Ah, high school: those days of inexperienced drinking, crippling crushes, and social anxiety. Sensible people wouldn’t dream of going back, but that’s exactly what a group of comedians and storytellers will do Thursday night at Songbyrd Music House in Adams Morgan.
The event is the third edition of a new live storytelling series and podcast called “In-School Suspension,” where DC-area comics reminisce about “the silly, embarrassing, wild, and sometimes tough times we had in middle and high school.” Tonight’s theme is “There’s No Hope With Dope: Stories About Peer Pressure and Drug Use.”
“Stories about youth are always rich,” says Andrew Bucket, one of the performers in tonight’s show, which starts at 8 PM. Bucket plans to talk about his first time he went to New York when he was 18 and tried to sneak into a Phish reunion at Madison Square Garden. There were large quantities of hallucinogens involved.
Reggie Melbrough, the founder and curator if In-School Suspension, is a high-school teacher at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He says he often mines his own classroom experiences for storytelling ideas.
His own drug story chronicles the first time he tried chewing tobacco before a basketball tournament, which made him very ill. Even though he says he’s grown up a lot since then, he says that he’s still his high-school self in a lot of ways.
“We’re all adults but we’re all pretty much stuck in high school,” Melbrough says. The name ‘In-School Suspension’ is a play on that theme: we’re perpetually stuck in high school no matter how old we are.”
Melbrough is already taking auditions for In-School Suspension’s July show, also at Songbyrd, titled “Summer Lovin’: Stories About Crushes and Other Failed Romances.” Anyone with a story they’d like to share should contact him via Facebook or email.
“We try to get some people who’ve never told stories before to tell stories to build a different community for talking about our trials and tribulations,” he says.