The Los Angeles-based storytelling event company, Expressing Motherhood, held its first Louisville production on Saturday, March 25 at Headliners Music Hall. Randi Skaggs ’98, a veteran performance storyteller herself, was the producer of The Moth-style event where individuals share their true stories centered on themes of mothering. She was also chosen to perform at the curated show.
Skaggs got involved in the storytelling scene while living in New York City. Along the way, she was chosen to perform a piece at an Expressing Motherhood event. After she and her husband moved to Louisville, she reached out to Expressing Motherhood founder Lindsay Kavet about bringing a show to the commonwealth. As it happened, Kavet was already planning a Louisville date, and Skaggs’ long history with storytelling and established relationships in Louisville made her a perfect fit as the show’s producer.
Having Skaggs produce was a good decision. She was able to reach out to the local storytelling community to bring in a wealth of submissions.
“It turned out wonderfully,” Skaggs says. “We had a very large and enthusiastic audience, the performers were incredible, and several people asked afterward if the show will come back next year. It will most likely be an annual event, but we need to work out the details.”
By day Skaggs teaches language arts at Farnsley Middle School, but storytelling is her creative outlet. She performs regularly at the Moth StorySLAM, and has even won the grand slam. She also has a blog called Bluegrass Momma where she shares her thoughts on a variety of topics, including teaching, parenting and politics.
A drama and French double-major, Skaggs’ experience at Centre has had a lasting impact.
“Patrick Kagan-Moore [Charles T. Hazelrigg Professor of Dramatic Arts] and [Professor of Dramatic Arts] Tony Haigh were my drama teachers, and through their excellent classes and plays, I really discovered a passion for performance,” Skaggs says.
“Karin Ciholas [John M. and Louise Van Winkle Professor Emerita of French and German] was my French professor, and she always encouraged my writing and even cast me in her play, One Candle in the Night,” she continues.
“But, honestly, my incredible group of friends at Centre had probably the largest impact on me. Nearly 20 years after graduation, I still see the friends I made freshman year on a pretty regular basis. Sitting around our dorm room sharing stories and making each other laugh prepped me for my current storytelling obsession.”
by Cindy Long