The Cache Valley Center for the Arts, in partnership with Utah Public Radio, is hosting The Moth Mainstage, a live story-telling event, Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in Logan, Utah.
The Moth Mainstage features storytellers who share true stories, live and without notes. The stories are intended to emphasize the unique background that individuals have while also connecting people by recognizing their shared experiences.
The Moth – a nonprofit organization started in 1997 in New York – began as a radio program but has now expanded to feature podcasts, workshops, a book, live storytelling events, storytelling slams and more — all with a worldwide reach. UPR has aired The Moth radio programming since 2015.
According to Kerry Bringhurst, manager at UPR and host of Morning Edition, the process to get The Moth Mainstage in Logan has been extensive but well worth it.
“Part of the human experience is the ability to gather and tell stories,” Bringhurst said. “The Moth Mainstage is more than just telling a story, it’s a performance.”
The Moth Mainstage will feature five storytellers, one host and one musician.
“The Moth stories you hear on the radio were recorded live,” said Wendi Hassan, executive director at the Cache Valley Center for the Arts. “That live audience is so important to the performance. I can hear the interplay between the audience and the teller and imagine the energy in the room. This is an opportunity to be part of that energy, part of the magic of that moment.”
There is no one mold for stories on The Moth. With a variety of genres and perspectives, the stories are as unique as the people telling them. Storytellers are thoughtfully chosen by a curatorial team. Due to the peculiar and personal nature of the program, organizers of the event at the Cache Valley Center for the Arts and UPR won’t know what storytellers and stories will be featured until the event happens.
“Storytelling is such an important way to communicate what is happening,” Bringhurst said. “When we hear personal stories, it helps us reflect on how their experiences relate to us. I love radio because it gives us the opportunity to hear people tell their stories. The live mainstage performance enhances that even more because you are able to visualize and see the emotion on the storytellers face and feel that emotion with others.”
The Moth Mainstage has been performed in Salt Lake City, but this will be its first time in Logan.
Bringhurst is looking forward to the extraordinary opportunity that Cache Valley residents will have to engage with live art in their hometown.
“One of our hopes was to bring something that has been popular in other larger communities to our community that deserves to have the experience of building empathy through live storytelling,” Bringhurst said. “It’s affordable, interesting, educational and entertaining. We should be able to experience those things in our own community.”
UPR is also starting a photography collection about 15 things individuals could not have lived without during the pandemic. USU students have been the first contributors to the collection and their photos will be displayed at The Moth Mainstage event.
“Part of the human experience is the ability to gather and tell stories,” Bringhurst said. “I believe this is critical at this time.”
Executives at The Moth have requested that audience members provide proof of COVID vaccination and/or a negative COVID test within 48 hours of the event and wear a mask throughout the performances.
UPR airs The Moth programming on Fridays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. A full list of UPR radio stations and a link to live, online UPR radio can be found at UPR.org. Tickets to The Moth Mainstage can be purchased through the Cache Valley Center for the Arts website. For any other questions, contact Kerry Bringhurst at firstname.lastname@example.org.