SheSpeaks: Women’s Storytelling

This live storytelling event is designed to celebrate and honor women – our power, perspectives, voices, wisdom, stories and relevance. Each year has a different theme (and generally a new twist with regard to its format), but it always has the same glowing and fierce intention: to offer a platform for women to share stories that inspire, inform, and create a space for something new to emerge – an awareness, an idea, an appreciation, a connection, a commitment.

The theme for SheSpeaks  2019 is “Well Spring” 12.5 + 12.6

Already know what SheSpeaks is, and here to  get your tickets? Fabulous! They are on sale now at One Longfellow Square now, so get ’em while they’re hot! Scroll down for detailed descriptions for each show.
Get your tickets for Thursday here! 
Get your tickets for Friday here!

New to SheSpeaks? Welcome! This live storytelling event held in Portland, Maine every December is the highlight of my year at SheChanges, and I’m not alone—women, men, and even a few younger people wait for it all year long and get their tickets early, often before I even announce the speakers. They just know they want to be a part of it because they’ve been to it before or have heard about it from a friend and don’t want to miss it. Each year the event is organized around a theme, and you can see some of the past year’s themes and speakers listed below.

This year will be the eleventh running of SheSpeaks, and the theme is “Wellspring”—that place where deep truth and desire to be of service intersect and seek to rise up to the surface of us, asking to be heard, honored and ultimately expressed, and put to use in our world. I will serve as the emcee for the event, weaving my own stories among the five women speakers featured the first evening (Thursday night), and then will take center stage on the second evening (Friday night),  telling stories that touch upon my experience in supporting women tapping into this powerful source—even in the face of fear, discomfort and inconvenience.

The women joining me up on stage each year are not professional storytellers, nor did they pitch an idea to me or audition for the part. In fact, most of them didn’t see me coming when I invited them. These are women who inspire and intrigue me—some I know personally, and some are completely new to me. But all of these women share one common thing: a feeling that now is the time for them to take the stage (even if they have no earthly clue what they’ll say up there at first…). Simply put: I want to hear the story that wants to be told through these women, and I know from experience that I’m not alone.

And therein lies the magic of SheSpeaks: the power of story to connect us to ourselves and each other.

Photo credit: Ginger Soul Photography

The stories told on stage each year at SheSpeaks are not buffed and polished and rehearsed. They are messy and often unfinished, making them deliciously human and relatable.So join us this winter —for one night or for both—as we fill up the beautiful space of One Longfellow Square for two luscious nights in Portland with our big, beautiful and unapologetic energy.  Witness the power of stories told and lived. Be a part of it by catching what’s served up on stage that night, and I promise you will leave with some powerful energy, inspirational brew, and serendipitous mojo that has come to be the calling card of this event!

Feel free to check out some speakers from past events here. Note: Stories at SheSpeaks are no longer video-taped, but audio recordings will be available from SheSpeaks 2018 in March via my podcast An Unscripted Woman. The videos are from older events prior to 2014, and were held in a much smaller space. 

SheSpeaks 2019: Wellspring

Thursday, December 5th & Friday, December 6th, both events begin at 7:00 p.m.

One Longfellow Square
Portland, Maine

Purchase your tickets here at One Longfellow Square
Note: Tickets are sold per show, so if you’re interested in attending both nights, please be sure to purchase two tickets—one for each evening. The list of speakers for each night and their descriptions are shown below.

The five women of this SheSpeaks will offer perspective, inspiration and some good food for thought along with a few laughs. Lael will be the emcee of this event and will be weaving together their stories in the context of the topic of “Wellspring” on Thursday night, and then will be taking center stage Friday night share her own stories and experience of harnessing the power of the wellspring to create change.

Join us one night or both nights, and together we will rock this town. I promise you that.

And yes, men are more than welcome to attend this event! While it is an event to honor and celebrate women, the stories told this evening will be appreciated by and relevant to men and women alike.

There will be a cash bar that offers beer, wine and local baked treats. There will be a brief intermission after the fourth speaker before continuing on with the second half. Buying advance tickets for each evening is highly encouraged, as space is limited and this event typically sells out!

The speakers for this year’s SheSpeaks are….

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5TH

JOANNA HORTON MCPHERSON — GOING INTO THE LAYERS
What does it look like to make space for truth to emerge when we can’t plan what will happen next? How do we know when we’ve hit our truth—and then what do we do with it once we’ve found it? Joanna’s story will mine beneath the topic of vulnerability and explore what it’s like to give voice to those things that live below the places we cannot touch, but can only sense—in the unknown.

BENEDITA ZALABANTU — AND THEN THERE WAS ME
What does it mean to love yourself—truly, fully? How is it possible to feel comfortable in our own skin when we live in a world so filled with noise, judgment and hatred when it comes to women’s bodies? Benedita’s story will show how our inner struggles and beliefs can help to shape our outer compassion and actions, connecting us to ourselves and to others, even as we stand out, look different, and feel alone.

GEMMA DREHER — THE RED THREAD
What does it look like to call on the Motherline and tap into the ancient, sacred lineage of the feminine? What if women had the ability to awaken our divinity, and bring forth a magical power that could be used for the highest good? Gemma’s story will unearth what has been buried for too long—in ourselves and our world—but is now undeniably here.

KAYLA LEWIS — DROPPING THE BUCKET
What if greater levels of our personal power could be found in the most unlikely of places? What if finding our way forward began with digging down into the depths of who we are? Kayla’s story will reveal how serendipity and the world around us ask us to look deeper down inside ourselves for clues and answers—connecting us with not only ourselves, but with each other as a result.

KAT JOYCE — GETTING NAKED
What if we were to take off the costumes and the armor? What is left when we strip ourselves naked to reveal the full wattage of who we are—will it be enough to love, to belong, and still function in a well-crafted life? Kat’s story will explore what happens when we call ourselves home, put our own skin back on, and align who we truly are on the inside with how we show up with others on the outside.

Get your tickets for Thursday night’s show here!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6TH

LAEL COUPER JEPSON will be taking center stage on Friday night at SheSpeaks for the first time in its history to share stories from her life as well as the fifteen year’s of experience she’s had of working with women creating change. Stay tuned here for a bit more detail on the topics she will be touching upon that night!

Get your tickets for Friday night’s show here!

The Women of Past SheSpeaks

December 2018: Sovereign 

Thursday night (Check out their stories on Soundcloud):
Anne Morin
Louisa Irele
Corinne Mockler
Lyn Carter
Nadine Farag

Friday night (Their stories will soon be up on Soundcloud!):
Ashley Dobbs
Rosa Slack
Molly Neuner
Robin Hodgskin
Virginia Dearani

December 2017: Life In The Arena
Elizabeth Walker – The Broken Bits
Adilah Muhammad – Bleeding On The Sheets
Donna Galluzzo – Coming Full Circle
Shay Stewart Bouley – The Person Behind The Person
Marsha Greenberg – Off The Mark
Kimberly Baker Simms – Her Gift To Me

December 2016: A Living Prayer 
EJ Lab – I Am The And
Lisa Whited – Doubling Up
Noel Gallagher – A Stew of Shame
Jeanne Handy – Our Bodies Are Holy
Pamela Otunnu – A Stand For Why
Molly Simmons – Liminal Living

May 2014: Sourcing 
Susan Fekety – The Wing Flapping Stage
Kate Davis – The Strategy of Magic
Charlotte Bacon – The Alchemy of Anger
Erin Oldham – The Courage To Hold My Heart
Donna Desilets – Salty Tears, Salty Sea

December 2013: Harbinger
Johnna Major – Breaking Free From My Fortress
Molly Tarleton – Moving Into Fluid
Molly Simmons – The People At My Table
Becky Carpenter – Saying What I Do Believe
Shannon Bryan – Getting Ready For My Shit Show

May 2013: Rebel Yell
Pam Erickson – Finding My Inner Helga
Shannara Gillman – Being a Badass For Good
Noel Gallagher – Calling The Dogs Home
Erica Labb – Packaging My Truth In Love
Josephina Gasca – Bigger Than I Think I Am

December 2012: Mojo Risin’
Mish Morgenstern: An Antidote to Impatience
Denise Jay: Finding My Faith When the Dock Is Shaking
Katy Park: Taking Up A Shitload of Space
Danielle Madore: Choosing Not To Dance
Elizabeth DeSwarte: From Tragic to Magic

April 2012: Rites of Passage
Jen Cohen: The Pressure From A Grain Of Sand
Donna Galluzzo: Letting Go Into Love
Jeanne Handy: It’s Not Always Pretty
Jeanne Thompson: The Force Within Me
Ellen Murphy: Being True To The Process

October 2011: Honoring
Jessica Esch – The Journey To Asking
Shay Stewart Bouley -Letting It Rip
Monique Barrett – The Power of Unlocking Ourselves
Lee Farrington – Life On A Curve
Karen Wyman – Free-Falling Into The Unknown