true tales south bay

Reserve your seat for April 2nd at 7PM here!


Life.  Love.  Heartbreak.  Loss.  Hilarious encounters.


It’s not hard to love a good story, especially when the storyteller weaves an enchanting web of words that captivate and capture your emotions.


It’s this magical quality that has lead to the massive popularity of storytelling shows like The Moth, Mortified, and StoryCorps.  There’s something about that emotional connection that let’s us open up, unfolding like flower to the sun, to share a real, human experience.


Curated and hosted by author/producer Mariana Williams, the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation is proud to present True Tales from the South Bay.  The show features our own homegrown storytellers sharing the stage with experienced storytellers as they tell true tales taken from real life events.


Featured Storytellers


Stand-up comic, creator of the “Untold Stories of the ER” show, and 2015 winner of the Long Beach Searches for the Greatest Storyteller competition, Dr. Bob Slay, is the featured guest storyteller.  Known for his hilarious true stories from his time working in emergency rooms, Dr. Slay has also been seen on


Host Mariana Williams will share her true story (including live music) from her time on the road as a touring musician.  One of the highlights was when she unknowingly performed Eagles songs for the members of the Eagles Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Joe Walsh (spoiler alert: it didn’t end well).


Mariana is no stranger to telling stories on stage.  She’s performed on The Moth stage in both New York and LA and was a GrandSlam finalist.  She loved sharing her stories at The Moth, but found the drive into LA difficult – so she brought storytelling to Long Beach by starting the Long Beach Searches for the Greatest Storyteller competition in 2011.


And finally, the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation’s Executive Director, Christian Wolf, will also be telling his own true tale about the time he met his idol and changed both their lives.


Share Your Story


Getting on stage takes a lot of guts and daring.  Chosen storytellers submitted five lines about an incident in their life that had a surprising outcome.  Any type of story was welcome: profound, hilarious, sentimental, romantic, or even coming-of-age.  The only requirement was that the story must last no longer than six minutes.


“We have found in this short 6 minute format, it’s best to limit the tale to a single incident.  That way the listener doesn’t have to keep track of too many characters and can go in deep to the emotional level of that one turning point,” said Mariana.


“It’s not a teachable moment, like a TED talk, not stand up open mic night where you have to be funny.  It’s just sharing an anecdote that was profound or pivotal to your life.”


The stories are curated by Mariana for diversity and emotional palate to ensure the show has a good flow and doesn’t skew too heavy (or too light).  She looks for just the right balance of emotion and levity for an enjoyable evening of story-sharing entertainment.


Tales As Old As Time


Storytelling is a time-honored tradition.  It brings people together through common understanding and shared experiences, allowing us to see through the facade of everyday life.  It’s a validation of the human experience through the retelling of life’s terrible, wonderful, or even plain ordinary, events.


True Tales from the South Bay is still accepting submissions for the show on April 2nd.  If you have a tale to tell and you’d like to be a part of the grand tradition of storytelling, send five lines about your story to Mariana Williams at


Come on out to support your South Bay neighbors and to listen to the stories they have to share!

Reserve your seat here: True Tales Tickets

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