Live Storytelling Programs. Real. True. Stories. View videos on YouTube Find us on Neighborhood Notes Follow us on Twitter Friend us on Facebook Listen to our stories anywhere Receive email from Portland Story Theater Support the work of Portland Story Theater Return to Portland Story Theater's home page

Welcome to Portland Story Theater!

"Portland Story Theater is the local leader in the resurgence of this ageless performance form — a single person spinning a yarn, holding a roomful of listeners rapt." The Oregonian

What We're About

Portland Story Theater believes that everyone has a story to tell.

Our work gives voice to the true stories of ordinary people, preserving and promoting the practice of the oral tradition in a way that enriches contemporary life, boosting the confidence of people to be vulnerable and present in ways that are crucial to the full expression of our humanity.

When people hear each other’s real, true stories, it leads to learning, empathy, and positive change.

Portland Story Theater makes stories provocative, inspiring, and accessible to everyone, young and old, of all social backgrounds, and ethnicities.

We build community through story. Our vision is to enrich, inspire, challenge and expand our community narrative, one story at a time.

What We Believe


Be open. People are transformed by being heard. Listen openheartedly.


Be heard. Honor your emotional truth. Discover your self through story.


Be vulnerable. Tell your story. Authentically. Honestly. Sincerely.


Be a part of the change. Story illuminates the universal through the personal. Story awakens our consciousness. Story helps us recognize that we are one race, the human race.

Portland Story Theater Specialities

story crafting, intentional storytelling, storyteller development, collaboration, personal narrative, workshops, coaching, live storytelling events

The People That Make It All Happen

Portland Story Theater works with an amazing kick-ass group of people.

Lynne Duddy

Lynne Duddy, Board Member | Founder

Lawrence Howard

Lawrence Howard, Board Member | Founder

Penny Walter

Penny Walter, Board Member | Founder

Robyn Ridler Aoyagi

Robyn Ridler Aoyagi, Board Member | Ambassador

Robyn Ridler Aoyagi

Mark Hageman, Board Member | Ambassador

Diane Ponti

Diane Ponti, Board Member | Ambassador

Aaron Hartling

Aaron Hartling, Resource Council | Videography

Darby Sanders

Darby Sanders, Resource Council | Communications Coordinator

Scott Bump

Scott Bump, Resource Council | Photography

Kriya Kaping

Kriya Kaping, Resource Council | Communications

Mike Bodine

Mike Bodine, Resource Council | Photography

Erin Zollenkopf

Erin Zollenkopf, Resource Council | Accounting

Josh Ellyson

Josh Ellyson, Resource Council | Web and Audio

Olga Sanchez

Olga Sanchez, Resource Council | Sage Advisor

© Portland Story Theater, Inc. 2004-2014

Photography on this site, O'Dubhda, Mike Bodine, Russell Young, and Scott Bump © 2004-2014

Certified 501(c)3

Portland Story Theater is a passionate advocate for diverse narrative and our loyal listeners. We are a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Contributions and sponsorships facilitate outreach to underserved communities and keep ticket prices affordable. As an advocate for the narrative art of storytelling, Portland Story Theater strives to broaden audiences, develop new approaches, and support existing and new storytelling programs. Your kind donations are appreciated.

Portland Story Theater is a registered
501(c)3 USA Charitable Organization


We are always looking to expand our community. If you are interested in volunteering with Portland Story Theater please send us an email at, or just pick up the phone and call us.

Portland Story Theater Programs

Urban Tellers

The Art of Personal Narrative

This workshop series gives people an opportunity to craft their story so that it flows through them, seamlessly, in its true form, without any barriers: open, fresh, revealing.

Urban Tellers

People from all walks of life showcase their personal stories as part of The Art Of Personal Narrative Workshop. It's not acting. It's not writing. There's no script. This is narrative, spoken straight from the heart. Real. True. Stories.

Armchair Adventurer

Every January audiences are mesmerized by stories from the Armchair Adventurer. Since it's inception in 2008, stories about Antarctica have been the cornerstone of this series: Shackleton's Antarctic Nightmare, Mawson's Mettle, and Polar Opposites.

The Armchair Adventurer brings history to life, including the true story of John Babbacombe Lee "the man they could not hang" and the true historical tale of a Nantucket whaling ship, The Essex, that was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in the South Pacific in 1820. The Essex is a fascinating piece of American history; the true story that inspired Melville to write Moby Dick.


Valentine's Kiss & Tell

A Valentine's tradition, Kiss & Tell is a Valentine's date to remember with wine, chocolate and stories of real love and romance. It's an evening of sexy story theater with something for everyone!

St. Paddy's Kiss Me I'm Irish

In March, 2015 we are building a new St. Paddy's tradition with the story show: Kiss Me I'm Irish. And there absolutely no malarky! Just real, true stories of laughter, love, and the luck of the Irish.


The days grow darker and the cold comes creeping into our bones — as the leaves fall, as the wind calls in the night, as winter wakes from his slumber and begins to gnaw at the door. Every October, around Halloween, it's the perfect time for an evening of unsettling stories, stories that seep into your subconscious and into your dreams.


Portland Story Theater's stories may contain "colorful" language, sexual escapades of a questionable nature and numerous examples of extremely poor judgment, along with profound insights, deep revelations and moments of truth, triumph and transformation. [Listener Discretion Advised] Our audiences are inter-generational, age 21+; although programs may be appropriate for young adults age 17+ if accompanied by a parent or guardian

How We Work

Portland Story Theater uses a collaborative co-creation model to produce our work. Every story we create comes out of this approach. We believe that every artist we work with needs to attain a deep transparency to get in touch with the emotional truth of their story. The work of story discovery demands that the ego be put aside; trusting the story, trusting yourself, and trusting the others in the group is paramount in order to realize a peak artistic experience.

Who We Work With

We work with all kinds of people helping them discover, craft, and perform their personal stories. Typically, we are working with ordinary people from all walks of life who participate in our workshops. But we also work with professionals who are invited to perform with us.

Portland Story Theater is the Pacific Northwest's Premier Storytelling Organization