NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

January 9, 2014

'The power of stories'

Full Moon slam series invites people to share personal tales

The idea was born during a trip aboard The Full Moon on Labor Day.

Suzanne Dubus, Sara Quay, Marc Clopton and Liz Desmarais were enjoying the day on Anita Rossi’s boat when talk turned to The Moth podcast, which features favorite stories from the New York nonprofit dedicated to the art of storytelling.

“We began to talk about how wonderful it is to hear people’s stories because we live in this age where there is so much distraction,” Dubus said.

She proceeded to tell the group about the time that she and her husband had a fight without actually speaking.

“We were on our respective laptops with our daughter sitting between us watching a movie,” she said.

The group on the boat agreed that it would be great if they could give people a place in Newburyport where they could share their personal stories in front of an audience.

“We got more and more excited,” said Dubus, chief executive officer of the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center.

The four began to meet and devised themes and a calendar for four story slams at The Actors Studio of Newburyport, where Clopton is the executive director. The first Full Moon Story Slam, named after Rossi’s boat, is set for this Saturday.

To prepare for their first event, the organizers attended a slam in Cambridge and really enjoyed themselves.

“It was such a supportive, warm, wonderful environment, and that’s what we want to do,” Dubus said.

They also reached out to the sponsor, massmouth, a statewide organization of storytellers.

“They have been really generous and said, ‘Don’t reinvent the wheel, we have everything you need,” Dubus said.

Massmouth co-founder Norah Dooley will speak at this weekend’s Newburyport slam.

“She’s really devoted to story slams and is just very generous in sharing her knowledge and helping other people begin story slams,” Quay said.

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