Speak Easy: A Celebration of the Written and Spoken Word

Mike Daisey, Southern Word, and The Moth Mainstage

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 | Doors at 6PM – Show at 7 PM | “Khan and the Whale: The Wrath of Moby Dick”

90 min / including intermission


Thursday, May 5, 2016 | Doors at 6PM – Show at 7 PM | “Reflecting Nashville”

100 min / no intermission

Friday, May 6, 2016 | Doors at 6PM – Show at 7 PM | SOLD OUT: The Moth Mainstage

150 min including intermission

Saturday, May 7, 2016 |Doors at 6PM – Show at 7 PM| “The Secret History of Music City”

80 min / including intermission

What was is now again! A well-honed skill in letterpress, creating vinyl LPs, knitting or storytelling is to be respected, but each has now returned to hip status. OZ Arts announces a new series for an age-old pastime, featuring writers and storytellers, and including local and national innovators in spoken word and poetry.

American monologist and raconteur Mike Daisey opens the series with an original and must-see. Day Three boasts a premiere with the first ever program of THE MOTH Mainstage in Nashville including five, hand picked, storytellers by NY’s finest directors. The series concludes with the return of Mike Daisey and his newest work, created specifically for Nashville and OZ Arts’ SPEAK EASY series. Join us each night for the entire series and take home special prizes, reserved only for those with perfect attendance.


Mike Daisey

“The master storyteller—[Mike Daisey is] one of the finest solo performers of his generation.” – The New York Times

Mike Daisey takes on Herman Melville’s masterpiece of revenge, fate, and whaling terminology in a hilarious and breathtaking ninety minutes. He achieves this by weaving 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.)

Time: 7PM

1 hour, 30 minutes, no intermission


[THE MOTH is] “New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket” – The Wall Street Journal

Dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling, The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. For the premiere performance of THE MOTH Mainstage in Nashville, the lineup will feature all-true stories from tellers both local and from out of state.

Time: 7PM

2 hours, 30 minutes, including intermission


Curated by Southern Word

Southern Word assembles an intergenerational cast of Nashville’s top writers and storytellers for an evening of honest insight, musing, and commentary on our city in flux. Known for developing young writers that bring Nashvillians to their feet, this will be Southern Word’s third ensemble production that captures the city at a specific point in time.

The Spoken Word Census commissioned pieces to serve as a qualitative, literary census of Nashville in 2010. In 2012, more than 70 writers projected the future of Nashville in the seven-performance Future Break series. For one night only, Reflecting Nashville will continue this compelling blend of emerging writers, established literary voices, and unexpected cameos; a diverse combination that is truly local and truly Nashville.

Time: 7PM

1 hour, 40 minutes, no intermission


Created and Performed by Mike Daisey

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 series, Daisey deftly delivers our own city back to us with no holds barred. In The Secret History of Music City, Daisey will tell a story of the singular city of Nashville—of old dreams gone wrong, of the little known origins of hot chicken, of 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.

Time: 7PM

80 min, including intermission


Complete Speak Easy Series (4 nights, May 4-7, 7PM)

Night 1: May 4, Mike Daisey, “Kahn and the Whale: The Wrath of Moby Dick,” 7PM

Night 2: May 5, Southern Word, “Reflecting Nashville,” 7PM

Night 3: May 6, The Moth Mainstage, 7PM : SOLD OUT

Night 4: May 7, Mike Daisey, “The Secret History of Music City,” 7PM


Performance FAQs

Coming to a performance at OZ Arts? Here’s what you need to know!

Where are general admission seats located?
Every seating bank is custom-designed specifically for the production and offers various vantage points. This way, there are no “bad” seats in the house! Open seating enables audience members to select their own seat and make the most of their experience. Our members (The Critic level and above) enjoy reserved seating, designated by black seat covers. If you are interested in joining OZ Arts as a member, please visit our Support page.
What is the dress?
Many of our guests will be in business casual or cocktail attire, however OZ Arts does not strictly enforce a dress code. 
Is this program kid-friendly?
Every program at OZ Arts is vastly different. While our visiting artist programs are not usually designed for children, we have found that many children of varying ages have enjoyed experiencing contemporary art. Ultimately, we encourage parents to do some research and decide if a program matches their child’s interests. Of course, feel free to call or email us if you have any specific questions! And, check out some of our education and outreach programs – created just for kids! – on our Education page. 
Where should I park?
For the convenience of our guests, a complimentary valet service is provided for all OZ Arts visiting artist performances (TNTs not included – we will have parking directors to help you safely self-park on those evenings!).
Oh no! I am running late! Can I still be seated?
Due to the varying nature of our programming, latecomers will be permitted on a case-by-case basis, depending on the requests of the visiting artists.
Do you have snacks and/or drinks?
Wine, beer, spirits, non-alcoholic beverages and light concessions are available for purchase at all OZ Arts artistic programs. We regret that bar and concession sales are closed during performances but will reopen post-show (or during intermission, when applicable). The bar and concession area accepts cash and major credit cards.
Can I get a refund on my tickets if I’m not going to use them anymore?
All ticket sales are final and we are unable to offer refunds. Should you wish to withdraw your enrollment from this event and donate your tickets, you may do so at least 24 hours before the beginning of the performance. The full amount of your contribution may be considered tax-deductible. To request a receipt, please email membership@ozartsnashville.org at least 24 hours before the performance.
May I give my tickets away if I am unable to use them?
Giving your tickets to friends, family, or colleagues is a great way to make sure your tickets don’t go unused! If you are a season subscriber who has a conflict with a performance, or you just have a last-minute change of plans, you can always give your tickets to someone else. All you need to do is have your guest give the ticketholder’s name at the door and they will be admitted.
What is a TNT event and how are they different from regular artistic programs?
Thursday Night Things (TNT) is an ongoing series featuring Tennessee-based artists in a more casual manner than our visiting artist programs. Feel free to come and go at your convenience, and enjoy onsite food trucks as well as our bar.