SHINE has announced the storytellers selected for its special performance on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. The event is part of the “6th Annual Fireside at the Miles,” Santa Monica’s cultural festival at the historic Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd.

The evening’s theme will be “Light My Fire!” with storytellers sharing true stories of people or events that inspired them to new heights in love, friendship, career, spirituality, and adventure.

Storytellers selected from a record number of applicants are: Jaclyn Friedlander, Mike Funt, Rahla Kahn, Joe Hernandez-Kolski, Nicole Parrish, Christopher Rivas, and Terrie Silverman.

SHINE is a storytelling series highlighting experienced and new storytellers coming together each month to share inspiring true stories. The event features a relaxed community atmosphere, powerful and entertaining stories, refreshments, mingling, and live music.

SHINE will be hosted this month by Andrea Schell, a dynamic performer, writer, and producer. Andrea recently performed her solo show From Seven Layers to a Bikini Top in Less Than Five Hours as part of Santa Monica Repertory Theater’s Solo Series. She is Associate Producer on the indie film Tiger Orange; created, produced and hosted the web show What Would Men Say? (; and can be seen telling stories at SHINE and around L.A.

Live music will be provided by Cat Zebron, a singer, guitarist, keyboardist and songwriter. Cat has played at many of Nashville’s most renowned venues, including Tootsie’s and the Bluebird Cafe. Landing in L.A. in 2013, she continued to write and perform solo acoustic and as a band member and has played venues in the San Fernando Valley, Malibu, Hollywood and Venice.

Professional storytellers for SHINE are chosen from some of the nation’s top award-winning storytellers and writers. Amateur storytellers of all ages and walks of life also take the stage.

Storytellers selected for January come from an impressive variety of backgrounds:

Jaclyn Friedlander trained in New York City before moving to Los Angeles. East Coast theater highlights: Mary Warren in the Crucible at the Morris County Theater, Ensemble in Hair at the Bickford and two years in Manhattan’s Nightmare! L.A. theater highlights: Nikki Porter in a live radio play at the Gene Autry Museum and Liege in Wicked Lit 2013. She played the lead in the faith-based feature film, The River Within. Jaclyn produced and starred in a short about ocean conservation, Friends with Fins that plays at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and writes a series of children’s picture books by the same title.

Mike Funt is an actor, clown, and director, and teaches and performs regularly around the country as a part of the clown duo Queen Mary the Elephant and her Clown. He is a company member of the Los Angeles clown troupe Four Clowns and an instructor at The Clown School. Favorite past performances include The 39 Steps at Malibu Playhouse, his original slapstick show Jackson-Lafitte: A Vaudeville, and Orgon in Tartuffe, Four Clowns’ That Beautiful Laugh, and his own show The Day They Hung the Elephant.

Joe Hernandez-Kolski is an Emmy Award winner and two-time HBO Def Poet. He performed in Rachel Kann’s The Historian, as part of Santa Monica Rep’s Wave Fest. He appeared in the world premiere of Luis Alfaro’s children’s show Aesop in Rancho Cucamonga at the Lewis Family Playhouse in, yes, Rancho Cucamonga. As a comic/poet, he has performed with everyone from legendary musician John Mellencamp to the Grammy Award-winning band Ozomatli to comedian Carlos Mencia. For over twelve years, he’s been hosting Downbeat 720, an open-mic for high school youth. Originally from Chicago, Joe is a graduate of Princeton University.

Rahla Kahn has devoted her life to using laughter to heal. In 1983, she created The Power Of Play, an effective and entertaining approach to healing. She was personally mentored by author Norman Cousins (Anatomy of an Illness), and radiation oncologist Dr. O. Carl Simonton (Getting Well Again). An original member of The Groundlings, Rahla incorporates improvisational theater techniques into her methods for helping people let go of the causes of suffering and chronic stress. Rahla is on permanent staff at The Simonton Cancer Center and consults with corporations, medical groups, colleges, private clients, and the U.S. Army.

Nikki Parrish is a mother, a student, and self-described “free spirit” with over 17 years working in entertainment. In 2012, Nikki left the glitz and glam of Hollywood, answering the call to serve the nonprofit sector. She now operates an independent niche consultancy that produces custom- tailored events for nonprofits, small businesses and cause-related initiatives, helping to strengthen their vision, build awareness, and further their outreach. Nikki graduates with an MA in Nonprofit Management from Antioch University in March. She is mother to a four-year old son and lives with his father and their dog “Scootie” in Leimert Park.

Matteson Perry is a Colorado native living in Los Angeles where he works as a writer and performer. He is a two-time winner of the Moth GrandSlam and has been hosting the Los Angeles MothSlam for four years. He has several film projects in development, has been published in The New York Times Modern Love column, and is currently working on his first book, a humor memoir about his period of aggressive dating and how it led him to his wife. It is to be published by Scribner. You can find out more about Matteson at and follow him on twitter @mattesonperry.

Christopher Rivas is a mesmerizing word slinger and self-described “literary eccentric.” He is also an actor, known for Cry Wolf (2014), Public Law (2012) and If Not Now When (2009). He was born and raised in New York, graduated from CalArts, and currently lives in Los Angeles. He is a mindfulness practitioner and founder of

Terrie Silverman, MFA, is a writer/performer, Artist-in-Residence at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center and founder of Creative Rites Workshops/Coaching for Writing, Performance and Creative Expression. Terrie has been presented at theaters and art festivals including MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), The HBO Workspace, KPFK Radio, UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Dept., Beyond Baroque, Highways, F.A.R. (Foundation for Arts Resources) the Azatlan Center for International Women’s Day and Track 16 Art Gallery. Career highlights include 4 Women for Women which she produced and performed in along with Laraine Newman, Melanie Chartoff, Ann Randolph and host Julia Sweeney, as well as dying on stage with Sir Ian McKellan. She has facilitated workshops for numerous organizations throughout Southern California.

Tickets for SHINE at “Fireside at the Miles” are $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and youth 17/under. Reservations can be made at (310) 458-8634 or

Seating is limited and reservations are highly recommended. Free event parking in subterranean garage at 808 Wilshire Blvd. (entry on Lincoln Blvd.)

For more information, visit Those interested in becoming a storyteller are encouraged to visit the website for monthly themes and submission guidelines.

SHINE is produced and hosted by Isabel Storey and presented by Storey Productions in association with Santa Monica Repertory Theater, UCLArts and Healing, and YWCA Westside.

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