Part of the inspiration for The Dinner Table came from the popularity of storytelling podcasts.
We want to explore this contemporary craving for stories, but in a more intimate format. Rather than millions of listeners scattered globally, connected by Ira Glass's dulcet tones or Sarah Koenig's cliffhangers, we want to bring a dozen strangers and storytellers into direct contact with each other. So we're going to gather them at a table and serve them dinner in July.
While we're still cooking, check out some of our inspiration:
Strangers (Ali's personal favourite).
"Lea Thau, Peabody Award winner & former Director of The Moth, has created Strangers, featuring true stories about people we meet, the heartbreaks we suffer, the kindnesses we encounter, and those frightful moments when we discover that WE aren't even who we thought we were…"
"The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. It is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it."
This American Life (of course)
"This American Life is a weekly public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to about 2.2 million listeners. There's a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. It's mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There's lots more to the show, but it's sort of hard to describe..."
TED Radio Hour (not a storytelling podcast, but still filled with stories)
"An idea is the one gift that you can hang onto even after you've given it away. Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections – and injects soundscapes and conversations that bring these ideas to life."
WTF (An acquired taste we promise is worth acquiring)
"Mr. Maron, a stand-up comic by trade, has cast himself as an unlikely celebrity interviewer — one who is angry, probing, neurotic and a vulnerable recovering addict. And somehow he’s able to elicit from his guests, mostly other comedians, the same level of vulnerability."