'Moth' storytime coming to Bristol on Saturday

BRISTOL — This Saturday beginning at 8 p.m., Smart Growth for Bristol will host a community storytelling event in Holley Hall modeled after the Moth Radio Hour, a popular weekly show heard on National Public Radio in which regular people tell stories from their lives.

The Moth’s storytelling model has each storyteller speak without notes, a strategy that often results in a variety of stories that range from tragic to hysterically funny, according to event organizer and Smart Growth member Caroline Engvall.

The topic of the stories at Saturday’s event will simply be “Life in Bristol,” and all members of the community from every age group are invited to attend.

“I’d heard the Moth on radio, and that’s always a lot of fun,” said Engvall.

The master of ceremonies will be Bobby Stoddard, a Warren resident whose own Moth story has been featured on the national radio program and who Engvall says has a unique talent for coaxing stories from the audience. Anyone with a story to tell may put his or her name into a hat, and Stoddard will draw names at random.

Engvall said there will be no pressure.

“The audience can be audience members or storytellers,” she said.

People are invited simply to come listen and relax while hanging out with other members of the community. Engvall hopes to attract people from all walks of life, to represent the many experiences in the Bristol community.

“People get to say whatever they want, and usually great stories come out of it,” she said.

The event will run from 8 to 10:30 p.m. and is free, although donations to Smart Growth for Bristol will be collected. And if the night is a success, Engvall is open to organizing future events. 

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