Yesterday I wrote briefly of an essay on the radio about storytelling in the theatre by fascinating performer, writer and director Emma Rice, of Kneehigh Theatre, characterising her as in the same trade as Rosemary Sutcliff. (The post received the largest ever number of hits for one post on this blog, on the day of posting!) Today I read of a story-telling project in the USA which is completely new to me, but looks equally fascinating. It has just won a 2012 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.
The Moth is a not-for-financial-profit organisation “dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling”. It is a “celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life”, and the “storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it”. The Moth’s directors “work with each storyteller to find, shape and tell their story”.
Poet and novelist George Dawes Green founded The Moth. It stems from his life in his native Georgia, where “he spent evenings sharing personal stories with neighbours on the steps of his friend’s porch while moths flitted around the lights”. Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented stories, told live and without notes, to audiences throughout the world. According to their website “Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Each show starts with a theme, and the storytellers explore it, often in unexpected ways. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theatre, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience. Moth stories dissolve socio-economic barriers, expose vulnerabilities, and quietly suggest ways to overcome challenges and see with new eyes”.