Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Our Own Version of The Moth—Story Story Night

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM


Public radio listeners have likely heard the following line: “True stories, live on stage, without notes.” It’s the concept behind the popular series The Moth, a live storytelling forum in New York City that is frequently re-broadcast on This American Life and on the new radio show, The Moth Radio Hour.

Now, aspiring Moth contributors and audience members no longer have to flutter to the Big Apple. Last night, Alley Repertory Theater, the Boise State Story Initiative and The Cabin premiered Boise’s own version of The Moth—Story Story Night—at Sun Ray Cafe in Hyde Park. The initial event was invite-only and included a handful of media folks and Boise State faculty along with community artists and writers.

Three guest storytellers took the stage—Malia Collins, Steve Flick and Phil Atlakson—to each tell a five-minute tale. Collins described the tense time her Midwestern boyfriend visited her family in Hawaii and faced the awkward wrath of the un-approving locals. Flick spoke of camping in a remote area of Vancouver Island with his wife—chugging boxed wine and lighting Presto Logs—just days before his crippling heart attack. And Atlakson guiltily told his story of choosing to hit the slopes rather than help a cocky neighbor who got in a skiing accident.

After the guest speakers wrapped up, the audience was asked to submit ideas for on-the-spot storytime. The theme “worst job” was plucked from the pile and Alley Rep members Hollis Welsh and Jessica Holmes grabbed the mic to recount a couple of hilarious bad job experiences. Holmes spoke of the time she worked at an Alaskan fish cannery (yikes) when she was 19 and Welsh came clean about unknowingly showing up to a fantasy porn warehouse in Los Angeles for a speaking role in a soft-core porn movie. The worst part: She gave her real name and now the credit shows up on her IMDB page.

According to event organizers, Story Story Night will premiere publicly in the coming weeks. Though they will likely move to a new venue, they will keep a similar format: Three guest storytellers will tell tales around a common theme then three audience members come up with their own stories on-the-spot. The guest storytellers will then select a winner to receive a prize.

Check back for updates on the next upcoming Story Story Night.

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