Public Radio Station WYSO will bring the renowned storytelling organization The Moth to the Victoria Theater on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30pm.
Founded in 1997, The Moth celebrates “true stories told live” in a variety of settings around the country, including live performance, a podcast, and the Moth Radio Hour, which airs on Saturdays at 2pm and Wednesdays at 11pm on WYSO. At the Victoria Theatre event, The Moth will present a so-called “mainstage event,” a curated evening featuring five storytellers from around the country who have developed and shaped their stories with Moth directors.
“We’re so happy to host The Moth,” says WYSO general manager, Neenah Ellis “We believe in the power of storytelling and we know our listeners will love this presentation. We’ve been trying to get The Moth here for almost ten years and finally, the day will come in April!”
Local raconteurs may submit their own stories for consideration by using The Moth’s online pitch form available at https://themoth.org/share-your-story/pitchline.
“Public radio programs are so varied, and the thread that runs through them all is great storytelling. The Moth Mainstage is a showcase of just that: great — and I mean riveting — storytelling. So we know WYSO listeners will love this event,” says WYSO development director Luke Dennis.
A limited number of VIP ticket packages, which include premium seats and a post-show reception, will be available as thank-you gifts for WYSO donors during the station’s calendar year-end fundraising effort at www.wyso.org. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday December 17 at www.ticketcenterstage.com
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018, public radio station WYSO 91.3 is licensed to Antioch College with studios in Yellow Springs. It broadcasts on multiple platforms: 91.3 FM, live streaming at WYSO.org, on HD radio and on NPR One, a mobile application. WYSO is the Miami Valley’s only NPR News station with programming from NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media, PRX and the BBC as well as the work of local and independent radio producers.
More than 10 years ago Shelley Hulce began to gather fellow fans of The Moth podcast for Story Slams. Story Slams are similar to Poetry Slams but a bit more structured. The premise was simple. People sharing true stories, in person, unscripted and live. For more than a decade a small group of storytellers have been meeting in coffee shops, libraries and bars in and around Dayton.
In February I traveled to an official Moth event in Louisville to watch how the event is produced. I was pleasantly suprised to see that more than 300 people came out to a venue to listen to great stories.
First some background:
The Moth organization was founded in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green in New York City. Green wanted to recreate those sultry summer evenings in his native Georgia, when moths were attracted to the light on the porch where he and his friends would gather to spin spellbinding tales. He began to host events in his apartment, then in bars, and now in theatres across NYC and hosted around the world.
The Moth story slam rules are simple. True Story. Told in the first person. Without notes and told live. Each month the Moth hosts story slams and the events are centered on a theme. Storytellers come prepared with a story on theme and put their name in a hat.
I was chose to share a story in Louisville in February and was selected that nights Story Slam winner. I knew I had to create a similar event in Dayton. This month the Dayton Story Slamm kicks off with Stories of Failure at Wiley’s Comedy Joint in the Oregon District. Storytellers should come prepared with a 5 minute story on the topic of Failure. 10 names will be chosen to share their stories and judges will score each story. The winner leaves with $50 cash and title, Dayton Story Slam Champion!
Judges will be looking for the following in each story:
Does the story have a beginning, middle and ending?
Was there a hook to the story, did it grab the audiences attention?
Was it near the time limit of 5 minutes.
Was the story related to the theme.
You don’t need to be a storyteller to attend or to enjoy the evening. If you are a fan of The Moth Radio Hour, Radio Lab podcast, Snap Judgement show or this American Life on NPR, you will enjoy the pace and entertainment that only live storytelling provides.
Admission is $5.00 and the bar will be open. Stop in and tell a story or sit back and enjoy a few of Dayton’s best sharing theirs.
Details on the Story Slamm Dayton Facebook page.
A fan of The Moth radio hour, she contacted the national team, but was told Dayton wasn’t quite big enough to bring the show there. So, she started her own storytelling program in 2012.
As Story Slamm was just passing its one year anniversary in Dayton, Hulce shared with Sharon Short, “We’ve become very distant in our culture. We have mass communication and social media, and so we can hear and read each other’s stories, but rarely do we get in the same room, look into the storyteller’s eyes, observe their movements, while hearing a story. For the storyteller, it’s about giving a piece of yourself to the listener. For both storyteller and listener, it’s a deeper connection than reading or hearing the story from a distance.”
In 2013, Gladgirl stepped back from coordinating Story Slamms when other endeavors took priority. Story Slamms lost a bit of momentum, but the idea was always one that sparked a concept of community and fun for Dayton Metro Library Special Collections Manager and local actor Jamie McQuinn. Regarding bringing Story Slamms back to Dayton, McQuinn says, “I missed it. It was always a great time and I hated that it went away. I contacted Shelly and we thought this would be a great way to bring it back and connect people to the Library.”
Story Slamm is a great night that comes with some rules. McQuinn sums it up, “Tell a short story. First person. It happened to you. It should be “true”… It can be funny, or sad, or surprising. Tell your story in ten minutes or less. No notes or props. Don’t have a story to share? Come and listen. It is always entertaining.” (If you want some inspiration – check out some stories here.)
The crowds come for various reasons. Some people enjoy an expanded, first-person storytelling experience that expands beyond 140 characters. Others are practiced storytellers around the dinner table, and want to bring their favorite family tales to the public. Some just enjoy sitting back and being entertained. Patrick Hillier is a frequent attendee and fan of Story Slamm. He shares that he loves the event for the blending of the casual environment with the “intimate nature of sharing and learning about each other through tales from our lives. You get a chance to tell a short but interesting story from your past or sit back or just listen and maybe learn something.”
The final Story Slamm of 2014 will be at the Huber Heights Branch of the Dayton Metro Library on Tuesday, November 18 at 7 p.m. Six-eight presenters will each tell a 10-minute story based around a “Thankfulness” theme. McQuinn hosts. To fit everyone in, storytellers are asked to register by contacting Jennifer Spillman at 937-496-8611 or [email protected]. If you’d rather just sit back and listen, advance registration is preferred by not required. Judges or a small audience will vote on the best story based on uniqueness and delivery; best story of the evening wins a prize!