From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

The Storytelling Revival

The concept is simple—true stories told live, without notes—but The Moth, a group of casual and professional raconteurs, has become so popular that, in the last few years, its events have expanded from New York to six other cities. There’s also a weekly podcast as well as the Peabody-winning Moth Radio Hour, which features stories from the likes of Malcolm Gladwell and Mike Birbiglia, whose film Sleepwalk With Me recently won an Audience Award at Sundance. He had this to say about the storytelling revival:

“There’s something cathartic about live storytelling for both the storyteller and the audience. It leads to a certain amount of openness. You watch someone and say, ‘I can relate to that,’ or gain courage to express some specific thing about your own life you’d normally be uncomfortable sharing. It’s very literal and raw. When storytelling is done right, it makes the audience feel a little less alone.”

themoth.org

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