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"Fringe: True Stories from Outsiders" Brings Tales to Light

Ryan Clemens
"Fringe: True Stories From Outsiders" storytellers and host, left to right, Daniel Tardy, program emcee and performer Lindsey Moon, John Paul Derryberry, Ryan Hall, Miriam Alarcon Avila, and Veronica Hamly.

Have you ever felt like you have an alter ego? A version of yourself that is most authentic, but also most often hidden? On Thursday, March 29, an audience gathered in Iowa City for "Fringe: True Stories from Outsiders," an IowaWatch storytelling event, to explore what it means to share one's authentic self.

On this Talk of Iowa, we hear from five storytellers about being outsiders, helping outsiders, dreaming big, and challenging stereotypes. Storytellers include John Paul Derryberry, Ryan Hall, Veronica Hamly, Daniel Tardy, and Miriam Alarcón Avila.

Derryberry finds inspiration in an unlikely connection forged with a young man whose behavioral problems marked him as "the toughest case in Iowa." Hall shares their first drag performance, and what it means for them to break out of the gender binary. Hamly and Tardy both share their dreams, and Alarcón Avila rounds out the hour with her eye-opening experience after an ophthalmologist visit.

Alarcón Avila, who spent the first eight years of her life with limited vision, talks about the lessons she learned in childhood about people's inner light.

"If we are all light and we can expand our beams of light in a very long direction, all over, everywhere; why do we want to put things in a margin?" Alarcón Avila asks. "Why do we want to put everything in a border?"

"I choose to see stars."

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Lindsey Moon is IPR's Digital Producer