Sometimes, marching steadily through the steps of life—we crash right into something entirely unexpected. In one instant, the entire world changes, without even a word of warning. When a crash comes, that collision can destroy everything. But it can wake us up to what we truly need; we must decide what to raze and what to rebuild. How do humans move forward before the smoke is cleared? What happens after the crash?

Host: Eileen Williams
Producers: Eileen Williams, Claudia Heymach, Jackson Roach, Megan Calfas, Alex Cheng, Noelle Li Syn Chow, Jake Warga
Featuring: Eddie Mazon, Michael Peskin, Miles Traer, Dr. David Radler, Dan Klein, Dehan Glanz
Show music: “Darger’s strawberry” by Exteenager, “opening credits” by Johnny Ripper
Release date: 31 May 2017

Story 1: SLACing off

Dr. Michael Peskin works in the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, home of the world’s longest linear accelerator. At SLAC, researchers crash X rays and particles, and a huge variety of things together, but not for destruction or for fun—but for learning.

Producer: Claudia Heymach
Featuring: Michael Peskin
Music: Original viola by Rosie LaPuma

Image via SLAC

Story 2: Myth and Science

Miles accidentally crashed the Stanford server, but as an earth scientist there’s a lot more at risk. Myth and science have been separated in the real world, but in fantasy and fiction they dance together to tell stories.

Producer: Eileen Williams
Featuring: Miles Traer
Music: Soundtrack to “Game of Thrones”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Story 3: Crash Cart

Dr. David Radler is a senior resident in the department of emergency medicine at Stanford University. He tells us about one particularly memorable crash, and what it taught him.

Producer: Eileen Williams
Featuring: Dr. David Radler
Music: Kai Engel

Image via Openclipart

Story 4: Car Crash

In an instant, everything can change. When Dan and Danno got in a car crash in their sophomore year at Stanford, everything did. Now they’re both back at Stanford as professors and recount the event that shook and shaped their lives (and even inspired a Lifetime Movie). Their perspective is one you might not expect in light of the tragedy that unhinged their world. Dan says today, “That’s a great approach to life—to assume that there’s something lucky to every unlucky thing that happens.”

Producers: Megan Calfas and Alex Cheng
Featuring: Dan Klein and Dehan Glanz
Music and sound: Kai Engel, David Szesztay, Podington Bear, De la Soul, The Clientele, “A Mother’s Fight for Justice”

Image via Flickr


Ants navigate to and from food using pheromone trails; the stronger the pheromone trail, the more ants following it, like some kind of highway map. Humans use similar mapping strategies as we navigate through life, but how do we know that the paths we’re on will lead us to where we want to be? Today’s show is about navigating, with four stories and a poem about various ways that humans are moving through the world, with unique answers to these questions: How do we navigate through life without any instructions, or with instructions that might be wrong? How do we know which way to go to get whatever we’re going for? And how do we decide when to stop moving?

Host: Connie Xiao
Producers: Will Rogers, Alec Glassford, Rosie La Puma, Yue Li, Cathy Wong, Virginia Drummond, Katie Wolfteich, Aparna Verma, Jenny Han, An-Li Herring, and Connie Xiao
Featuring: Chris Leboa, Deborah Gordon, Julie Sweetkind-Singer, Glen McLaughlin, Saptarshi Majumdar, Jennifer Johnson, and Louis Lafair
Show Music: Noelle Li Syn Chow, Melina Walling, Sarah Jiang, Gillicuddy, Doctor Turtle, Podington Bear, Polyrhythmics

Image via Flickr

Release date: 17 May 2017

Story 1: California as an Island

When the Spanish explorers set out to discover the Americas, they came to find wealth and a new start. In this story, we hear about how the Spanish explorers navigated through these unfamiliar territory and how a myth turned into a reality that passed around for centuries.

Producers: Yue Li, Virginia Drummond
Featuring: Glen McLaughlin, Julie Sweetkind-Singer
Special thanks: G. Salim Mohammed, of the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford
Music and sound: Original music by Latifah Hamzah, “Rain Stops to Play” by Ketsa, “mutanterrante remix” by toiletrolltube, additional sounds from

Image via Wikimedia

Navigating – Story 2: In Transit

“Once you decide something, you kinda have to destroy everything else right? Your other options? You gotta let em go.” We spend an entire day at the Oakland Greyhound station and ask people where they are going. Mark Mendoza chases a cameraman. Cathy Wong learns when not to own a skeleton key. Hollie Kool talks to a Japanese pizza lover. Mimes are involved.

Producer: Cathy Wong, Hollie Kool, and Mark Mendoza
Featuring: Cathy Wong, Hollie Kool, and Mark Mendoza
Music: “Night Owl” by Broke For Free, “Freak Mode” by Fleslit, “Dollar Theatre” by Jalen Warshawsky, “Unknown Variables” by Jalen Warshawsky, “El Fuego” by Polyrhythmics, “Cold Feet” and “I’ll Miss You” and “Looking For That Moment When Time Stands Still” by Will Bangs

Image via Flickr

Navigating – Story 3: It’s not a Sap Story

Live the life of a savage adventurer. It’s a motto that Saptarshi Majumdar lives by as he travels across the globe, whether it’s from one continent to another or one coast to another. Sap’s journeys are wild and crazy, and the stories that he picks up even crazier. Why not sit back and enjoy the ride?

Producers: Aparna Verma and Jenny Han
Featuring: Saptarshi Majumdar and Aparna Verma
Music: “Hex (Instrumental)” by Forget the Whale, “We’ll Get Ourselves in TV-News” by Break the Bans

Image via Saptarshi Majumdar

Navigating – Story 4: A Speck in the Ocean

When she was 25, Jennifer Johnson sailed out of a Japanese harbor on a 27-foot boat with sights set on Hawaii. Sit in the cockpit with her as she charts her way through storms, fish colonies, and nearly capsized boats with only her partner for company, and re-experience the newness and stillness of land. “Adventure? Oh, I don’t know, adventure has too many positive connotations to say it was an adventure.”

Producers: Katie Wolfteich
Featuring: Jennifer Johnson
Music: Weaves of K

Image via Flickr

Navigating – Story 5: If There Were a Manual

“May I please have a manual for life?” Louis Lafair reads an original poem.

Producer: Alec Glassford
Featuring: Louis Lafair

Image via Flickr




June 6, 2017
7pm and 9pm
Elliott Program Center
Free and open to the public

Join us for an unforgettable evening of live storytelling! Students will perform stories they’ve developed throughout the quarter in the course StoryCraft, taught by TAPS faculty and improv guru Dan Klein and director Michelle Darby.

StoryNight is free and open to the public. Come early: hot chocolate and chai will be served before the performance!

There are two showtimes: 7pm and 9pm (each one hour long). They will feature different student stories, so come to both if you can! 


Breath and spirit have been closely related in human thought—for millennia. In a lot of human languages, we use the same word to mean both things. Yet it’s easy to take breathing for granted, in spite of the fact it is maybe the most common human experience. In this episode, we’re going to think about every inhale and every exhale, and speak to people who have to think about breathing in a lot of interesting ways: a biathlete, a beatboxer, a dancer. We’ll dive deep underwater to a dark and dangerous cave in the Bahamas, travel to China to think about collective breathing, and reflect on the role artificial breathing plays in the perception of what constitutes life and what constitutes death.


Host: Jackson Roach
Producers: Kate Nelson, Carissa Cirelli, Jenny March, Jake Warga, Jackson Roach, Melina Walling, Katie Lan, Jett Hayward, Claudia Heymach, Netta Wang, Jonah Willihnganz
Featuring: Brad Ross, Joanne Reid, Tom Johnson, Jace Casey, Janice Ross, Andrew Todhunter, Paul Fisher
Show Music: johnny_ripper

Image via Flickr

Release Date: 3 May 2017


Intro Story: Beat Breathing

Brad Ross started his beatboxing career as a senior in high school, “as kind of a joke.” Now you can spot Brad dropping a beat in the acapella group, Stanford Mixed Company, or just ask him for a demo like we did. Brad shares how he learned how to harness the rhythm behind the rhythm—the rhythm of the breath—and what he’s discovered from “using [his] lungs to make art.”

Producers: Kate Nelson, Carissa Cirelli, Jenny March, Jake Warga
Featuring: Brad Ross
Music: Brad’s sick beats

Image courtesy of Brad Ross


Story 1: Shot Breathe Shot Breathe Shot Breathe

Could you transition from the flurry of a race to the calm of absolute still in a few seconds? In biathlon, a sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship, this skill is a must. After much trial and tribulation and many failed shots, Joanne Reid, biathlete of the U.S national team, learned that it’s all about the breath. Be warned, this story is not for the faint of lungs.

Producers: Kate Nelson, Carissa Cirelli, Jenny March, Jake Warga
Featuring: Joanne Reid
Music and Sound: “Epiphany” by Podington Bear, “Women 15 km Individual Race 2017 Biathlon IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen HD” by HQ Sport

Image via Flickr


Story 2: Running out of Breath

This is a recorded performance about breath, exhaustion, and struggle, written by a choreographer named Tom Johnson in the 1970s. With reflections from Dr. Janice Ross, professor of dance. “The body is a leaky, messy medium for art making.”

Writer: Tom Johnson
Producers: Jackson Roach and Jenny March
Featuring: Jace Casey, Janice Ross

Image via Wikimedia


Story 3: Stargate

Andrew Todhunter, a writer for National Geographic, explores the underwater cave of Stargate in the Bahamas. It’s dark, dangerous, and “as alien as any possible science fiction world.” But while exploring the perilous surroundings around him, Todhunter reveals a surprising truth—one that comes from within.

Producers: Jackson Roach, Melina Walling
Featuring: Andrew Todhunter
Music and sound: “Oceans Between Us” by Maritime, “Falling” by Kamikaze Deadboy, “waiting (in the wet alley” by lost-radio, “Moon Morning” by Aymeric de Tapol, “A Million Worlds” by Andrew Odd, additional sound effects from and

Image via Flickr


Story 4: Breathing to Resist

After Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, China was catapulted into an era of great change. At the same time, masses of people began practicing qigong, a healing breathing practice. Qigong became so popular that public spaces would be filled with practitioners breathing together. Nancy Chen, a professor of medical anthropology at UC Santa Cruz, tells us more about the “qigong fever” in China during the 1980s and 1990s and the government’s reaction to the fever.

Writers: Katie Lan and Jenny March
Producers: Katie Lan, Jenny March, Jake Warga, and Jackson Roach
Featuring: Nancy Chen

Image via Wikimedia


Story 5: Still Breathing

When 13-year-old Jahi McMath suffered complications during a tonsillectomy that resulted in her being declared brain dead, Doctor Paul Fisher served as a court-appointed official tasked with administering an exam to confirm Jahi’s brain death. Despite confirmation that Jahi suffered from irreversible brain death, Jahi’s family decided to keep her on life support. Dr. Fisher reflects on the role that breathing plays in the perception what constitutes life and death.

Producers: Jett Hayward, Kate Nelson, and Jenny March
Featuring: Paul Fisher
Music: “Stay” by Igor Khabarov, “Three kites circling” by Axletree, “Dead Waters” by Rest You Sleeping Giant, “Harbor” by Kai Engel, “Stanford Doctor to Examine Jahi McMath” by KRON 4, “Hospital Ventilator Sound Effect | Sfx |HD” by n Beats Sound Effects

Image via Public Domain Pictures