Have you heard of the Moth? The Moth is a New York City based non-profit organization dedicated to storytelling. In multiple American cities, there are bars, restaurants, and other venues that regularly host Moth storytelling events. Often, the events revolve around a theme, and selected individuals (usually volunteers who sign up in advance) get on stage and tell a live, true story without notes that somehow pertains to the given theme.
The power of storytelling is something that has inspired me for a long time. Last year, two students here started Middlebury’s very own Moth storytelling event, called the Middlebury Moth Up. Since its founding, the event has become immensely popular and now attracts very large crowds that often spill out of the room.
This past Thursday, we had a Moth event which coincided with Campus Preview Days for the recently admitted class of 2015. The theme was “Experimentation.” It was wonderful to see the effect that the stories had on so many people in a room at once — students, prospective students, parents, and some faculty. The storytellers were students and one professor named Helen Young, who teaches biology. She told a fantastic story about eating a poisonous snake.
One reason that I find these events to be so powerful is that the storytellers, whether or not they intend to do this, end up being brutally honest about details of their story that they might not have otherwise mentioned in a smaller group setting. For that reason, every single person in the room can identify with the stories being told in some way, whether they’ve had a similar experience or a similar feeling.
To hear past stories from the Middlebury Moth, check out this link: