A while ago, Jane Green told a story for the Moth Radio Hour. It was recorded in front of a live audience at New York’s Cooper Union.
In June, the Westporter — and internationally renowned author — told Moth stories again, on stage at an old, lovely theater in Boston. She was joined by a Jamaican writer, New York City doctor, Puerto Rican actress and Boston fireman.
If you don’t know the Moth Radio Hour, you should. Broadcast on 400 radio stations — including WNYC in New York — it makes “This American Life” sound like amateur hour.
Story tellers have no script, and use no props. They stand in front of a microphone, under a spotlight, facing a room full of strangers.
The Moth Radio Hour is real, true stories, told by real, true people. Some are humorous. Others are heartbreaking. Some are both. All are transfixing and addictive.
Alert “06880” reader — and very-interesting-woman-herself — Katherine Bruan is a Moth fanatic. She also loves Jane Green.
So, Katherine thought, why doesn’t Westport — a town filled with talented, charismatic people, many with diverse backgrounds and all of whom have stories — have our own Moth hour?
It could be once or twice a year, Katherine suggested, at the Westport Country Playhouse or library. It would bring the community together. We’d all be entertained, moved and uplifted.
It’s a fantastic idea. And — to Katherine’s, my and probably your surprise — it’s already been done.
Starting last fall, Tom Croarkin organized several similar events at the Unitarian Church in Westport. He calls them “Story Slams,” but they’re really Moth Radio Hours without the radio.
Each participant gets 5 minutes. They can’t use props. And their story must fit a theme.
The first one — last November — centered around “Lying Through My Teeth.” The second, in February, was about “Lost and Found” (stories were figurative, as well as literal).
May’s theme was “Trouble.” Fifteen folks got up and told woeful tales.
The next Unitarian Church Story Slam is this Friday (September 23, 7 p.m.).The theme is “Vacation.”
There’s a $10 admission fee (it’s a fundraiser for the church). BYOB.
To RSVP (not required) or more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
So start thinking about your vacation stories. I’m sure Jane Green has at least one good one to share!