OZ ARTS NASHVILLE LAUNCHES SPEAK EASY: A CELEBRATION OF THE WRITTEN AND SPOKEN WORD, A NEW SERIES FEATURING WRITERS AND STORYTELLERS, MAY 4-7
Series Includes National Innovators Mike Daisey and The Moth Mainstage as Well as Nashville Talents Curated by Southern Word
Library of Stories by Mike Daisey, The Great and Secret Guide to Nashville Available for Listening March 21 – May 25 at OZ Arts and Online at www.ozartsnashville.org
NASHVILLE, TENN. – OZ Arts Nashville is pleased to announce Speak Easy: A Celebration of the Written and Spoken Word, a new series in which the pioneering contemporary arts center will present the city’s and the country’s best writers and storytellers, May 4-7. Performances by the immensely celebrated American monologist and raconteur Mike Daisey will bookend the inaugural edition, with his Kahn and the Whale: The Wrath of Moby Dick kicking off the series on May 4, and a new work he has created especially for the occasion, The Secret History of Music City, culminating on May 7. In between, OZ Arts will present Reflecting Nashville, for which the organization Southern Word is assembling an intergenerational cast of Nashville’s top writers and storytellers (May 5), and the Nashville debut of The Moth Mainstage (May 6).
The program will begin nightly at 7pm. Tickets are $35 for each evening and $120 for the whole series, and can be purchased at www.ozartsnashville.org. OZ Arts Nashville is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle in Nashville, Tenn.
Kahn and the Whale: The Wrath of Moby Dick
Wednesday, May 4, 7pm
90 minutes including intermission
Mike Daisey is the preeminent monologist in the American theater today. The New York Times has called him a “master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation,” and New York Magazine has said, “He’s a brilliant trickster, a close-magician with superb sleight of hand. His furies are bright and stark, incandescently theatrical. His phrasings and delivery are ensorcelling and incantatory.”
To kick of Speak Easy, Daisey will perform this monologue in which he takes on Herman Melville’s masterpiece of revenge, fate, and whaling terminology in a hilarious and breathtaking ninety minutes. Daisey weaves Melville’s epic saga together with the greatest and most perfect film of the twentieth century: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Ornate nautical slipknots, space worms that crawl into your ears, tattooed harpooners, and Ricardo Montalban’s rich Corinthian leather chest all combine with Melville’s gorgeous language to tell a sweeping story of revenge and at what temperature that dish is best served. (Spoiler alert: the answer is “cold”. Also, the whale wins.)
Curated by Southern Word
Thursday, May 5, 7pm
100 minutes with no intermission
Southern Word, a Nashville-based organization devoted to the development of young writers, assembles an intergenerational cast of top local writers, storytellers, and leaders to deliver original pieces of honest insight, musing and commentary on a city in flux. The evening will include the voices of fiction writers Tony Earley and Erica Wright, spoken word poets Rashad Rayford and Tia Mitchell, singers Kiya Lacey and Nashville and Harmony, and a range of writers who have emerged as Nashville’s most celebrated new voices through appearances with Southern Word at major civic events. Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay, Constance Bynum, Leslie Garcia, and Cassidy Martin will all feature new original work at the event.
The evening will be emceed by Nashville’s top freestyle artists who will dwarf Lin-Manuel Miranda’s (from “Hamilton”) latest freestyle media antics. They will take words from the audience and spontaneously weave them together into knowledge and truth about our changing times. In the spirit of 2010’s Spoken Word Census and 2012’s Future Break, this is the third ensemble production in which Southern Word will have created a literary blueprint of Nashville at a specific point in time.
The Moth Mainstage
Friday, May 6, 7pm
140 minutes including intermission
OZ Arts is pleased to present the Nashville debut of The Moth Mainstage, the organization’s flagship program, which features five stories by luminaries in the arts and sciences, newsmakers and news breakers, and everyday heroes, hosted in Nashville by Dan Kennedy, longtime host of the Moth podcasts and Moth live events. The lineup will feature all-true stories from tellers both local and from out of state.
The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, and a recipient of a 2012 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions (MACEI). Through its ongoing programs—The Moth Mainstage, The Moth StorySLAMs, The Moth Community & Education Programs, and Moth Corporate Programs—The Moth has presented more than 17,000 stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth podcast is downloaded over 30 million times a year, and the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, produced by Jay Allison and presented by PRX, The Public Radio Exchange, airs weekly on over 400 radio stations nationwide. The Moth Mobile App for iOS and Android, and the international bestseller, The Moth: 50 True Stories (Hachette), are available now. themoth.org
The Secret History of Music City
Saturday, May 7, 7pm
80 minutes including intermission
Mike Daisey’s extemporaneous monologues skewer, illuminate and ultimately celebrate our world with equal parts humor and heart. On the final night of OZ Arts Nashville’s inaugural Speak Easy, he will deliver the city back to its people—with no holds barred. The Secret History of Music City tells a story of old dreams gone wrong, the little known origins of hot chicken, and the loud ghosts that haunt the Grand Ole Opry. Fact and fiction fuses with myth and reality to tell how country music came to be, and the city that grew up with it.
Mike Daisey Installation
The Great and Secret Guide to Nashville
March 21-May 25, Escaparate, OZ Arts Nashville
Online at www.ozartsnashville.org
Complementing the Speak Easy series is Mike Daisey’s installation The Great and Secret Guide to Nashville. Part encyclopedia and part imagined history, Daisey’s stories of a Nashville we know, embellished with a fictional Nashville, are collected into handcrafted books to be found in an impossible library where listeners can take down any topic and fall into another world that is terrifically familiar. In these stories, Nashville becomes a place of secret landscapes, hidden characters, and magic around every corner in stories that illuminate the race, class, and social fault lines that run through the city.
About OZ Arts Nashville
Since opening in 2014, OZ Arts Nashville, a 501(c)(3) contemporary arts center, has changed the cultural landscape of the city. Housed in the former C.A.O. cigar warehouse owned by Nashville’s Ozgener family, OZ Arts brings world-class performances and art installations to the city, and gives ambitious local artists opportunities to work on a grand scale. The flexible 10,000 square-foot, column-free venue, nestled amidst five acres of artfully landscaped grounds, is continually reconfigured to serve artists’ imaginations, and to challenge and inspire a diverse range of curious audiences.
OZ Arts, under the artistic leadership of Lauren Snelling, has presented luminaries such as Philip Glass and Tim Fain, Tim Robbins’ The Actors’ Gang, Kyle Abraham and Abraham.In.Motion, Peter Brook’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Trisha Brown Company, and SITI Company/Bang On a Can All-Stars. OZ Arts serves as a catalyst for local creativity through its TNT (Thursday Night Things) program, which fosters collaborations between Nashville-based artists from varying creative disciplines; and its newest series the Artists’ Lounge, which gives artists opportunities to develop work before a live audience, including fellow artists, in the venue’s intimate lounge space.
For more information, please visit http://www.ozartsnashville.org/.
OZ Arts Nashville Media Contacts
Nashville press, please contact Amy Atkinson at Amy Atkinson Communications, 615.305.8118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National press, please contact Blake Zidell at Blake Zidell & Associates, 718.643.9052 or email@example.com.