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Release: April 30, 2002

EDITORS: If you are interested in previewing this event, the final rehearsal takes place during the class on Tuesday, April 30, from 1 to 4:20 p.m. in room B1 North Hall. To make alternate arrangements contact Polumbaum or Thunder-McGuire as indicated below.

UI students to hold Storytelling Extravaganza May 5

Anyone feeling frazzled by today's modern pressures and the approaching end of the semester might want to take some time to be transported back to a simpler time when folks entertained each other by telling stories around the hearth or gathering around the big box radio to hear tales spun for a national audience. This chance to step off the superhighway is brought to Iowa City on Sunday, May 5, when University of Iowa students will present A Storytelling Extravaganza, a unique storytelling festival in the form of an old-time radio show. The event runs from 6-9 p.m. in Buchanan Auditorium in the Pappajohn Business Building.

These students have spent the semester studying the art of storytelling in "What is Storytelling For?" a course offered through the Literature, Science, and the Arts Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The course is taught by Steve Thunder-McGuire, associate professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education, and Judy Polumbaum, associate professor of journalism and mass communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"The goal of the course is to illuminate storytelling's importance in our lives and in human societies, and to help students develop their own philosophy of the role of storytelling in their own and others' acts of interpretation," said Thunder-McGuire. "Our capacity to create pictures of how lives should be led and how our own lives intertwine with others' comes down to telling stories."

The students will present 12-minute stories highlighting the range of the human condition, evoking laughter, tears, and laughter through tears.

"Those who attend are sure to join in the general hilarity and angst, to laugh, to cry, to laugh some more -- so hard you cry -- to gain particular insight into the breed known as the college student, in all his or her astonishing follies and amazing wisdom, and into other breeds as well, from parents to siblings, from bosses to pets," said Polumbaum.

Polumbaum also notes an added incentive to attend—free food, albeit "of an unpredictable sort, since the students are self-catering."

For more information contact the professors at or