#hEALMETOO PODCAST HOME > episode 002: Sarah austin jenness & katie cappiello

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#HealMeToo Podcast Episode 2:

Sarah Austin Jenness & Katie Cappiello on Healing Through Personal Storytelling



In a live taping at the #HealMeToo Festival, Founder and Artistic Director Hope Singsen interviewed two experts in the art of personal storytelling:

  • Sarah Austin Jenness, Executive Producer of The Moth -- a 21 year old arts organization and home of The Moth Radio Hour, The Moth Podcast, and over 600 live storytelling events worldwide each year, and

  • Playwright Katie Cappiello, whose plays about teen sexuality, based on their own first-hand accounts, have been widely toured and praised.

Together, Jenness and Cappiello (full bios below) have decades of experience working with people to tell brave personal stories, often for the first time. They will share examples and observations about the process of expressing, crafting, and telling deeply personal stories, whether about sexual and gendered violence or other forms of trauma. As theater artists, Cappiello and host Singsen may also share first-hand observations of the ways such stories can sometimes be transformative for artists and audiences alike. 

Content warning: Frank descriptions of teen sexuality.

Emma’s Story from The Naked Truth by Katie Cappiello, performed by Lola, a 16-year old performer with GoodCapp Arts Ensemble, who also performed this monologue at the #HealMeToo Festival on our Opening Night, as part of NYC Teens Take The Stage.

“Emma’s Story” was originally developed for and performed at Equality Now's 2016 “Make Equality Reality” Gala. The Naked Truth is the story of Emma, whose freshman year takes a devastating turn when a nude she took of herself is shared with everyone at school.

Content warning: Explicit language and frank descriptions of teen sexuality.

Excerpts from Katie Cappiello’s Now That We’re Men were performed on the Opening Night of the #HealMeToo Festival. Performers in this behind the scenes video include Alphonso, Caleb, Fred, Jordan, and Rayshawn. GoodCapp Arts Ensemble is founded and directed by playwright Katie Cappiello. We were honored to have their participation in our Teen Talkback after the performances as well.

Also featured in our Podcast Extra: “Opening Night with Katie Cappiello’s GoodCapp Arts & JKO High School Teens”

Content warning: frank description of a rape kit exam.

Recorded during the dress rehearsal and Opening Night performance at #HealMeToo Festival on March 27, 2019 at the IRT Theater. Students from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School’s Smash Arts Productions performed excerpts of their original movement storytelling and dance work, loosely based on the Brock Turner case and with text from the transcript of survivor Emily Doe's testimony at trial.

Lead players: Alba & Cameron. The Emily Doe voiceover is by Leanne. Music: Lady Gaga “Till It Happens To You.” The play was developed under the direction of their teacher Elisa De Gregorio as part of a Roundabout Theatre Company residency with Teaching Artists Jason Jacobs, theater, and Nick Moore, sound design. The dance was created and performed by the Advanced Dance class under the direction of their teacher Abigail Agresta-Stratton. Full cast credits at tinyurl.com/hm2teens


Your Turn: Storytelling Ideas & Links

Want to explore storytelling in your area? Here are a few ideas and links to explore.

Got kids or teens in NYC? Check out the acting & activism workshops at Katie Cappiello’s GoodCapp Arts!

with offerings for middle schoolers through high school teens, GoodCapp Arts provides high-quality training and extracurricular fun to young artists of all interests and skill levels. The Studio staff is comprised of industry professionals who have a passion for teaching and are committed to creating a supportive, inclusive space for students.

Whether you're looking for an exciting after-school activity or considering a future in the arts, they have a workshop for you! learn more

Search for Storytelling Workshops near your zip code

Many Theater companies, universities, and writing programs run courses that can help you craft a personal story and then share it before a live audience—whether that’s of friends and supporters, or just your fellow classmates.

Keep an eye out for Moth live events near you

check the Moth Events Page to see if they’re performing anytime in your area, and contact any local organizations who co-host the events, to see if they can recommend specific trainers or theaters running storytelling courses.

See if your community could apply for a local Moth workshop!

When funding allows, The Moth community program partners with groups around the country to offer storytelling workshops. Learn more and apply here


Episode Guest Bios

Sarah Austin Jenness joined the staff at The Moth in 2005, and as Executive Producer, she has worked with hundreds of people to craft and hone their personal stories. She is one of the hosts of the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, and launched The Moth's Global Community Program -- coaching storytelling workshops in the US and Africa to highlight world issues including family homelessness and public health. Moth stories she has directed in the past decade have been told during the UN General Assembly and as far afield as the Kenya National Theatre. She believes stories have power and can change the world by creating connection.

Katie Cappiello is a critically-acclaimed playwright and director whose works explore issues of sex, gender and human rights. Her plays include SLUT, Now That We’re Men, A Day In the Life, After 18, JOY and Her Story, Uncut. Her works have reached thousands of students across the US and have been produced in Mexico, Canada, Indonesia, and Australia. Katie has been honored by The National Women’s Hall of Fame for her work fusing arts and activism, and was recently named one of New York’s New Abolitionists in recognition of her arts-based efforts to combat sex-trafficking. Katie and her teen ensemble actors/activists have been invited to speak and perform at the US State Department, The White House, The United Nations, The National Institute of Peace, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Google. In 2015, her book SLUT: A Play and Guidebook for Combatting Sexism and Sexual Violence was published by The Feminist Press. Katie is the Founder and Artistic Director of GoodCapp Arts, a youth-focused theater program dedicated to changing the world the creation and production of daring, accessible theater.