JP’s Alan White Has a Big Mouth: Competing in Storytelling Championship

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Jamaica Plain resident Alan White advanced through multiple rounds of competition to face off against Greater Boston's best storytellers at the Big Mouth Off, the region's premier storytelling championship, on May 10th.

White will join nine other finalists, who emerged from a field of more than 100, to tell their winning true stories in the quest to be named Big Mouth Off champion. The competition is being held at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square.

The Big Mouth Off, now in its 9th year, is Boston's longest-running storytelling championship and is organized by Massmouth, a Boston-based nonprofit that promotes the art of storytelling. Massmouth hosts a variety of shows throughout the city, including Stories from the Stage at WGBH. In 2017, Stories from the Stage, co-produced by Massmouth and World Channel, became a national television show featured on PBS.

Storytellers qualify for the Big Mouth Off by competing at one of Massmouth's popular story slams held from October to March at Club Passim and Trident Booksellers. Audience members can enter the contests by sharing a true, 5-minute story on various monthly themes, ranging from "Party Foul" to "Photo Finish." The winners advance to semifinals slams to compete for a spot in the Big Mouth Off. This year's finalists include both seasoned and first-time tellers and represent diverse voices – a cycling instructor, graduate student, and photo archivist, among others.

"The Big Mouth Off celebrates the truth that we all have amazing stories to share," said Cheryl Hamilton, Massmouth director. "The tellers on May 10th made our slam audiences laugh, cry, cheer, and gain the courage to tell their own stories. We are excited to feature the best of the best.”

The Big Mouth Off begins at 8 pm. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased through the Somerville Theatre website at Visit for more details.