Stories that shape the soul.
Stories that shape the soul.
Allegory was born out of the understanding that storytelling is therapy for the soul. The human experience is vastly different for everyone and yet there is a common thread through out life we all share. The need for connection and belonging.
Individual lessons in life taking each of us on journeys to places we never expected to go facing hardships we never could have imagined in our wildest dreams or nightmares. The soul laid bare, vulnerable and in need of empathy, grace and unconditional love. Our stories help shape our character and the become the very essence of who we are...the soul.
Producer, Julie Smith, is a Seattle transplant from Eastern, WA. Born into a large family with a single mom and 8 siblings, she found her way through John R. Rogers High School, Spokane Community College, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Western Governors University & Green River Community College and currently works full time as a Supervisor for one of the nations largest medical providers.
Julies love for the stage began as an adolescent, her mother minored in Theater at Whitworth College and the family spent evenings playing improve games in the family living room. Julie studied theater in high school and in college and has several acting credits in the greater Seattle/Tacoma Area. They include: Sylvia, A Christmas Story, Blithe Spirit, The Tempest, Guys & Dolls, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, If Spiders Made Honey, Its a Watchamadozie and was blessed to audition for the julliard school and more.
As a woman, minority, Christian and part of the LGBT community, Julie takes great honor and pride in representing people from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. A through a life time of creativity and service, Julie considers building relationships through forming deep connections to be the highest form of confidence.
Julie currently resides in Kent, WA with her wife and 4 children.
Coming from all cultural background, beliefs and professions, each session combines a thoughtfully cultivated group of "The Storytellers", each bringing a unique experience to the stage. Sharing some of their most intimate and personal journeys through life, love, relationships, trauma & tragedy this collection of provocative & riveting stories will take you on an emotional roller coaster through unimaginable pain, heartache, soul searching and then lift your spirit through triumph and unimaginable, incomprehensible joy.
ALLEGORY producer and Storyteller, Julie Smith is a Seattle area transplant born and raised in Spokane, WA. Julie received her A.A.S. from Spokane Community College, studied Multi-Media Design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Business Administration at Western Governors University & H.R. at Green River Community College. Julie is the co-founder of the youth organization dedicated to anti bullying, self-esteem and civic engagement, The Power Cave, former Marketing Director of Seattle Fashion Week, LGBT activist, unabashed feminist and champion for youth, race, gender, female rights & equality. A creative in every sense of the word, Julies passions also include art, design and acting. She has several theater credits to her name.
A true servant of the people Julies Christian upbringing has empowered her to seek opportunities to help and support people in need of love, friendship, knowledge and emotional breakthrough. This same background also created a space for internal conflict as Julie navigated violent relationships, fought the demons of depression, childhood cancer and her own sexual identity. She believes that through reflecting on our past experiences and sharing our personal histories we can change or even save lives.
Teresa Barnes was born in Oklahoma & raised in Rhode Island. With her degree in Business and E-Commerce from The University of Phoenix, Teresa is the Regional Sales Trainer and Business Development Manager for local food company, Tera Kai Organics. Teresa is married to ALLEGORY producer Julie Smith, together they have 4 children. She is an outspoken advocate for LGBT youth and most notably argued and won for gender neutral bathrooms in all WA schools. Teresa was brought up in an environment of extreme adversity including abuse, a parent with Munchhausen Syndrome, divorce and more. These circumstances and more drive her to always look for the good in life. Teresa believes that her story is meant to be shared and embraced by others so they can find the courage to overcome.
Born and raised in Spokane, WA. to a couple that defied social norms and married as a mixed race couple. Sharon Williams grew up wanting to perform, sing and act. Along with being part of social change during many years of activism for the less fortunate and for civil rights. Sharon raised seven children & graduated from Whitworth College. Following her faith she was part of the ministry, “Gatherings of Joy”, she became a licensed Minister, was a motivational & inspirational public speaker. Sharon hopes that her life experiences will be an inspiration to those who attend. As Langston Hughes said “Life ain’t been a crystal stairway.’ No it hasn’t been. But, it’s been an amazing journey.
Kris Wood lives in Portland, OR with her partner and doggie. Kris is a paralegal and producer and host of the weekly podcast Self Care is Sexy! What started out as helping a friend her senior year of college that quickly turned into a movement that's got a lot of people talking. She has interviewed over 100 different people, ranging from a professional football player, to an adult hula hoop instructor; from the lead guitarist of a local rock band, to a sex positive therapist. She considers the work to be extremely fulfilling. For her own self-care, Kris loves yoga, hiking around Portland, a great cup of coffee and dancing with friends.
Crystal (neé) Charaba is a PNW native, mother of three, residing in Tacoma, WA. Raised by nomadic Adventist parents, this lifestyle led her to experience myriad cultural backgrounds across the US fueling her passion for ethics and social justice. Coupled with her own history of teen motherhood, being bipolar, and abusive relationships, ultimately led Crystal to a recent re-commitment to living life as her authentic self. Through a lot of growth and self discovery, Crystal has proclaimed her truth as a Later-in-Life Lesbian. She’s a successful, professional, artistic woman who’s message focuses on healing through positivity and self-empowerment.
Robin Josey is a Washington State native. Born in Seattle, she attended schools from private to public and graduated from Garfield High School. She later went on to attend and graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she lived for 6½ years and earned her B.A. in Communications & Media Studies. A lover of sports, movies and cupcakes may seem eclectic, but that is what Robin is. A woman with two feet firmly planted on the ground, one in a firm gen x mentality, but with a desire to understand and embrace millennial culture, and a dash of old school to honor her mother.
Tish Morales is a Washington native, currently resides in Mt. Vernon, WA with her wife Tiff (currently deployed) and 2 year old Kasen. With commitment to serve, she joined the Navy after high school, with 8 deployments to include OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, and, OPERATION TOMODACHI. Tish was raised in a world of uncertainty, low income, and with a lack if stability which inspired her to be the change she dreamed of as a child. A survivor of Breast and Thyroid cancer, Tish continues to live out her dreams. Despite her circumstances she preserved, achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer, earned a Masters of History from Columbia, and is currently living her life long aspiration of attending graduate school at Gonzaga University. Tish retired from the Navy in 2016, is a Wounded Warrior, and will graduate with her masters in servant-leadership in May of 2019.
Renée "Roxanné" Denomme hales from Detroit, Michigan. With her Bachelors of Fine Arts, she is an artist & designer. She received the Collection of the Year award in 2018 from IADT and was featured on NBC & Refinery29. A singer, mentor and philanthropist Renee believes people grow from other's experiences she maintains a strong passion to "Do Good". She has struggled with her own self-worth, depression, ADD, beauty and what a woman "should be". She follows the mantra, "and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make"-The Beatles.
After 7 years of teaching in the Highline School District, Marcel stepped out on faith to pursue his passion of Videography & Photography where he birthed his brand "New Focus". With a developing business and heart for his community he has become a staple in Seattle. Four months before his wedding Marcel was shot in the neck and left for dead.This life changing tragedy drastically altered the lives of Marcel and his family. From homelessness to graduating from the Art Institute of Seattle, Marcel has fought against numerous obstacles on the journey of becoming an impressive entrepreneur in the Seattle Area. With a severed spinal cord leaving him paralyzed per his medical team Marcel, family and friends are praying for a miracle.
Melody Clark is a Seattle-based writer, coach, and communications consultant. With almost two decades of experience in everything from event management and career coaching to research and communications expertise, she’s combined her experience and passions to form Spark. Spark is a consultancy that focuses on connecting people to what sparks their lives and businesses. A practical Washington native but spiritual student of the world, Melody has traveled to 5 of the 7 continents and dozens of countries. She earned her Bachelors of Arts from Western Washington University and her Master’s in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Washington.
Renee Hipp is a Seattle transplant via California. Living in the Seattle area since 2006, Renee studied nursing and accounting and has received several Soroptimist Scholarships. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence, Renee a single mother of 4 boys, has spent years working diligently to rise above her circumstances and strives to be a role model and to teach her boys to be men of God. Despite many challenges including raising a child with child cancer Renee has made a successful career and is considered a leader among her peers.
Apryl Dossett, the 2nd oldest of 4 siblings and the only girl was born Saint Louis,Missouri. A graduate of Kaplan College, she currently works in downtown Tacoma, WA, Apryl is a married mother of 3 boys and 2 daughters-in-love.When she 3 years old I was severely burned in a house fire.This experience was very traumatic for Apryl during adolescence and caused a lot of self-doubt. In the past few years Apryl joined The Burned Childrens Recovery Foundation, a foundation that helps burn survivors. For several years, she's volunteered at their annual camp as a counselor to show young girls that they are more than their scars and that they can live a normal life.I am living proof that my scars do not define me.
Amanda Folden was raised as part of a conservative Christian military family. Her fathers long career in the Air Force allowed her to live and learn all over the US and the world. Graduating from high school in California, Amanda currently makes her home in Spokane, WA where she is a Manger of a Recreational Marijuana Farm and mom to two dogs. Her passions include animals, serving people and advocating for the responsible use of medical and recreational marijuana. Amanda left the banking industry after several traumatic experiences and made a split minute decision to travel the country with a mere stranger. Sharing her journey to self-healing, coping through trauma and abuse, Amandas life of living in the moment is sure to inspire.
Storyteller Applications are NOW OPEN for the UNAPOLOGETICALLY BLACK Series.
The last day to submit applications is June 1, 2018 11:59PM.
VOLUNTEER applications will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
**Applications to be a Storyteller DO NOT require the addition of a completed work. Sharing our stories is a process and all selected storytellers will receive guidance and direction to ensure guidelines are met.
Due to the high number of application submissions, not all stories will be selected at this time. Take heart dear friend, your story matters & may be considered for use at a later date.
Julie Smith, Producer
Meraki Productions is a registered 501(c)3.
ALLEGORY; Stories That Shape the Soul is a ground breaking performance and podcast helping real people share deeply personal experiences. Offering hope and healing through storytelling, ALLEGORY Storytellers lay everything on the stage.
It is through donations from people like you who value the necessity of sharing real life that we intend to change and save lives.
Thank you in advance for your support of our creative platforms to help start a conversation that matters.
We look forward to seeing you in the audience!
-Julie Smith, Producer