Our Host

Matt Jones has been telling stories his whole life. One of four boys in a family of talkers, storytelling was a competition and an outlet. As high school history teacher and football coach, he used this ability to bring the events of the past and the present to life for his students and players. Today as a father of four himself, an active Scout leader, PTA president, coach and friend he's still using that power to communicate with wit, humor and an ability tap into those human emotions that connect us all, to keep those around him active and engaged. 

A resident of Naperville for over ten years Matt has never forgotten his Virginia roots, his family, and the places he came from. 

Tiffani Desrosiers

Tiffani Desrosiers is an energetic mom of three who lives in Warrenville! She has a background in television broadcasting and has been performing improv and stand-up comedy since 2010. Her stories are always real, always funny and typical Tiffani... 

Clare Clayton

Clare Clayton's life has been constant motion. The daughter of an Air Force officer, her childhood was literally a spin around the globe.  Texas, Okinawa, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, and more... While adulthood may have kept her more stationary, her life has not. Leaving her career behind and moving to the suburbs 7 years ago, the busy mother of two boys is still spinning as a Cub Scout and PTA leader, running an at home business, training dogs, dragons and a husband. Storytelling is just the next step in a life always moving.

Gina Farella-Howley

Gina Farella-Howley taught fifteen years in Illinois public schools.  The past twelve, she’s been freelance writing and tutoring for fun.  Her specialty: managing the crazy produced by and around her husband John and their beautiful boys Martin (12), Joe (10), and Tim (8).  She’s particularly excited to explore a new avenue in her life and share some of the many stories eternally dancing in her head!



Dean Dranias

After graduating Northwestern with a BS in radio-TV news and special events, I focused primarily on a career in Public and Investor Relations working primarily with Middle Market and Fortune 500 companies as a consultant. I also appeared on WMAQ radio and WGN TV. Today, I'm retired but am a sub teacher in Oswego. In my free time, I've had over 125 letters to the editor published in the Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily Herald, USA Today and Newsweek among other publications. As an actor, I've appeared at Metropolis Theater in Arlington Hts, Wheaton Drama, Summerplace in Naperville, Steel Beam theater in St. Charles and other theater companies in the Chicagoland area.

Rachna Prasad

Rachna started telling tales as a child... very Tall Tales that would get her into trouble. After a few rather blatant whoppers were exposed in Junior High, she retired from the practice. It wasn't until she took a fateful bus trip with a dead traveling companion that she regained her storytelling confidence and many free drinks. Once she realized that life was crazy enough without embellishments, she was hooked. She is making her storytelling debut on March 15th in honor of her beloved brother and this beautiful storytelling community she has helped create.   

Beth Basmajian

Beth Basmajian grew up in a small town in Michigan. She moved to the Chicago in 1996 on a whim with no real plan other than to enjoy life in a big city. As fate would have it, she landed a job she enjoyed, met a cute boy, married the cute boy, had three kids, and in 2009 moved to Naperville. Beth is a stay-at-home mom. She enjoys exercising, baking, and reading. 

She became interested in storytelling after attending a few First Person storytelling shows in 2017. This will be Beth’s first time taking the stage as a teller. She decided In the Blink of an Eye was a good theme because life threw her an unexpected curve-ball several years ago. She learned that sometimes the unexpected actually turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

Dave Santori

Dave Santori studied improv and storytelling at the Second City Training Center - Chicago.  

His stories include "The Day I Blew Up the Senior Partner's Summer Home"  "Chased by Chicago Bear Hall of Famer Doug Atkins" "You Did What? - What Were You Thinking?" and Tonite - "The Dead Man's Pants" 

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