The Moth began almost twenty years ago, named for moths dancing around a flame in summer as listeners are drawn to spoken word. Today, the organization moves across the United States and world as a live space for storytelling — and later this week, the show comes to Little Rock for its Arkansas debut in Robinson Performance Hall.
Featuring Little Rock locals Korto Momolu Briggs and Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton, the Moth brings storytellers to the stage for a night, as host Ophira Eisenberg says, consisting of “five really delightful meals.” The performance on Feb. 28 comes after the original show was delayed in October of last year, but preparation has been steady since then.
Momolu Briggs, a Liberia-born fashion designer and stylist, is speaking about her family’s transition from Liberia to Canada in the 1990s. Though she hadn’t heard of the Moth beforehand, she says the process has opened her eyes to a whole world of live storytelling and served as a life learning moment in itself. “I got excited because the stories are so enriching, amazing, and captivating when you listen to them,” Momolu Briggs says. “You’re kind of letting somebody, a stranger, into your living room and they get to see your life better.”
More than a night of immersive, well-crafted stories, the Moth creates a sense of intimacy and community among audience members. Each show is centered around a theme and unites listeners— long time Moth fans and new comers alike— in an energy around the stories shared on stage.
“It really does feel like all of a sudden, there is an intimate gathering of people experiencing something, and I find that because of the nature of the material and what the show is all about, afterwards, when you talk to people, it’s like you skip 10 sentences or a couple of hours of getting to know someone, you kind of go forward like you already know people a little bit,” Eisenberg says. “I feel like there’s going to be an electricity in that room, to take a blank canvas and paint it for the first time.”
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening, and storytelling commences at 7:30 p.m. Get tickets here.