Once a month, a handful of storytellers stand in front of an audience at Gala Desserts in West Ashley and share a true story about themselves. Have you heard of the true storytelling podcast, The Moth? Same concept, adapted for Charleston.

These stories may be joyful, confessional, tragic … All they really have in common is their authenticity and their connection to a chosen theme. For Comedy Fest, that theme is “Oh S**t!”

“We chose it because people can take that in so many directions,” says Karen Black, founder and host of Truth Is. “When we participate in Comedy Fest, I help our storytellers curate the story they’re going to tell, and then we work on it and hone it. We know that those stories are funny and will make people laugh.”

Eight storytellers join in for this 90-minute lineup. Each of them have shared a story on the Truth Is stage before. “Our storytellers are very funny and the joy of attending a show like this is sitting and hearing people tell something that truly happened to them. It’s different than going to stand-up, but I promise you’ll have a great time.”

For Black, storytelling has been her favorite form of expression. She’d trained in improv before, but it didn’t speak to her. The thought of stand-up seemed terrifying. But while living in L.A., friends in the comedy scene convinced her to give storytelling a go.

“To be a good storyteller,” explains Black, “you take the moments in life that might seem banal to somebody else, and you find a streak of something interesting in it that other people can relate to. Then you squeeze the details out of it as you tell the story. You really paint the picture for the audience. It’s a craft.” —Melissa Hayes

Truth Is Presents: Oh, S**t!

$10 Fri. Jan. 17 at 8 p.m.

South of Broadway Theatre Co.

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