Moth and Butterfly - A free fluttering Night of Storytelling and Improvisation
Moth and Butterfly is a free fluttering night of Storytelling and Improvisation! .
Who should come to Moth & Butterfly?
You! People who want to listen to stories, tell stories, watch stories being created, watch stories grow, make stories on the spot. It is for listeners and tellers.
Do I have to tell a story?
Of course not! While we’d love you to consider it, the listener is a just as essential a part of the night. You can listen, sit back and still come on the journey!
Participation – how does it work?
Each night will have a featured ‘Theme’ – one past theme, for example, was ‘Windows & Doors’. The theme will be updated on our Facebook page in advance of each night. Other themes, for example could be… ‘A great discovery’ or ‘too many cooks…’all tellers are invited to tell stories to fit this theme. Contributions can be Moth Stories, Improvised Stories, or Freefall Stories (any type). Our guests may do a selection of any that they choose.
I’m a…Bus Driver, Actor, Poet, Artist, Hairdresser, Unemployed Chimney Sweep, Writer, Librarian, Singer, Nurse, Improviser, Storyteller, Shopkeeper, Blacksmith or a Student – can I tell a story?
Of course! Some Moth and Butterfly stories will be told by The Moth & Butterfly Crew, and Special Guests (including guest tellers from out of town, as well as local story makers), but the night is also for tellers from the audience - whether to tell a true ‘Moth’ style story, or to do any of the forms in the ‘Freefall ’ section.
Moth & Butterfly is not the place to try out a stand up routine, do a poem, to perform a monologue from a play, or have a good old rant. These things are all great, and there are great places to hear these things, but Moth & Butterfly is about telling (and making!) stories. If we have special events where we think there will be a high demand for audience stories (for example, in a festival setting) we will do an advance sign up and draw audience tellers names from a hat.
Does it have to be funny?
Not at all! Good stories elicit a wide range of emotions from the listeners, and laughter is but one reaction. We encourage tellers and improvisers to guide us through a wide emotional landscape: We invite you tell us stories that will make us cry, make us wince, make us blush, that will make us growl & hiss. The same goes for the improvised sections. While we love comedy, we know that there are many colours to use in the emotional palette. Tell us stories that will speak to our hearts and our minds.
Why the name ‘Moth & Butterfly’
The ‘Moth’ part of Moth & Butterfly’s name is inspired by the ‘Moth’ Storytelling movement in the US. The ‘Butterfly’ represents transformation, something that is an integral part of improvisation. This night brings together elements of both Storytelling and Improvisation. Storytelling has been around, well, for as long as we have told stories, and Improvisation has been around for as long as we have been making things up! We have found that these two art forms have many elements in common; creativity, spontaneity, and discovery, to name a few. Recounting old myths is just one element of Storytelling, just as short form comedy is just one element of improvisation. We hope that by bringing the two art forms together in this one night, we can show you more aspects of both Improv and Storytelling, and create something even more special where the two meet.
Should I stick to the ‘Theme’?
Yes please! It’s important for you and for the audience! For example let’s take the theme ‘windows and doors’. Just because you mention the theme in passing doesn’t make it important - it must be integral to your story. If you were telling a story where you accidentally left a window open while smoking a forbidden cigarette, and then a burglar got in and robbed your house. That would count. Or a story of how you got stuck in a revolving door with your future husband! Or tell us about a time when an unexpected door opened in your life. Let the theme be important to your story, and we will appreciate it all the more.
The ‘Moth’ section of the night is dedicated to true first person stories, pertaining to the theme. In other words, you yourself must figure in the story, and be part of it.
Think of a story you would like to tell. You can practice it before the night if you like, or just come and tell it. If you don’t get to tell your story that particular night, don’t worry, the themes will be broad, and you can probably polish and rework your story to fit another night’s theme. We recommend the Moth stories be no more than 7 minutes (with a little grace period). We’ll give you a little ding of a bell, if you lose track of time too much. The stories must be told, not read, and no notes allowed!
The Butterfly symbolizes transformation, changing from one thing to another. This represents the improvisational parts of the night. These sections will include, among others:
Stories From The Hat - where two or more tellers pick an object from a hat and tells a story inspired by it. The story is made on the spot by passing the story back and forth. Another element – ‘the ding’ may be introduced for fun, where a bell is dinged and story must be passed over to the other person, no matter what point they are at. It’s very exciting!
Found In Translation is where two tellers/improvisers tell a story in English and another language that they both speak well. Teller ‘A’ will tell a small section of the story in the non-English language, Teller ‘B’ will translate that into English, then continue on for another section in the non-English language, Teller A will translate that section, and so on…this can be a pre-known story that the two tellers have, OR they can improvise it!
What if I have a story that fits the theme, but it’s fiction?
No problem! Freefall is the section where you can tell any type of story that fits the theme. It can be any of the improvised forms or a pre-known story. No written stories, songs, poems of standups please (these are all amazing but tonight Story is the focus!). It can be a folk tale, a fairy tale, or a tall tale! If you just thought of a story on the night that fits, this is the chance for you to tell it.
Why did we start the night?
The originators of ‘Moth & Butterfly’ are involved in both Storytelling and Improvisational theatre, as performers, teachers and listeners. We saw many crossovers in the two art forms, but didn’t see many outlets or events that expressed this. We thought a night where both were shown would be very exciting, and would lead to even more collaboration. We invited some friends to help us run the night, and here we are.
Tell your friends, bring stories, make stories for ‘Found in Translation’ and ‘Moth. Feedback is always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org