(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- Global storytelling nonprofit The Moth, in collaboration with the South Orange Performing Arts Center, presents a special Mainstage show on Thursday, March 24 at 7:30pm at SOPAC. The theme for the evening’s five storytellers is Walk the Line.
Hailed as “New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket” by The Wall Street Journal, The Moth is an acclaimed nonprofit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Moth Mainstage is a curated show featuring true stories, told live and without notes, celebrating the ability of stories to honor both the diversity and commonality of human experience. It seeks to present recognized storytellers among established and emerging writers, performers and artists, and to encourage storytelling among communities whose stories often go unheard.
TARA CLANCY (host) is a writer, comic and actor. She is a frequent host of The Moth Mainstage shows and has told stories on The Moth Radio Hour, NPR’s Snap Judgment and Risk! Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Nation, The Paris Review Daily and The New York Times Magazine. She appeared on HBO’s Girls and High Maintenance, and has been a panelist on NPR’S Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Her memoir, The Clancys of Queens, was a 2016 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick.
BRITTNEY COOPER (storyteller) is author of the New York Times bestseller Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower. She is also author of the award-winning Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women, co-author of Feminist AF: A Guide to Crushing Girlhood and co-editor of The Crunk Feminist Collection. Brittney is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University. She is a contributing writer for The Cut/New York Magazine, a contributor at Black News Channel, and a frequent commentator on MSNBC.
Born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, CHRISTIAN ESTEVEZ (storyteller) is the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Christian graduated with a double major in Labor Relations and Latino Studies from Rutgers University, where he has taught classes focused on Latino Workers in the United States. He was an activist while in college, serving in leadership positions of several organizations, including as Co-Chair of the Latino Student Council. In 1996 he transitioned from student organizing to community organizing as a co-founder of Pa’lante, a local social justice organization. Christian helped organize New Jersey’s first statewide Latino Leadership Conference in 1999. Christian began his career in the labor movement when he was hired by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO in 2001. In 2009, Christian went to work for Communications Workers of America (CWA), Local 1037, working his way up to Executive Vice President. That same year, he helped found and currently serves as President of the Latino Action Network, a statewide social justice organization. In 2021, Christian went to work for the National CWA where he now serves as the New Jersey Legislative & Political Director for District 1.
Cited by Oprah Magazine as “one of our favorite creative thinkers,” DION FLYNN (storyteller) is a writer, speaker, workshop leader, improvisor, humorist, actor, and U.S. Army veteran. Dion’s comedic writings and inventions have appeared on MTV, VH1, Logo, The Tonight Show, Paid-Off, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and more. He wrote and performed the highly acclaimed solo show The Only Brown Kid In The Trailer Park and is currently working on his debut publication (working title) Improv: The Basics of Connection with Central Recovery Press. He holds an MFA in acting from New York University and lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his lovely and hilarious wife and their beloved son (who’s also funny). His short plays Spider Smoke and Detective Story debuted at the Tiny Arts Festival in West Fulton, New York in 2021. As a workshop leader, Dion is masterful at using fun and innovative ways to help people connect with themselves and others. Dion has led hundreds of business professionals, writers, college students, sales people, recovering- and non-recovering folks through his dynamic Improvisor’s Mindset Workshops. ImprovisorsMindset.com | DionFlynn.com
DONALD HARRISON (storyteller) is a Philadelphia-based writer and pianist. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin and has worked as both a writing teacher and a learning experience designer. He plays and sings every Friday night at Tavern on Camac in Philadelphia and has performed as a storyteller and accompanist in venues around Philadelphia and New York City.
NANCY MAHL (storyteller) is a full-time housewife/stepmom to twin teenagers and a retired elevator inspector who finds joy in the small moments. When she’s not driving someone to track practice, she makes art, rescues kittens, and enjoys amateur gunsmithing. She used to race sailboats, ride a motorcycle, and skydive, but now gets her adrenaline rush by speaking in public.
The Moth is an acclaimed nonprofit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. Since launching in 1997, The Moth has presented over 40,000 stories, told live and without notes to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth conducts eight ongoing programs: The Moth Mainstage, which tours internationally, has featured stories by Elizabeth Gilbert, Hasan Minhaj, Kathleen Turner, Malcolm Gladwell, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, John Turturro, Molly Ringwald, Boots Riley, Krista Tippett, Damon Young, Mike Birbiglia, Rosanne Cash, Danyel Smith and Tig Notaro, as well as an astronaut, a pickpocket, a hotdog eating champion and hundreds more; The Moth StorySLAM program, which conducts open mic storytelling competitions in 28 cities: 26 in the US plus Melbourne, AU and London, UK; The Moth Community Program, which offers storytelling workshops and performance opportunities to adults who are too often overlooked by the mainstream media; The Moth Education Program, which brings the thrill of personal storytelling to high schools and colleges in New York, and educators around the world; The Moth Global Community Program, which develops and elevates true, personal stories from extraordinary individuals in the global south; The Moth Podcast—the 2020 Webby People’s Voice Award Winner for Best Podcast Series—which is downloaded more than 90 million times a year; MothWorks, which uses the essential elements of Moth storytelling at work and other unexpected places; and the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour which, produced by Jay Allison at Atlantic Public Media and presented by PRX, The Public Radio Exchange, airs weekly on over 570 public radio stations nationwide. To date, The Moth has published three critically acclaimed books: The New York Times Best Seller The Moth: 50 True Stories (Hachette Books, September 2013), All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown (Crown Archetype, March 2017) — described as “wonderful” by NYT’s Michiko Kakutani and Occasional Magic: True Stories of Defying the Impossible (Crown Archetype, March 2019) which debuted at #12 on The New York Times Best Sellers List. The Moth’s fourth book, How to Tell a Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth, will be released on April 26, 2022.
Covid-19: At this time, all SOPAC patrons are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test and wear a mask. All current Covid-19 Precautions & Policies can be found at SOPACnow.org/Covid-19.
Since 2006, South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including the Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.