Vocalist Christina Ball leads the audience in song at Speaking of Stories’ first New Year event. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

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iSociety: Rochelle Rose

Speaking of Stories presented its 12th Night (minus 2) New Year’s celebration and its first 2016 Story Telling at the historic Santa Barbara home of Carolyn Butcher and Michael Perry.

This first performance of 2016 featured a reading by the talented Emmy Award-winning actor and one of the organization’s favorite readers, Joe Spano, who chose passages from SantaLand Diaries by David Sedaris.

Twelfth Night (Minus 2) celebrated the fun, frivolity and feast before embarking on the new year, and the gracious hosts decorated their home according to the season.

The interior courtyard served as the wine bar and conversation area, while the long dining room table was laden with yummy hors d’oeuvres, cake, traditional wassail punch and delectable desserts.

After the social hour, the program began in the beautiful living room with more than 60 guests seated salon style to hear the reading by Spano.

In keeping with the 12th Night theme, the assembled supporters joined together in singing the traditional English tune “Here we come a-Wassailing” that got everyone the New Year’s holiday spirit.

After the song came a toast to 2016, with everyone participating with gusto.

The mission of Speaking of Stories is to promote the appreciation of literature through live theatrical readings and through educational programs, aimed particularly toward at-risk youth in our community.

The 2016 season consists of five shows scheduled for Jan. 17-18, Feb. 14-15, March 13-14, April 17-18 and May 22.

The January show is entitled, “Nothing But Laughs,” which starts off the season of performances with stories that promise to tickle the funny bone.

Click here for more information about Speaking of Stories, or call 805.963.0408.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at rrose@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.