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The Moth: Storyville Center for the Spoken Word Inc

General Information


THE MOTH: STORYVILLE CENTER FOR THE SPOKEN WORD, INC. is an organization dedicated to storytelling, a mode of artistic expression accessible to all individuals – the ultimate democratic art form. It is our conviction that the need to share one’s thoughts and experiences through the spoken word is as fundamental as the need for food and shelter. Through the art of storytelling, The Moth satisfies our vital need for connection by celebrating the diversity and commonality of human experience. The Moth aims to continue this vaunted oral tradition and to foster the creation of contemporary oral history in New York City. Since its inception in 1996, The Moth has gathered more than 30,000 people of all backgrounds, ages, and neighborhoods to listen to more than 500 storytellers share their memories, homes and ideas. The regular venue for The Moth Storytelling Series is The Players Club on Gramercy Park, but events have also been held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMCafe, the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Public Library.
Stories at The Moth – This series produces twelve events each season and has its home at The Players Club on Gramercy Park. Each event sells out in 48 hours or less, yet we continue to hold the shows in this relatively small venue with a capacity of 250 because we cherish the intimate atmosphere. A few times each year, The Moth travels to other venues in New York City and beyond, such as Central Park SummerStage and the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. The shows are organized around a theme such as “American Myths,” “Scary Wedding Stories,” or “Call of the Wild,” and feature five or six storytellers who each tell a ten-minute story. The format allows no script or notes, but does call for a well-crafted first-person narrative with a classic story structure. The storytellers develop their stories in collaboration with The Moth. After the shows, audience members and storytellers continue swapping stories over drinks and dinner. Beyond a mere theatrical experience, The Moth is an ever-growing community where entertainment, enlightenment and festivity merge.
Moth StorySLAM – In response to the overwhelming interest from audiences and emerging storytellers, the Moth StorySLAM was created in 2000. Now a bi-weekly event, the StorySLAMs are open to any and all with a five-minute story on the evening’s theme. Typically, 25 to 30 would-be storytellers vie for the 10 open-mic slots and the shows draw an average of 175 people. The stories are scored by teams of judges in the audience and a winner is selected at every StorySLAM. Twice per year, the StorySLAM winners face off in our GrandSLAM Championships. Many slammers have also gone on to star on our main stage.
Stories in Stages: The Moth Outreach Program – Launched in 1999, Stories in Stages offers storytelling workshops, free of charge, to students and marginalized populations in New York City. We work with a variety of youth groups and with adults in rehabilitation programs, including homeless men and women, former prisoners, and people recovering from substance abuse. The workshops teach our participants how to shape their life experiences into well-crafted stories, embracing the key elements of narrative. All workshops begin with a show performed by established Moth storytellers and conclude with a show by the participants for their local community. Twice per year, the outreach program produces a show on The Moth’s main stage featuring our Stories in Stages graduates.

Full Name

The Moth: Storyville Center for the Spoken Word Inc


New York (Manhattan)

Phone Number

(212) 742-0551