MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Ten area locals, including one Broadway and television star, told stories from their own lives to help raise money for hunger relief this past Saturday night. Mapso Storytelling 2020 raised over $2,000, said organizer Elizabeth Trundle.
The Jan. 25 event at the Burghdorff Center for the Performing Arts was the second time Trundle has partnered with MEND; Allison Ziefert of the Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group at Keller Williams MidTown Direct Realty was the event’s sponsor. About 150 people attended the sold out show.
Trundle, who emceed the show and told a few stories herself, is an experienced storyteller; she hand-picked the participants and helped them work on their stories. She has won two Moth Story Slams and teaches storytelling at the SOMA Adult School as well as privately. She said she had been looking to partner with a non-profit for the event, which she had produced before, when she found MEND. MEND is an interfaith network of 20 member food pantries located throughout Essex County, NJ.
She liked the idea that MEND is small, local, and fights hunger. “That’s the kind of work I want to support,” Trundle said.
The evening’s headliner was Norbert Leo Butz, a triple threat actor-singer-dancer who lives locally. Butz is a two-time Tony winner and has been on television recently in “Bloodline” and “Fosse Verdon.” He told a story about a time he had to be brave on a walk to Penn Station with an older actress 20 years ago. The other local storytellers were Sarah Paige, TAPinto SOMA Editor Alia Covel, Felix Sockwell, Kris Ohleth, Stephanie Hoeler, Debbie Halpern, Katherine Houston Voss, Norrie Feinblatt, and Sara Clarke.
Trundle and MEND are planning the next storytelling show for June. MEND is having their second annual Green Bean Gala on March 7.