Slam in the Summit

First Posted: 4/1/2014

Who won the “Slammy” award at the “Slam in the Summit” held on Fri., March 28 at the Clarks Summit Borough Building?

Storyteller, actor, producer, playwright and director Dennis Boyne of Easton and Elk Mountain, took home the trophy for his story, “Dorney Park.”

Approximately 140 people attended the first-ever Slam in the Summit, a storytelling competition that was presented by Scranton StorySlam and organized by Pamela McNichols, in collaboration with the Abington Area Community Classroom (AACC). Community classroom committee members included Anne Armezzani, Paula Baillie, Emily Rancier, Dori Waters, Sarah Dawgert, Melba Fialko, Judy Griggs, and Maryann Nichols.

Mike Stevens, host of “On the Pennsylvania Road” on WNEP-TV and occasional fill-in on “Home & Backyard” author, and Keystone College instructor was master of ceremonies.

Storytellers each shared a true, five-minute, personal story without notes, inspired by the evening’s theme, “What doesn’t kill you…”

Boyne took the stage and his opening lines, “I want to tell you about the time I almost died. No, it wasn’t the time I skied the glaciers in Chamonix and Matterhorn. Nor was it the time I dodged bullets in the Newark Riots when I was in the National Guard. It was the time I took my granddaughter to the water park at Dorney Park…

He said of the competition, “I love telling stories in this format. Believe it or not, I am not focused on winning or losing, but more in sharing good stories with good folks. With that said, I thought for sure that two other people won the slam. I knew the folks liked my story, but I was happy they picked me. I am going to teach a storytelling workshop in September and it is nice to have won. It may help in presenting my credentials to potential students.”

Invited to tell their stories were University of Scranton professor, Dr. Michael Friedman; Tunkhannock Area High School English teacher, Katie Wisnosky; Screenplay director, writer, and actor, James Scott Flannery.

Following a brief intermission, wild card storytellers Susan Burgess of Wyalusing; Patrick Martin from the improv group, “Here We Are in Spain;” Brian Hiller, a teacher at Abington Heights Middle School; and Nancy Cummings an accountant and a seasoned improvisational performer had their opportunity to entertain the audience.

McNichols referred to Slam in the Summit as “one of the best StorySlams yet!”

“A full house was treated to eight fantastic stories in a beautiful venue, The Gathering Place, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our friends at the Abington Area Community Classroom,” she said. “We’re grateful to the storytellers, wild cards, and guest emcee, Mike Stevens, for creating an unforgettable evening, and we congratulate Dennis Boyne, who will be headed to the Grand Slam later this year.”

Videos of the stories will be available on YouTube and at within a few weeks.

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