Island Women Speak: A Live Storytelling Event on Deer Isle, Maine
We’ll be back in 2021!
Island Women Speak is the popular women’s storytelling event that is created, produced, and directed by Debbie Weil. You can see us live, once a year, on the stage of the Opera House in Stonington, ME, most recently in January, 2020. That performance drew our biggest crowd ever, packing the Opera House on a cold winter’s night. Seven women – ages twenty-five to eighty-four – performed their stories.
Seven women, seven (well, six) generations, seven true stories.
Due to COVID and the challenges of presenting a live indoor theatre experience, the next Island Women Speak may not take place til late spring or early summer, 2021. Please stay tuned! And if you have questions, contact Debbie.
Lineup for Thursday Jan. 30, 2020 is below. Click through for videos of the performances:
Producer & Director: Debbie Weil
Photography: Dan Rajter
The theme: When life surprises you or… when things don’t turn out as expected
Island Women Speak (Ellsworth American, Jan. 24, 2020)
Island women speak out about their lives (Ellsworth American, Jan. 28, 2019)
Island Women Speak shares life stories of eight local women (Island Ad-Vantages, Jan. 25, 2018)
January 2020 (L to R):
Sue Steed, Judith Keenan, Esther Adams, Debbie Weil, Brighid Doherty, Alix Sarain, Nancy Wynne
January 2019 team photo (L to R):
Hazel Woodward (Team 20); Hollan Oliver (Team 30); Kristie Billings (Team 40); Kyra Alex (Team 50); Robin Alden (Team 60); Evelyn Duncan (Team 70); Lorraine Knowlton (Team 80); Debbie Weil
May 2018 team photo (L to R):
Amanda Larrabee (Team 30); Ginger Reiman (Team 90); Judith Jerome (Team 70); Melissa Jones-Bayley (Team 40); Suzy Shepard (Team 60); Becky Siebert (Team 50); Nicole Nolan (Team 20); Debbie Weil (producer and host).
January 2018 team photo (L to R):
Debbie Little Wyman (Team 70); Anne Burton (Team 80); Kathleen Billings (Team 50); Cherie Mason (Team 90); Morgan Witham (Team 30); Jennifer Eaton Larrabee (Team Almost 40); Asia Eaton (Team 20); Debbie Weil (producer and host); Katy Rinehart (Team 60).
Photography in 2018: Lily Felsenthal
This unique event (inspired by The Moth) was premiered by Debbie Weil at the Opera House in January 2018. Eight local storytellers, ages twenty-one to ninety-one, each performed a personal story that she had written and rehearsed. The stories were about falling in love, leaving home, why a path to public service, and more. Then in May 2018, seven local women, ages twenty to ninety-four, took the stage to tell their stories on themes such as coming out as gay, dealing with depression and anxiety, and acknowledging white privilege and racism. The third performance was in January 2019. And the fourth in January 2020.
If you have questions about Island Women Speak, please contact producer and director Debbie Weil.
Our first event (Jan. 2018) was written up in the local paper, the Island Ad-Vantages, highlighting our speakers and why they chose to participate: Island Women Speak shares stories of eight local women.
Channel 5 TV
We were also featured in a two-minute feature story on Channel 5 WABI-TV: Eight Women Share Stories of Life on Stonington and Deer Isle.
The inspiration: Generation Women in NYC
Thanks to Georgia Clark and Generation Women in NYC, who inspired Debbie Weil to bring a storytelling event for women across generations to Maine. As Georgia explains, “Generation Women blends a lively literary salon with the tradition of handing down wisdom from community elders.”
Photos: Debbie performed as Team 60 with Generation Women in October 2017. The first sentence of her story was “I’m 65 and I still have sex… ” and the mostly younger audience went wild. More photos of Generation Women events here.