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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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MothUp Atlanta storytelling group goes indie

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

MothUp Atlanta, the local affiliate of the Moth storytelling group, has flown free of its New York-based parent organization.

Renamed Carapace, the Atlanta nonprofit will continue holding story-as-performance events at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month at Manuel’s Tavern.

Atlanta founder Randy Osborne said the local group sought its independence to be able to operate without the restrictions of the national organization on matters such as publicity and event size and to make it an event that “belongs entirely to Atlanta.”

The Moth was founded in New York in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green, a native of St. Simons Island who was featured at last summer’s Decatur Book Festival.

“We expect to change nothing about the show except its name,” Osborne said in an e-mail to the AJC. “But we are planning to expand into the community, partner with other groups and offer special shows. Doing this was a complicated proposition under the Moth.”

The Atlanta group’s action is happening at the same time as a similar move by the St. Louis MothUp chapter.

Carapace is defined as the hard upper shell of a turtle or crustacean, and the local group has taken as its slogan or subtitle, “Everyone has a story. Come out of your shell.”

MothUp Atlanta’s first event, in February 2010, drew 75, but recent gatherings have attracted nearly double that. The performers, whose names are drawn from a hat, tell true personal stories of roughly five minutes on a theme chosen for the night. Notes, poetry, political rants or lectures are not allowed.

The theme for the June 28 show, the first under the Carapace banner, will be “strange magic.” Attendance, as always, is free. More details available on Carapace’s Facebook page or e-mail: carapacestories@gmail.com.

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