Storytellers return to the Latchis

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BRATTLEBORO — It's been three years since The Hatch graced Latchis' stage with storytellers, but Tom Bodett, one of the founders of The Hatch, said it was just too much fun for the audience, the performers and the beneficiary to not get back at it this spring — so Storytellers on a Mission returns on March 30. Hosted by comedian and actor Jordan Carlos, the show features four renowned storytellers - Tara Clancy, Jon Glaser, Jodi Lennon, and Adam Burke - who will tell moving and/or funny true tales on life and living while raising money for Groundworks Collaborative.

The Hatch was formed in 2013 by Elizabeth Catlin, Rita Ramirez, Rich Korson, and Bodett. "We wanted to do something that might bring new energy to the fundraising grind in Brattleboro," Bodett replied in an email. "All of us serve and have served on the boards of various nonprofits and it's hard, and not a lot of fun, to keep going back to the same generous people year after year for funding. The idea of Storytellers on a Mission was to bring in exceptional talent from our lives out in the world, sell tickets and premiums packages and then give all the money away to one charity at a time so that it might actually make a difference."

Past recipients in Brattleboro have included Latchis Arts, Morningside Shelter, and Winston Prouty Center for Childhood Development. Bodett said they chose Groundworks because this year marks Groundworks' 40th year of service to the greater-Brattleboro area. In 1979, Morningside Shelter opened its doors to the community's homeless — offering food, shelter and support to move on to something better. Forty years later, Groundworks (the agency created by the merger of Morningside Shelter with the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center) is doing incredible work for our neighbors in need in this community, Bodett explained. He said their mission and their work are essential and his group is well aware of Groundworks' need to raise significant dollars each year to continue to provide these vital services that make the community stronger.

To date, The Hatch has raised more than $200,000 for local causes.

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"We're grateful to The Hatch for choosing to support us as we mark 40 years of service to the greater-Brattleboro area," said Josh Davis, Groundworks' executive director. "It's hugely impactful both for the people who work and (those who) are served. It helps our budget," said Davis. Getting the publicity helps too because the name Groundworks Collaborative is fairly new. "I'm a fan (of the show) and I'm excited to go," he said.

Carlos, the evening's host, has appeared on MTV shows "Guy Code and Girl Code," "The Nightly Show" with Larry Wilmore, Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham," "The Colbert Report," "Nurse Jackie," "Girls," "Broad City" and most recently, Golden-Globe winner, "The Affair." He has written for Samantha Bee's Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner, The White House Correspondents' Dinner and is currently writing for season three of HBO's "Divorce."

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Storyteller Tara Clancy, as a native New Yorker, bartender and author, has plenty of fodder for her stories. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation and The Paris Review Daily. This is Clancy's first time in Brattleboro but not her first time as a storyteller. She is a frequent host of The Moth live shows, a GrandSLAM champ, and has told stories on "The Moth Radio Hour," NPR's "Snap Judgment," and "Risk." She played herself on HBO's "Girls" and is a recurring panelist on NPR'S "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me!" Her memoir, "The Clancys of Queens," was published by Crown in 2016 and is a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick.

"I am a third-generation bartender. I grew up in a bar business so telling a story is as basic as it gets," she said. "I've always told a lot of stories. I told my first story after I put my name in a hat at a moth story slam in 2012, then went on to grand slams. I was hooked. As an author, I've told stories, but there is something about telling a story live, the reaction from the audience is best is when shared. It is different from writing." She continued, "I've done both funny, some personal, I don't hide behind the humor. When a young person tells me how important my story was to them, it makes me hopeful, nothing beats that." She will be telling a story that has not been told in its entirety before, "It's a story on lesbian making 101 - part story, part public service announcement," she said.

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The all-star lineup of storytellers that includes Glaser, Lennon and Burke also have impressive resumes as writers for well-known comics and publications, roles on TV, regular guests on radio shows and as performers.

Bodett said, "Rich and I have become very adept at pestering our friends in the entertainment world to come to Vermont for no money and do this. What's amazing is that they do, and they tell their friends how cool it is here and then we ask them and they come too. These are really great people. I was so happy to get my 'Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me' co-panelists Tara Clancy and Adam Burke to come up. Tara is a spitfire Moth superstar and Adam is one of the funniest, smartest comics around. Rich knows everybody, and he thought Jodi Lennon and Jon Glaser would be perfect along with the amazing Jordan Carlos as host. It's a great mix of styles and personalities. This might be our best show yet."

"It is a surprise that they chose us and I am delighted," said Development Director Libby Bennett of Groundworks that relies on the community to raise money. "The heart of what we do is to make space for members of the community who don't have a space. They (The Hatch) does so much of the leg work for this that it is a gift. It is such a good time and a way we can engage with the community that we don't often get to. It benefits us while having a really good time. We are grateful for having been chosen."

The event will be held Saturday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Latchis Theatre. 50 Main St. Tickets are $60 front orchestra, $40 rear orchestra, $25 balcony available at hatchvt.org. This lineup of storytellers has been known to tell late-night stories with late-night content, so this event is not suitable for children.


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