Tag: QEDAstoria

Episode 58 – Alum On The Spot Swap

Ever Google, “What to do when an ex-boyfriend rejects your extended olive branch?” the first storyteller in our Valentine’s Day throwback podcast did, before peeling herself off the floor to attend a book signing in an attempt to get her groove back—or at least to get moving.

First up from our alum on-the-spot story swap is “Waiting for Sedaris,” written by Shelley Gazes and performed by Mark Woollett.

Alum storytellers Shelley Gazes and Mark Woollett swap stories on the spot.

Switching it up, we find our next storyteller in an awkward meeting with his fiancée’s older relatives. Crowded in a hot Iowa living room dimmed by an ex-husband’s shadow, a near-death experience makes for a memorable afternoon.

Our second story, written by Mark Woollett and performed by Shelley Gazes at QED Astoria is “Olive.”

QED, like so many performance venues, has been hit hard by the pandemic. To send some love their way and get some fun goodies for yourself or others, you can SHOP QED’S ONLINE OR IN-STORE BOOK & GIFT SHOP!

You can also make donations on their website in increments starting at $5. Or, if you prefer other payment methods, they accept PayPal & Chase QuickPay using the email address QEDAstoria@gmail.com and Venmo as QEDAstoria.

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated to help support this valuable member of the Queens artistic community!

Sip-N-Scribe for Queens Writes Weekend

Our own Kelly Jean and “3 Strikes” alum Jenn Wehrung have teamed up to co-host a monthly Sip-N-Scribe at QED: A Place To Show & Tell. PLUS, this month there is bonus Sip-N-Scribe as a a part of *Queens Writes Weekend. Join us!

Sip-N-Scribe is a chance to push away from your keyboard, put pen to paper, and mingle with other writers in person! While writing is a solitary act, there are also times when you need to shake things up a bit and draw inspiration from fellow scribes. $5 suggestion donation.


Here’s how it works:

  • Round 1 – Sippers-N-Scribers are given the first half of a creative writing prompt and start writing.
  • Round 2 – Everyone trades papers with a partner and, inspired by the second half of the writing prompt, continues working on the piece the first person started.
  • Intermission – Drinking is not required but beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase along with light snacks and pastries.
  • Round 3 – One last trade, plus a TWIST to finish the piece with style.

At the end of the session, people are encouraged to share the writing they co-created. The first two brave souls to share win a cookie! The goal is to experiment with something new on the page in an informal, relaxed way, all while hanging out with your friends and hopefully making new ones.

No one is here to write the next Great American novel. But hey, if that happens, please include us in the special thanks!


*What is Queens Writes Weekend? It’s a fun, three-day event organized by and benefitting Newtown Literary Alliance, Inc., a nonprofit organization which publishes the semiannual literary journal Newtown Literary, dedicated to supporting and promoting the work of Queens writers. Queens Writes Weekend is about getting the people of our borough to write, whether they are professional writers, hobbyists, or complete newcomers to writing. The literary scene in Queens is thriving and this weekend-long event serves to bring together the community yet again to celebrate writing, reading, and the written word. Visit newtownliterary.org for more info. Click here for a full calendar of events.


Meet Our “No Vacancy” Storytellers

Mar 23 2016 @ 7:00PM

Meet our switched-up “No Vacancy” storytellers! See you on Wed at Jimmy’s No. 43 – click here to RSVP.

no vacancy

Sydney Beveridge has interviewed a judo Olympian at a grappling session, played a cruel waitress in a radio drama, and channeled Cher to explain census data. She communicates demographics, software, and stories for SocialExplorer.com. Working for the Corporation for Independent Media and independently, she has produced stories for BBC Radio, WNYC, SiriusXM, Third Coast International Audio Festival, and Public Radio Exchange. She is also assisting with the development of a stage play inspired by outsider artist Henry Darger. As a standup comic, she participated in the She Devil Comedy Festival and co-hosts Free Mic Fridays at QED Astoria.

Laura Forer would like to thank her parents for putting her through journalism school and is grateful for this one night since graduation that she’s been able to use those writing skills. She would also like to thank her fourth grade teacher for casting her as a little pig in the school play in order to prepare her for tonight’s performance. And lastly, she would like to thank Oren for leaving the house tonight and Charlie for depriving her of just enough sleep to keep her mind sharp.

Bard Hovenga is a special education teacher and writer from Colorado Springs. His work has appeared in Newtown Literary. He currently lives in Sunnyside, Queens, with his fiancée, Monica, and their two dogs, Killian and Riisy-girl.

Liz Simons is a comedian, writer, and actress based in New York. She performs stand up all over NYC and produces and hosts the popular monthly show “Laugh It Up, Astoria!” with Jenn Wehrung at Q.E.D. in Astoria. She can be seen in all three seasons of Broad City. She has written for Oxygen.com and independently founded the pop culture blog TheDVRFiles.com where Jason Priestley once called her “really funny.” Liz grew up in Massachusetts and is a graduate of Duke University. She is also a very avid, very average runner whose goal is run a marathon in every state! Find out more about her at lizsimons.com.

Event Information

Mar 23 2016 @ 7:00PM

Jimmy's No. 43 (43 East 7th between 2nd and 3rd Ave)

Sink or Swim Workshop Showcase

Nothing Informs Your Story Like Hearing Someone Else Perform Your Story!

For the last few weeks, participants who signed-up for the No, YOU Tell It! workshop led by Kelly Jean and Erika at Q.E.D. in Astoria have been working to develop their true-life tales on the page.

Join us on Wed, 2/17 at 7:30 as they take the Q.E.D. stage to swap stories inspired by the theme “Sink or Swim.”

“Switched-Up” Storytellers:
Elizabeth Frank
Mike Tartaglia
Molly Touger

PLUS, NYTI alum and comedian Jenn Wehrung (Laugh It Up, Astoria!) will kick-off the evening with some “Sink or Swim” stand-up!


(Photo credit: Larry Auerbach)

RSVP on Facebook. Click here to purchase tickets for the workshop showcase at QED.

Want to host a “switched-up” storytelling workshop at your school, office, or organization? Visit our Workshops page for more information or contact us at noyoutellit@gmail.com

Episode 15 – Revelation Workshop Showcase

A year ago, we expanded No, YOU Tell It! by offering workshops at QED: A Place to Show & Tell in Astoria. These workshops are open to writers of all levels looking to switch-up their story.

Revelation group (pictured left to right: Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons, Jessica Cannon, Carrie Haugh, Alessia Donati, Violet Olds, Katie Johnston, and Erika Iverson.)

As a result, we’ve been fortunate to work with so many amazing storytellers we never would have met otherwise. Many of whom have come back to take part in our live shows at Jimmy’s No. 43.

Give a listen to our very first workshop showcase “Revelation” performed live at QED on February 3rd, 2015 and hosted by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons.

Want to switch-up your story? Click here to register for our “Sink or Swim” workshop that starts this Saturday, 1/23.


Casper Evelyn Birdie by Alessia Donati

– performed by Violet Olds

Swipe Right for Humanity by Violet Olds

–  performed by Alessia Donati

The Photo by Carrie Haugh

–  performed by Jessica Cannon

California Dreamin’ by Katie Johnston

–  performed by Carrie Haugh

My Guilty Heart by Jessica Cannon

–  performed by Katie Johnston


Sign-up for our “Sink or Swim” workshop at Q.E.D.

Want to switch-up your true-life tale inspired by the theme Sink or Swim? We’d love to work with YOU!

NYTI team members Kelly Jean and Erika are teaching another No, YOU Tell It! workshop at Q.E.D. in Astoria starting January 23rd and there are a couple of spots open for registration.

QED Workshop Collagephoto credit: Mike Dawson

WRITE your story and PERFORM someone else’s in a workshop showcase on the Q.E.D. stage. We’ll work with you to brainstorm your story in the first session, so you only need pen & paper to start!

Our page to stage process is beneficial to writers, performers, or anyone interested in trying their hand at storytelling. No, YOU Tell It! switched-up storytelling workshops combine theater and storytelling to help you find your voice AND hear it through someone else’s.

Questions? Email noyoutellit@gmail.com.  Click here for workshop details and to REGISTER TODAY.

Resolve to take our workshop at Q.E.D. in 2016!

Want to get your story down on the page? Gain more confidence on stage? It’s your time to do both!

QED Workshop Collage

Photos from our ‘Tongue-Tied’ workshop by Mike Dawson.

Registration is now open for our winter “switched-up” storytelling workshop at QED: A Place To Show & Tell and features:

  • A brainstorming session designed to kick-start your first draft, inspired by the theme “Sink or Swim.” All you need is a pen (or pencil, if that’s your thing) and paper to start!
  • Two story workshop sessions to help you refine your true-life tale on the page. Class size is limited to make sure every piece gets heard and every writer reads at each session.
  • An individual one-hour rehearsal with a No, YOU Tell It! director to work on your partner’s story.

Then you will perform on the Q.E.D. stage! The workshop finishes with a showcase where YOU, the writers, will swap stories and perform each other’s true-life tale for an audience.

Class dates are Saturdays 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, and 2/13 from 12-2 pm.

The workshop showcase is February 17th at 7:30 pm and open to the public.

$200  – Click here for more info and to register today!

NYTI: Fiction Edition Coming Soon!

Jun 17 2015 @ 7:00PM

In June, we like switching-up the switch-up to do something new! We had a blast last year with our LEGACY show at The Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival.

On June 17th, we are thrilled to present our first ever Summer “Fiction Edition.”

We’ve assembled 4 fabulous NYTI alums who switched-up their true-life tales with us previously and are now busy taking on this new

genre. However, our motto still applies: What better way to inform your story than hearing someone else perform your story?

Raquel I. Penzo, author and producer of La Pluma y La Tinta. Upcoming event on 6/25: New Voices in the Boroughs: Queens at Q.E.D. Astoria

Jim Cairl, co-writer with our own Kelly Jean on the web series Intersection

Todd Faulkner, co-creator of the paranormal podcast Uncanny County – coming this fall to a dimension near you…

Katie Johnston, one of the amazing ladies from our “Revelation” workshop at Q.E.D. and who is joining us again this June for our next session. (starts 6/7, click here to grab a spot and switch-up your story!)

Come out for our Summer “Fiction Edition” and help us celebrate 3 years of switched-up storytelling!

Wednesday 6/17, 7 p.m. at Jimmy’s No. 43. RSVP here.

Event Information

Jun 17 2015 @ 7:00PM

Jimmy's No. 43, East 7th Street, New York, NY, United States

Upcoming Workshop at Q.E.D.

Write Your Story. Perform Someone Else’s. Register for our upcoming workshop at Q.E.D. A Place to Show & Tell.

Sundays in June (12-2) starting 6/7 + a show on the Q.E.D. stage: June 29th @ 8 p.m. $150

Take your true-life tale – inspired by the theme Tongue-Tied – from page to stage and improve your writing & performing skills all in one month.

Nothing informs your work like hearing someone else perform your work!


Listen to the “New Toys” Showcase from QED

Thank you to all who came out for our NEW TOYS workshop showcase this week at QED: A Place To Show & Tell.

Press play to listen in on the full evening, or cue up the individual stories:

Dear Tinder by Alessia Donati (2:12)
– performed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

Always Believe, Love Santa by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons (14:50)
– performed by Alessia Donati

Guitar Therapy by Tamora Wilson (33:55)
– performed by Brooke White

Her Human by Brooke White (46:00)
– performed by Tamora Wilson

Switch your story with us on March 31st at our very first NYTI Open Mic Story Swap at QED. NYTI alumni Mark Woollett, Shelley Gazes, and Raquel Penzo – along with special guest David Lawson – are going to swap stories on the spot!

There are also open mic spots available so you can sign-up to flip scripts with someone! Tickets are just $5 and can be purchased here.

1 2