David is a singer, songwriter, traveler and occasional liar. He has made a career out of stretching the truth into songs that have landed him on stage next to Josh Ritter and Ryan Bingham and soundtracked shows on PBS, NBC and The CW. Yes, the same CW that aired Dawson's Creek that you watched in high school. Some of his recent accomplishments include finalist honors in the Telluride Troubadour songwriting competition, the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition and American Songwriter’s lyric writing competition. His band, Fort Frances, is named after a town in Canada. None of the members have ever been there.
Sean is the creator and host of "The Blackout Diaries" a show where comics plus 'real' people (cops, priests, teachers, etc) share true drinking stories and answer questions from the audience. He has been featured on Comedy Central and named the best standup comic in Chicago by several publications. He was also named Best Drunk by The Chicago Reader (2014). He and his wife are having much different reactions to that award. On stage, he shares wild, hilarious stories, while showing multimedia from the events: photos, videos, voicemails and more. Last year he combined many of these stories into a sold-out, critically-acclaimed one man show, called "Never Been to Paris", about the last 10 times he nearly killed himself by accident. The easiest way to describe Sean Flannery is: he's attended the wrong wedding (twice). That mostly sums it up.
Ben became a fulltime staff writer for The Chicago Reader in 1990. His reporting focuses on larger citywide matters, with a special interest in exposing municipal financing scams, most notably tax increment financing, as well as privatizing public parking and unfairly enforced marijuana laws (collaborting with Mike Dumke). Ben's work has been published in Best American Sports Writing and The Third City. He is the author of five books, including Hoop Dreams and The Greens. In 2010 Ben was the recipient of Journalist of the Year awards from the Chicago Journalists Association and Northern Illinois University.
Sondra Morin is a writer, poet, storyteller, and social critic. She is an alumna of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. Essays, poetry, and radio interviews appear in American Public Media’s Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal, Chicago Artists Resource, Curbside Splendor, The Rumpus, Similar:Peaks::, and more. You can find her online at www.sondramorin.com.
Bente is an actor, writer and comedian. She is a first generation American who owes her comedy to a lifetime of watching her Danish father and Mexican mother communicate in their second language. She has been improvising, writing and performing in Chicago for that last 6 years on the stages of Second City, iO and the CIC Theatre. When she's not performing, Bente spends her time teaching people how to pronounce her name. It's like "Brenda" without the R.
Alison is a Chicago journalist who focuses on social justice and criminal justice. She is the author of Exoneree Diaries, a narrative non-fiction multimedia series for Chicago Public Media and NPR affiliate, WBEZ 91.5. The series was a finalist for a national Online Journalism Award in 2014. Alison has written for VICE, The Village Voice, the ABA Journal and many other outlets.
Bobby is a writer and volunteer with CHIRP, DJing Saturday afternoons since CHIRP's launch in 2010, as well as writing pieces for the blog. His writing has appeared in Two With Water, Graze Magazine, The Other Otter, and The Logan Square Literary Review. Bobby is also active in other storytelling shows in Chicago and has performed with The Paper Machete, Curbside Splendor, Two Cookie Minimum, Words That Kill, and is a producer for The First Time. He is currently working on a novel.