S. Bear Bergman | Storytelling
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“Bear in performance is to reading his books what a live rock show is to listening to the album – so much better. So much richer! And you’ll never read his work the same way off the page again, not without thinking of the side stories and hilarious faces.
– Carol Queen, Author/Performance Artist


Family. How we create it, nurture it, and are nurtured within it; whether our family is original, chosen, or a hearty blend. Bergman’s stories describe and exalt the lives of his grandparents, the hilarity of planning his wedding, his Shabbos table, and the story of Chanukah. At the same time, they make space for relationships that might feel complex or un-nameable in our daily contexts – drag mothers, step-parents emeritus, your sperm donor’s parents, and more.

All are recognized in Bergman’s loving stories, and all are placed within a particularly Jewish love and longing for family in which to eat, argue, and belong. Described as “mezmerizing,” “touching,” “hilarious,” and “beautifully told,” these stories are an amazing experience for anyone with a family, and a truly validating one for fellow Jews and queer-identified folks.

Watch an excerpt!

Storytelling Performance

Writer, storyteller, gender-jammer and raconteur S. Bear Bergman takes the stage with a mouthful of tender, teasing, complicated, challenging joyful words. Reading and performing from his extensive published work as well as new, unpublished pieces, Bear brings twenty-five years of performance training and a lifetime of storytelling experience to hir performances – fresh, funny, and incredibly engaging.

Bear is more than happy to curate performances around certain themes, to suit the needs of groups or communities. Commonly requested themes are family, pride, sex and sexuality, growing up different, and Judaism, but feel free to ask about any topic or topics that might fit your needs. Without specific direction, Bear will generally choose a mix of stories – some funny and some more thoughtful, some classics and some new work. Readings almost always include at least one piece of unpublished work, and sometimes more.

Come enjoy the snap and crackle of a live show – something that cannot be repeated, paused, or saved; performed only for the warm souls that show up.

Also available, upon request:

* Improv Storytime, where the audience asks for the story topic and Bear tells a fresh, unrehearsed story spun out of road snacks into gold.

* Q&A afterward, where after a short break Bear will answer questions about art, craft, identity, culture and the mix of them all.

* Post-performance talk with theatre or writing classes about the differences between writing for publication and writing for performance (and when it’s possible to bridge that distance).

Youth Acting

How much brave new theater can you make in one workshop?

You are invited to an intense and immersive experience in the theater, creating a new work entirely from scratch out of your most authentic stories. Along the way, you will learn new ways to speak out and act out. Perhaps you never knew you had skills in storytelling, script writing, acting and directing. Discover them in a safe and supportive environment! We will tease out compelling characters and riveting plot lines from your most challenging times and joyful moments as LGBTT2IQQA youth. You will get the chance to address the topics that matter to you – bullying, homeroom, gym class, being popular, being unpopular, and fighting to wear a dress to the prom.

This workshop culminates in your own short play that you will perform to a dazzled audience. All this, in 72 hours or less. How is such magic accomplished? Find out!

Click to download more information on Youth Acting Out.

(This workshop is designed for youth groups and student organizations, but can be adapted for adult groups upon request.)