Pop Filter Hot Pick: Moth Mainstage presents On Point: Stories of Balancing Acts
Why you should go:
Listen and you'll hear stories being being told everywhere--on street corners and bar stools, in classrooms and cubicles, during bedtime and happy hour, and at the dinner table. Stories--and the themes they weave--seems to flow from human consciousness like the very cells that make up our being.
If there is one place to experience the thrill of a good story, it is at The Moth Mainstage
. Where else can you see Mister Rogers
’ star Mr. McFeely share the stage with nationally acclaimed comedian, author and Moth podcast host Dan Kennedy?
It all unfolds on Thursday, August 22nd
, when the fifth annual local appearance of The Moth Mainstage sets up shop in its new home at The Byham Theater
for a bigger and better night of tellers, who will creatively weave tales based on the theme, "On Point: Stories of Balancing Acts." We can all relate to that, right?
Thursday's iconic storytelling event--which knows well that stories are best told and heard in person--features five storytellers, one local musician serving as the event's timekeeper, and of course, a very charismatic host.
Stepping up to the mic to host the event is comedian and writer Dan Kennedy
. Author of three books--including new novel American Spirit
, as well as a contributor to McSweeneys.net and GQ, Kennedy is beloved by Moth devotees worldwide as the regular host of the program's popular weekly podcast (downloaded some 15 million times a year!).
The program's theme of “On Point: Stories of Balancing Acts" provides both a conceptual framework, and is a nod to a symbolic Pittsburgh place, with its new home at the Byham situated close to Pittsburgh’s iconic geographic Point.
Local storytellers include Pittsburgh actor David Newell, best known for playing Mr. McFeely on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
; Pittsburgh entrepreneur Justin Strong, founder of East Liberty's the Shadow Lounge and Ava; and local photographer, social worker and producer of the Pittsburgh Moth StorySLAM Kelly Flanagan Dee.
Travelling tellers include Chicago writer Shannon Cason, host of the storytelling show “Do Not Submit” and the podcast Homemade Stories, and Trisha Coburn, a short story writer and former fine artist based in Boston and New York City. Rounding out the night's lively cast of personalities will be Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter Joy Ike, who will perform musical accompaniment and make sure the featured storytellers stick to their time limits while on stage.
Marking The Moth Mainstage's debut in the Cultural District, the event is presented by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures
, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
. Following the success of the first three Mainstage events, The Moth debuted a Pittsburgh edition of its popular StorySLAM--a monthly open-mic storytelling competition--in October 2011. Pittsburgh joins 13 cities nationwide in hosting StorySLAMs, which draw sell-out crowds of 300-plus story junkies to the South Side, where 10 locals are selected randomly to take the stage.
A nonprofit dedicated to the art of oral storytelling, The Moth
was founded in 1997 by writer George Dawes Green, who aimed to recreate the sultry summer evenings on his native St. Simon’s Island, Georgia—when moths would the light on the porch where he and his intimate circle of friends would gather to spin spellbinding tales. The Moth has gone on to present more than 10,000 stories from people of all walks of life via stage shows, weekly podcasts, and a Peabody Award-winning radio special, The Moth Radio Hour. The Moth airs on 90.5 WESA Sunday nights at 6pm.
Can't resist a good story? Grab your tickets today
, because the event sells out every year.
Read all the Pop Filter picks