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The Age of Postdrama, Without Taboo or Boundary: Live Performance, ‘The Moth’

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2018, 31(3), pp.33-52
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Eunhye, Kim 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

‘The Moth’ is a ‘Live Storytelling Performance’ , which is one of the most popular styles in New York. This performance is usually held not just in a formal stage but in ordinary places such as cafe, restaurant, bookstore or public parks. Anybody can participate in this event and there is no limit to age, gender or nationality. The origin of this performance is from the small storytelling group in a small town. The novelist George Dawes Green has started this group in his hometown, Georgia, with just ordinary people, sharing their own life story. The name, ‘Moth’ represents the atmosphere; talking with people in a mid summer night with moths moving around the light. At first, they usually shared some extraordinary and amazing experiences of their lives and now this group has become big enough to make a tour all around the country, telling their own stories to many people. Now there are many similar performances in America and even from a drug addict to Hollywood stars have attended this storytelling event. There are some rules to keep in this performance, the story is definitely from their own experience, no rehearsal or warm-up and no script at all. Moreover, the storyteller is chosen randomly by the MC, picking up the paper written the participants’ names in it, so anybody can be selected and participate in the performance. This means everything is natural, random and not man made events. They honestly tell their story on the stage and this leads for everyone to find some connecting links each other, making them feel sympathy and become one. There are no fixed frame, taboo or border line between people and this is one of the essential features of postdrama performance. Every story is told by the first person narrative and it is all about their own lives, so they can be not only a storyteller but also a writer of their own text. Their story have sincerity and supranationalism, guiding everyone to various time lines based on their various experience. This means the live performance ‘Moth’ is beyond the limitation of postdrama which is only focused on ‘existence’ or ‘present’ . It is a kind of venture and journey to the trace of storyteller and everyone can feel solidarity of the community. There is no master or hero’s narrative but only average and ordinary person’s story, meaning everyone’s story is an amazing drama and they can be a protagonist and main character of the story. They recall their memory and reconstruct it in the present moment, overcoming the simple and limited temporality and also expanding the dramatic social context. This story is published in a careful selection form in 2013 and in remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the founding, it is once again published, titled The Moth Presents - All These Wonders in 2015.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.