StorySLAM brings ‘The Moth’-style live storytelling to Las Vegas Friday

The premise of a StorySLAM centers on a simple and almost primal drive: to tell stories. For a couple of hours Friday, a lineup of speakers will tell true stories from their lives around the theme “What I Did For Love.”

The evening is inspired by The Moth, a live storytelling event and radio show across the country where speakers tell a five-minute story about a given theme. Though Las Vegas’ StorySLAM isn’t officially affiliated with The Moth, it will follow the same format, including a panel of judges that will determine a winner who will compete in a GrandSLAM at the end of the year.

“It’s a great time for it because if you look at our political landscape, say what you will about the outcome of things, but I think narratives have played an enormous role in the political realm right now and I think maybe there’s not enough of that, not enough storytelling,” said Kevin Breen, StorySLAM organizer and founder of the event’s venue, the Center for Science and Wonder. “If people are listening to each other’s stories better and telling their own stories better, kind of as humans have done anthropologically throughout history, maybe, my hope is, we can achieve a little good in the world.”

The night’s stories can recount any kind of love, romantic or otherwise. StorySLAM organizer Amy Mayo will tell a story about caring for people in her life who have been ill.

“I wanted to kind of steer away from the typical romantic love that people might expect and talk about what it means to love when it’s hard,” Mayo said. “When we’re having to really put love to the test.”

Anyone can sign up to tell a story by messaging the Las Vegas StorySLAM Facebook page.

The Center for Science and Wonder, the event’s venue, is a community center that opened in October as an alternative to religious gathering places. Since then, it has hosted events such as Godless Comedy Hour and Darwin Day celebration. Breen says this event has gotten more interest than any other so far.

Though Las Vegas may not have the literary community of New York, where The Moth started, Breen is optimistic that through the dedication of a small community whose attention isn’t divided by an overabundance of literary events, this gathering will grow.

“We have a more concentrated community that I think has a high demand for this sort of thing and a lot of value to add to it,” Breen said.

Read more from Sarah Corsa at reviewjournal.com. Contact her at scorsa@reviewjournal.com and follow @sarahcorsa on Twitter.

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