SHINE performers are tuning up for the show’s annual “Music” event on Thursday, August 17 at 7 p.m. at the Santa Monica Playhouse, at 1211 4th Street. Storytellers and musical artists will share inspiring true tales of how music changed their lives. This special edition of SHINE includes live musical performances.

Among the stories, audience will hear how a shy girl became a hero on the dance floor, how a bleak night abroad turned magical because of a saxophone, and how playing an instrument for a police officer changed the course of a man’s life.

The evening’s storytellers are: Sean Golightly, Munir Griffin, Kat Kambes, Zana Messia, Kate Romero, Alex Stein, Lisa Williams.

SHINE “Music” will be hosted by Brenda Varda, an exciting singer/songwriter and award-winning playwright and actor. Brenda has had numerous works produced in Los Angeles both as playwright and composer/lyricist, including Fables Du Theatre, Wench, Liquid, and Things that Fall for the Sky.  Her show Nine Dresses received acclaim at Sacred Fools as part of the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival.  Her newest show This is my Garbage was featured in the Son of Semele Solo Creation Festival in July. She also creates collective works with other artists through Wordspace, a creative writer’s organization.

Storytellers for SHINE are chosen from some of the nation’s top award-winning storytellers, writers, and performers. New storytellers from a variety of backgrounds also take the stage.

Performers for this month’s SHINE are:

Sean Golightly is a lifelong musician and student of anthropology. Currently residing in Flagstaff, Arizona, he works as a writer/musician/park ranger.

Munir Griffin is a musical artist who plays saxophone, raps, and writes and produces songs.

Kat Kambes is a poet, playwright and fiction writer.  Her work has been published in the Deadlier Than Thou Anthology, Skive Magazine, Short Fast & Deadly, The Best Poems & Poets of 2005, Melt, The Colors of Life Anthology, Citron Review, and Harvest literary magazine, among others

Zana Messia is an artist, performer and a versatile songwriter with an edge. Her recent songs can be heard in various Hollywood films.

Kate Romero is a life coach, psychic, talent manager, radio host, and has a world title in arm wrestling. Also an avid storyteller, she is a recent StorySLAM winner at The Moth and will be competing in the GrandSLAM at the Regent DTLA on August 28 at 8 p.m.

Alex Stein is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and author of the personal-essay collection No, Mr. Bond, I Expect Your Dreams to Die.  He produced the Muse Literary Salon storytelling show every week for two-and-a-half years before he realized no one should do that.

Tickets are $12, with student/senior discount also available. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Cash and checks only at the door.

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

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

Tickets are $12, advance purchase at Cash and checks only at door.


– Submitted by Shine Producer, Isabel Storey