Real People Real Stories Ancram Opera House

Real People Real Stories


Returns for its Eighth Season 

Captivating Tales Told by Local Storytellers

Everyone has a story to tell. With each edition of Real People, residents share stories with the community. On Saturday, June 24th at 7:30pm, local residents share an array of poignant, humorous, and captivating tales that celebrate community and personal connection. This summer’s storytellers include Carter Beers, Paula Kaplan-Reiss, Macey Levin, and James Occhino. 

Real People Real Stories is generously sponsored by Copake Wine Works. A selection of beverages from Copake Wine Works and hot dogs from Jimmy’s Hot Dog stand will be available for sale at the performance!

For tickets and more information, visit

Ancram Opera House (AOH) announced that its perennial audience favorite REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES will return to the Hilltop Barn in Roeliff Jansen Park on Saturday, June 24 at 7:30pm. REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES features area residents telling poignant, humorous, surprising true tales, and has been a signature part of every AOH season since 2016.

This edition’s storytellers are:

·      Carter Beers (Poughkeepsie, NY) with a story about confronting fear.

·      Macey Levin (Taconic, CT) with a story about his short-lived career in film.

·      James Occhino (Athens, NY) with a story about the transformational power of summer.

·      Paula Kaplan-Reiss (Canaan, NY) with a story about her monumental experience climbing Monument Mountain.

Paul Ricciardi, AOH Co-Director and Professor, City University of New York – Kingsborough CC, curates and directs the series. “You don’t have to look far in our area for great stories:  every year I’m inspired by how the storytellers, in sharing their tales, show us what it means to be human, brave, and whole-hearted.”

“Since 2016 we’ve staged 18 productions of REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES featuring more than 70 adult and 60 kid storytellers, each with an amazing tale to tell,” said Ricciardi. “Our community has embraced REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES as its own, so much so that we’ve expanded the concept. In 2016 we started hosting an annual workshop at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Since 2020 we’ve hosted two free workshops a year at Ancram Opera House, and another one at the North East Community Center. And for the 4th year, we’ll be teaching storytelling at the Taconic Hills Central School District Middle School during the 2023-2024 academic year.” 

This production of REAL PEOPLE REAL STORIES is underwritten by Copake Wine Works. The Hilltop Barn is located at 9140 NY Route 22, Hillsdale NY 12529. Tickets can be purchased online at, or at the door. Price: $25 general admission, $15 with student ID.  Beer, wine, and Jimmy’s Hot Dogs will be available for purchase at the show.

Ancram Opera House is an award-winning theater located in New York’s Hudson Valley. Housed in an historic Grange Hall, AOH has since 2016 presented groundbreaking theater and musical performances by nationally recognized theater artists. AOH receives significant annual support from the New York State Council on the Arts and in 2023 was awarded a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. As part of its mission to foster community connection through the performing arts, AOH conducts storytelling workshops for local adults and children in area schools. For more information visit


Jun 24 2023


7:30 pm


The Hilltop Barn at Roeliff Jansen Park
9140 NY Route 22, Hillsdale NY 12529


Ancram Center for the Arts
Ancram Center for the Arts
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