RAVENSWOOD — Most entertainers not named Mel Gibson tend to shy away from making controversial statements for fear of committing career suicide.
But on Monday, a group of writers will purposely court controversy as they take to the mic during the live lit series "Is This a Thing?", making its debut with a theme of "unpopular opinions," at O'Shaughnessey's, 4557 N. Ravenswood Ave.
The series, which will be held the second Monday of every month, is the brainchild of a group of StoryStudio veterans in search of an outlet for their work.
"The storytelling and live lit community in Chicago is expansive and growing. We thought there was a place for a new event," said Jake Cowan, one of the organizers behind "Is This a Thing?"
Cowan, a Lincoln Square resident who works for the Urban Libraries Council, will be among the storytellers at Monday's inaugural reading.
"This is just something I do to explore my creative side," he said.
The audience should expect to hear a mix of personal stories and topical opinions Monday night, Cowan said.
"There could be a comical rant against something trendy," he offered as a teaser.
Though the StoryStudio gang has taken up all available reading slots for Monday, their ultimate goal is to serve as an incubator for new talent.
"We'd love to have some first-time storytellers," Cowan said. "My philosophy is to create a supportive environment and sense of community."
Those interested in participating in a future reading — the theme for March is the overly optimistic "summer" — can contact Cowan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday's event is expected to get under way by 7:15 p.m. and last approximately an hour. Admission is free. The readers, in addition to Cowan, are Sheila Arora, Rachel Cromidas, Catherine Gibbons, Kirk Kicklighter, Gregory Ledger and Suzy Kahn Weinberg.