You know that friend who tells really great stories? What if you got a room full of people like that all together for an evening?
That’s essentially what it feels like to attend a Confabulation event.
The room might be full of strangers, but after listening to a handful of them tell funny, touching and totally true stories about themselves, you can’t help but feel like everyone around you has made a connection.
Matt welcomed everyone to the show last Saturday night with a big smile and an anecdote of his own. This month’s theme was “April Fish: stories of tricks, traps, and getting hooked,” and the show featured six dynamic performers who spun tales about everything from rubber snakes and shit-smeared doorknobs to elementary school crushes, running nude through the woods, and convincing a bus full of students that a highschooler could work as an undercover CSIS agent.
Confabulation is a unique cross between a literary reading series and a theatre show, but with none of the pretensions of the former. It’s not like acting, either—no “notes, props or gimmicks,” says founder and host Matt Goldberg on the series’ website. Just people, plain and simple, taking the stage to give the audience a glimpse into their lives.
“I wanted to be inspired by my friends and fellow Montrealers,” says Matt on the blog, explaining why he started the series. “Those moments where they became themselves … say a lot about how they see the world.” Stories seem to flow out of Matt’s own mouth boundlessly — unsurprising, considering the open and immersive environment at Confabulation. “I started, thinking I had no stories, and now I’m sharing tons.”
In an email exchange, Matt, who is also a Vanier College English professor, continues, “We are part of a lot of communities, theatre and performance, but also literary.” Confabulation likes to curate storytellers based on that month’s particular theme and then workshops their pieces to offer advice for structure and flow. “Everyone tells stories differently. We have stand-ups and nine-to-five professionals – writers, but also improvisers.” Viewers enjoy a variety of stories at every event, largely because encouraging all those different voices is one of Matt’s priorities. “I believe there are a thousand ways to tell our stories.”
More than anything, the show reminds the audience that whether they’re sad, funny, quiet or bombastic, stories matter! They are crucial to the way we connect with each other.
You definitely won’t want to miss Confabulation’s next show on May 2nd, which will celebrate their 5-year anniversary: “Montreal, stories of the city.”
Visit confabulationmontreal.com to get details or to reach out and share a story of your own!