Essential Pittsburgh
3:52 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

The Moth Mainstage: How to Tell a Compelling Story

The Moth is described as, true stories, told live, without notes.
The Moth is described as, true stories, told live, without notes.
Credit The Moth

The Moth Mainstage returns to Pittsburgh tomorrow at the Byham Theater. Participants share a ten-minute story onstage centered on the theme “balancing acts.”

Producer Kate Tellers says The Moth StorySlams, Radio Hour and Mainstage have experienced huge success in Pittsburgh over the past few years.

She coaches storytellers before they perform and worked with Justin Strong, owner of Shadow Lounge and AVA, in crafting a story. Tellers says truly effective stories are able to reach to the lowest point in someone’s life and illustrate a turning point that defines them.

“What the storyteller is saying must be authentic. That’s really what audiences respond to,” she explains.

Such was the case with Justin Strong when he was approached by The Moth. Strong said he had trouble thinking of a story to tell. But after talking with Tellers, he developed a narrative he could share. Before his experience with The Moth, Justin had never performed this type of medium. “Storytelling is definitely different from hosting poetry or doing poetry or doing stand-up,” he says.

The Moth Mainstage, presented by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will feature Justin’s story and more at 7:30pm Thursday.