When Rachel Egboro’s friend secretly signed her up for a slam storytelling competition, her future shifted. Egboro, a Phoenix native born to Nigerian immigrants, was extremely shy. But her tale of illicit trick-or-treating (which culminated in her father burning her candy) won over the audience. And the experience won over Egboro to the art of performance storytelling. Today, she is the curator of The Whole Story (TWS), a quarterly production that features the personal narratives of five Black speakers. The people and the stories change with each performance, whether it’s in person at Phoenix Art Museum or, during the pandemic, live-streamed. This year, Egboro is toying with new themes, letting the audience in on a live-streamed brainstorming session and continuing her mission to expand the reach of Black voices.
What most surprised you about the reaction to TWS? I really love the alumni effect of the show on the performers. And then there’s the audience—it’s the most diverse that I’ve seen in Phoenix. It’s very beautiful.
Favorite thing about Phoenix? The accessibility to performing venues.
Name some of your favorite design-oriented spaces in Arizona. I love when architecture incorporates nature really well. Phoenix Art Museum does a great job of it in the Dorrance Sculpture Garden. Burton Barr Central Library is another place that I love, and Arcosanti.