Exuberant, jubilant


She jumped in with both feet




How could she know


that life would give her 


one blow


after another


till she,


by her own will,


bowed to defeat.




her great awakening.

“True confessions:  As long as I can remember there have been two opposing voices in my head. You know, the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other like you see in cartoons. One voice whispered truth, and the other screamed lies—One tried to build me up, the other worked like a devil to tear me down. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s the one I gravitated towards; a hopeless perversion of truth that twisted my thinking and became my reality. I’m not sure why I always listened to that voice. I guess after a while it was just easier to believe the bad than it was to believe anything good.”

The Once Upon a Backpack Experience


The Once Upon a Backpack EXPERIENCE is a multimedia, interactive theatrical experience that encounters the audience through a candid, often shocking, but all too relatable real-life story that intersects with their own story on a deep level. For people of all backgrounds and beliefs, it is a hard hitting, gut wrenching inspirational adventure—a feast for the senses—that compels the audience to action through storytelling, spoken word poetry, visual and performing arts, wrapped up in an original music score that takes us from tears to cheers.

Adapted from the book, ONCE UPON A BACKPACK by Jill Elizabeth Wyckoff, The OUAB EXPERIENCE  takes the audience on a journey, addressing sensitive subjects and the consequences of our actions, continuing on to the discovery of truth that brings healing, restoration, and freedom. It prompts the audience to ask the question, “Am I the sum of the lies that I’ve carried around in my proverbial backpack, or am I designed and destined for something more?” This must experience production will compel young and old alike to open up their backpacks and look inside at the lies they’ve been believing about themselves, uncover the truth, re-write their story, and step into freedom.



The Once Upon a Backpack



In this gripping true-life tale, Jill Wyckoff reveals a very personal account of a girl who journeys from innocence to destruction as she lives out the lies she believes about herself. Unexpectedly, in the midst of desperation, grief, and incredible loss, The Girl has a stunning encounter that changes her life. Awakened to the truth, she begins a process of discovery that leads to transformation.

Wyckoff captivates the reader through an artistic weave of emotionally charged poetry, verse, narration, and first-person story-telling. Once Upon a Backpack compels us to look at the lies we’ve been believing about ourselves and dares us to step into our own awakening.


"This book will take the shattered soul and bathe it in comforting hope. Sometimes life appears to be so frail until frailty meets its match. Gently peeling back the layers of numbness this story whispers hope back to the hearts who have longed for a different version of their destiny.” - Craig Muster, Senior Director, Awakening International


“Jill’s voice and journey still resonate with me even weeks after reading the book. This beautifully written book has allowed me to begin looking into my own backpack.” - Amazon Review


Please contact me for more information on release dates and booking The OUAB EXPERIENCE at your venue.


Please note: due to mature subject matter, this production is not recommended for children.




"Jill's voice and journey still resonates with me--even weeks after reading the book. The honesty, pain, and hope she conveys throughout her journey will inspire others to begin their own journeys. This beautifully written book has allowed me to begin looking into my own backpack."

—  Lori B.

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