Lea Thau is a Peabody Award-winning producer and director, and the creator and host of Strangers.
She was the Executive and Creative Director of the storytelling organization The Moth from 2001 to 2010, and created the enormously popular Moth Podcast, as well as The Moth Radio Hour, for which she won a 2010 Peabody Award as Director, Producer and Co-host. The show was launched in August 2009 and is currently carried by 250 US public radio stations. Under Thau's leadership, The Moth grew from having a local mailing list of 5,000 people to being a national community with millions of listeners, storytellers and participants.
Thau has directed, produced or executive produced more than 1,000 live storytelling shows around the country and has worked extensively with hundreds of individuals, one-on-one, to develop their stories, including Ethan Hawke, Margaret Cho, Salman Rushdie, Rosie O’Donnell, Darryl "DMC" MacDaniels, George Plimpton, Garrison Keillor, and many, many others.
Lea created the MothShop community program, which brings storytelling workshops to underprivileged communities free of charge, as well as the MothShop business program, which teaches storytelling for business purposes to organizations around the country. In 2010 she created MothUp, which helps people across the US to form their own storytelling groups. More than 100 groups formed at the launch. As Executive Director, Thau increased The Moth's annual revenues by 800 percent.
Originally from Denmark, she first came to the US as a visiting scholar at Columbia University in 1996.
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