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Live Storytelling Event COCOON Takes the Stage October 24

October 8, 2014

2nd Annual Event Will Be Emceed by Jay Allison of The Moth Radio Hour

Middlebury, VT—Middlebury College hosts the live performance event “Cocoon,” inspired by popular storytelling phenomenon The Moth, on Friday, October 24 at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Six hand-picked storytellers including students, faculty/staff, and community members will tell a diverse range of stories around the theme of blood. This year’s special emcee is Jay Allison, producer of The Moth Radio Hour on public radio. The audience is invited to a reception with the storytellers after the show.


This community-wide event is coordinated by the creators of Middlebury College’s student storytelling organization the Middlebury MothUP. Since 2010, the Middlebury MothUP has brought students, staff, and townspeople together to tell stories on a given theme. The event has only two rules: one, all stories must be true; two, no notes. For the second year running, the MothUP has joined forces with the Mahaney Center for the Arts to produce Cocoon for an even larger audience. Support for the event was granted by Middlebury’s Committee on the Arts.


2014 Emcee Jay Allison is an independent journalist and leader in public broadcasting. He produces The Moth Radio Hour and has created dozens of documentary programs and series. Over the past 35 years, he has been a frequent contributor to NPR news programs and This American Life, and is is a six-time Peabody Award winner. He hosted and produced This I Believe on NPR and co-edited the bestselling companion books.

This year’s storytellers will include: 

kathrynblume Kathryn Blume, a climate activist and actress who also co-founded the Lysistrata Project, the first worldwide theatrical event for peace.
billtorrey Bill Torrey, a 6th generation Vermonter and logger.
chris_de_la_cruz Chris De La Cruz ’13, Middlebury College alumnus, storyteller, educator, and masters degree candidate at NYU.
ottopierce2 Otto Pierce ’13.5, Middlebury College alumnus, native Vermonter, and founder and creative director of The Sable Project, an alternative creative space in Stockbridge, VT.
christalbrown-photovincentajones12 Christal Brown, Middlebury dance chair, choreographer, and founder of INSPIRIT dance company.
markchristensen3 Ambient guitarist and Mahaney Center for the Arts Technical Director Mark Christensen will provide the musical interludes.

Cocoon will take place on Friday, October 24, 2014, at 8:00 P.M., in the Concert Hall of the Mahaney Center for the Arts. The Mahaney Center is located on the Middlebury College campus, at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available. Tickets are $10 for the general public; $8 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $5 for Middlebury College students. For tickets or further information, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to


Image credits:

Jay Allison photo by Melissa Allison

Christal Brown photo by Vincent A. Jones '12

Poster Design by Carey Bass

Mahaney Center for the Arts
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax