal.”

And just as she found the courage to leave that relationship, she found the courage to tell her story in front of a crowd at The People Tree’s February event, “Love is…”

“It’s subject to the interpretation of the storyteller,” said Claire Dee, producer/director of The People Tree. “’Love is my favorite cashmere sweater,’ ‘love is my granny,’ ‘love is my fiancé.’ What we’re looking for in our show is a diversity on the theme.”

And The People Tree runs workshops to help storytellers get ready for their time with the microphone.

“I kind of had to disconnect from the story in the writing and the telling of it, especially through those workshops,” said Nicole Zaccaria. “Now that it’s done, I’m feeling those emotions.”

While Nicole’s story was about what love is not, some stories were about what love is, and had the audience smiling, laughing, or maybe even got their hearts beating.

The next storytelling night is March 15, and its theme is “Making Mischief.”

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.

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