11/07/2014 11:00 EST | Updated 01/07/2015 05:59 EST

SOLOS Festival: Where storytellers bare their souls

The SOLOS Festival opened this week at Mainline Theatre with a performance by Matt Goldberg, the founder of one of the city’s very popular storytelling events, Confabulation.

Goldberg is known for his comedic talents. He’s a member of the comedy troupe Uncalled For.

But his hour-long solo story reveals a darker side. It's both funny and poignant. Goldberg's tale ranges from dismay and delight at learning his wife is pregnant to distress and tears as his chronically ill mother nears death.

“These are stories I haven’t shared before. They’re an admission this is what built me as a person. I’m owning this part of my life that I didn’t talk about till now,” he says.

SOLOS co-founder Al Lafrance is fascinated by the risk of the solo performance.

“A solo performer doesn’t have anybody else to rely on. They're completely self-reliant and completely engaging a whole room.

"It’s like going camping when you're hanging around a campfire and somebody starts telling a story that makes everybody stop talking and all you can hear is that person saying words and the fire crackling in the background.”

SOLOS is in its second year at Mainline Theatre.

Shows over the weekend include Britt Dash’s tale Chutzpah, inspired by her realization that she hadn’t met anyone who wasn’t Jewish pretty much until she was 18 years old.