Storyteller & Public Speaker

With nearly two decades of experience as a performer, Janna brings a dynamic, skillful, playful presence to the stage. She views the invitation to address a gathering of people as an opportunity to listen for what they need, and find words for what matters. Janna uses personal narrative to highlight the beautiful, absurd, challenging, and hope-giving aspects of shared experience that normally go unspoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sense possibility, and remember things they already know but may have forgotten. Janna speaks on the subjects of Improvisation and Storytelling, and also on the subjects of listening and trust, and how these effect well-being in communities and individuals. She gives attention to the knowing, natural life inside us each, and the good and surprising things that may come from respecting it. With delight and humor, she examines the obstacles placed in the way of trusting ourselves and each other, and offers strategies for their removal. 



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As a solo performer, Janna has been invited to stage two solo shows with Chicago Solo Theater, and won the world-renowned Uptown Poetry Slam's first and only Story Slam. In live-lit circles she has been honored as a Year's Best performer by The Encyclopedia Show and Real Talk Live, is a 3-time story slam winner with Write Club, and has been repeat-performer for Essay Fiesta, Story Club, This Much is True, and Chicago Slam Works. She has been a featured writer/performer for The Shit Show, Young Chicago Authors, Words that Kill, Story Sessions, Two Cookie Minimum, Small Fish Radio Theater, Broad Shoulders Podcast and Write Bloody Publishing. She opened Jen Bosworth's acclaimed one woman show, Why Not Me? and Amanda Rountree's solo play 185 Buddhas Walk Into a Bar.


As a topical speaker, Janna has spoken for Columbia College, Young Chicago Authors, and at the 2017 Congress of The I&M Canal National Heritage Area where she gave the Keynote address. She has been a guest speaker on panels for WBEZ and the Young Non Profit Professionals Network, and once gave the Sunday sermon at Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple in Oak Park!


If you would like to invite Janna to speak or share stories with your group, please use the contact page for a reply within 48 hours.  

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