Allison Downey

Allison Downey

With an MFA in Theatre, (now an Associate Professor at WMU) Allison is a natural storyteller who creates scenes on stage sometimes inspired by her travels around 5 continents. She takes audiences on a journey that spans the gamut of human emotions often making you laugh in mid-cry. She seamlessly weaves together her stories and songs of teenage angst, adventures in motherhood, or traveling debacles into a cohesive performative arc. After almost a year researching, teaching and performing in New York City’s personal narrative storytelling scene (Liar Show, Standard Issues, People’s Improv Theatre), Allison landed The Moth Mainstage Michigan Tour, performing sold out shows at The Power Center in Ann Arbor, and Royce Auditorium in Grand Rapids. (She is also a Moth StorySLAM winner.) Allison has gone on to be a featured performer for storytelling festivals, conferences, and events and is the host and co-producer for “The Living Room,”  a new radio series for Michigan Public Radio that features stories and music around a theme. (*“The Living Room” won the 2012 Michigan Association of Broadcasters Award for Broadcasting Excellence in Cultural Programming) She’s also taught storytelling to College students, senior citizens, executies as well as high school students in the South Bronx, NY. Allison leads workshops and retreats in storytelling, creativity, arts integration, and songwriting.

Allison performing at the National Storytelling Festival, Jonesborough, TN (Oct. 5, 2013) looking out at nearly 1500 people…

 Where’s she from? A native Washingtonian (DC), Allison honed her craft in Austin, TX before bringing her style of musical storytelling to her current home of Kalamazoo, Michigan. She toured interactive, musical storytelling programs to children across Texas and toured her adult one-woman theatrical storytelling show, “Connections” to City Players Theatre in St. Louis. In the piece Allison portrays 8 different characters, based on her experiences teaching storytelling workshops to senior citizens in Texas. In Austin, Allison also cut her debut CD, Wind at Your Back (Litty Ditty Records, 2002), produced by veteran performers Christine Albert & Chris Gage. Both Wind at Your Back, and her sophomore release, Across the Sea (2008), produced by Michael Crittenden of Mackinaw Harvest Records, garnered her regional and national awards, as well as international & satellite radioplay.

Journeys Storytelling 2

An Associate Professor of Creative Arts Education at Western Michigan University, (former Theatre prof.) Allison loves to perform for children & adults and to lead workshops, retreats, & residencies in storytelling, creativity, songwriting and drama for schools, organizations, communities, libraries, festivals, and events. Allison lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her musical husband, John, 5 year old super hero, Michael, and a fish named Blackfin.  (Allison performing at the Michigan Theatre for the Journeys International Storytelling event.) 

Allison has performed and led workshops at these fantastic venues:

National Storytelling Festival (TN)
National Storytelling Conference (VA)
Ann Arbor Storytelling Festival (MI)
Northlands Storytelling Conference (WI)
MassMouth (MA)
The Moth Mainstage Michigan Tour (MI)
The Moth StorySLAM winner (MI)
Story Collider Show & Podcast (Featured in NYT) NYC
The Liar Show, NYC
Jackson StoryFest (MI)
Noreast’r Music Festival (MI)
South Florida Folks Festival
Kerrville Folk Festival Storytelling & Songwriting school (TX) IMG_2184

(Allison performing for MassMouth at Club Passim, Boston 10/13)

Kalamazoo Valley Museum 2nd Annual Storytelling Festival