P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
February 3, 2002
The Moth, Hottest Literary Ticket in New York Comes to MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) The age old art of storytelling is being revived around the country and leading the charge is The Moth, a loosely structured storytelling collaborative from New York City. On Saturday, March 9, at 8 P.M. MASS MoCA brings The Moth, the group the Wall Street Journal called "New York's hottest and hippest literary ticket," to the Berkshires. The brainchild of George Green, best known for his book The Juror, The Moth brings the moth-infested front porch tradition he loved best about growing up in Georgia to his new home in Manhattan. The first event, held in June of 1997 in Green's living room, was a raving success and his storytelling evenings have gradually grown into an institution with sold out events held monthly at venues ranging from bars to book stores.
The rules are simple. Anywhere from 4 to 6 people, some well-known, some not, deliver a rehearsed but not memorized story without notes in not more than 12 minutes. A jazz saxophone sounds a 10-minute warning and abruptly cuts the speaker off at the mark of 12. For most events, there is a curator who recruits storytellers from all walks of life, and who comes up with a central theme. Past events have focused on Seven Deadly Sins, Urban Dog Tales, and War Stories. At MASS MoCA the theme will be Let the Games Begin in conjunction with this season's visual and performing arts theme Game Show. Notable storytellers of the past include filmmakers Albert Maysles, DA Pennebaker, and Tamara Jenkins; Sex in the City writer Candace Bushnell; actors Marisa Tomei, Parker Posey, Buck Henry, Ethan Hawke, Spaulding Grey, Ann Magnuson, and Margaret Cho; musicians Joe Jackson, Laurie Anderson, and Vernon Reid; and writers George Plimpton and the McCourt brothers. But fame isn't everything. There have also been brokers, bankers, athletes, astronauts, nuns, former prisoners of war and some of the best stories have come from schoolteachers. "A lot of the celebrity storytellers at the Moth go down burning in flames," according to Green, "while some of the people who are the most uncomfortable when they stand up there get so much support from the audience. You need to make some kind of real human connection with your audience which is tough for people who are trained on TV."
While the line-up is still to be completed, The Moth event at MASS MoCA will feature Dan Kennedy, a New York City-based writer whose first book, Evidently I Know Everything, will be published by Random House/Crown later this year. He's also a frequent contributor to McSweeny's and his work has appeared in numerous other publications, including Bookforum and Big Magazine. Also at MASS MoCA will be an actor familiar to Williamstown Theatre Festival fans, Michaela Murphy. Murphy is an actor, teacher, director, and writer who has been a member of the 52nd Street Project in New York for twelve years. Murphy is a three-time recipient of the Joseph Papp Artist in Resident Grant at 2nd Stage Theatre, where she produced her one-woman show Something Blue. She later took Something Blue to U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Co., Williamstown Theatre Festival, and New York's Atlantic Theatre.
The Moth: Let the Games Begin is sponsored by The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA.
Tickets to The Moth are $12 for adults and $10 for students with I.D. and are available by calling the MASS MoCA Box Office at 413.662.2111 or by visiting www.massmoca.org. Tickets may also be purchased in person from 11-5 every day except Tuesday at MASS MoCA off Marshall St. in North Adams, Mass. Seating is limited, and advance reservations are recommended.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on a 13- acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory.
For Immediate Release