By Rachael E. Worthington
Heartfelt storytelling is no longer isolated to intimate conversations with your closest friends. The Moth has brought storytelling to the main stage — via podcasting, The Moth Radio Hour, story slams, books and through its classic live Moth Mainstage performances since 1997. This November, The Moth will bring its storytelling magic to the Lincoln Center stage.
Just because it’s performative, doesn’t mean it’s only for show. The Moth chooses real individuals from all backgrounds, often with no stage experience, and trains them how to best communicate their stories in front of an audience. Applicants can call in and leave a voicemail preview of their story for review, but often The Moth finds its storytellers by word of mouth, news or any other source. For each Mainstage event, locals are often chosen to participate as well, and the stories develop into a theme for each event.
“Besides a great evening of stories, there’s something about the live audience that’s different than the podcast,” says senior producer Meg Bowles. “Something about being in the same room as a person as they share their story, there’s a connection.” As the stories build, the audience leans in closer, even though they’re seated in a performance hall housing over a thousand people. “A person standing at a microphone and sharing their life can make a room feel small,” Bowles says.
Connection is what The Moth is all about. According to its site, “The Moth celebrates the ability of stories to honor both the diversity and commonality of human experience, and to satisfy a vital human need for connection.” Something that can often go missing in our chaotic world today.
There’s often not enough listening to others in the day-to-day, and “The Moth allows you to listen to a person and share their experience, maybe understand a bit better where that person is coming from, taking a step closer to each other rather than away from each other,” Bowles says. And because the speakers are regular people, the audience also tends to empathize much more with the person on stage. It’s all about coming just a little bit closer.
The Moth Mainstage will be at the Lincoln Center on November 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at LCtix.com and start at $15.