'Living Room' Stories Pull Audience Close
The inaugural performance Thursday before a sell-out crowd features stories about decision-making in Afghanistan, hospitalized child 'rock stars,' and one woman's hidden messes.
You can walk by a building a thousand times and think you know it. But Thursday night the Kentish Guard Armory on Peirce Street was transformed into a cozy salon where people gathered for an evening of storytelling.
"The Living Room," an organization founded by EG resident Deb Walsh, presented "Volume 1: Beginnings and Endings," stories loosely linked by that theme.
There were five story-tellers for this inaugural event, each telling true stories about some aspect of their lives. For Patrick McCrossan, only a few years out of college, it was his tale of muddling through those post-college years of uncertainty, diving into different endeavors looking for the one that truly fit.
Britt Mahrer's story was also about beginning life after college, but with a big dream: starting a nonprofit to work with hospitalized children, helping them to write and record songs and even getting them produced.
East Greenwich resident and Navy officer Jason Burke talked about his time in Afghanistan, leading a group charged with, among other things, keeping things moving on a main road there. His story told of the difficulty in making a decision that may not be perfect, but just might be good enough when lives are on the line.
Lois Kelly talked about a professional awakening brought on by the death of an associate she'd been pushing hard, and the importance of fairy dust when the going gets hard.
The final speaker was Maria DeCarvalho, who's own personal awakening came while needlepointing a pillow for her mother in law. The front of that canvas looked beautiful, but the back told a different story and DeCarvalho saw her own life parallelled in that canvas.
Originally, the evening was to have an intermission after the second speaker, but sensing there was a flow that was perhaps best not interrupted, Walsh kept asking the audience, "Break now, or keep going?" The response was always, "Keep going!"
Afterward, many people lingered and talked into the evening, sharing yet more stories.