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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 26, 2003

Playwright Anne Basting To Speak On Memory, Dementia April 7 At UI

Visiting scholar and playwright Anne Basting, will present a lecture, "Are We More Than Memory? The Performance of Self in Dementia" at 4 p.m. Monday, April 7 in the Gerber Lounge, 304 English-Philosophy Building, on the University of Iowa campus.

A reception, in the same location, will follow the lecture. Both events are open to UI faculty, staff and students and the general public. The events are sponsored by the UI English department in cooperation with the UI Center on Aging, UI department of theater arts, and UI Aging Studies Program.

In 1998, Basting developed "TimeSlips," a six-person play in which the narratives are based on the whimsical characters that emerged in her storytelling workshops for people with dementia. "TimeSlips" stories spring from hour-long, group storytelling sessions with up to a dozen people in the middle stages of dementia. Using an image to prompt responses, a facilitator plays down the importance of memory and encourages creative responses. The facilitator asks open-ended questions and weaves together all the answers, from the poetic to the mundane, into a story.

Created for an ensemble of older performers, "TimeSlips" captures the humor and poignancy of life lived outside the conventional boundaries of time. Basting's play champions the power of the imagination to transform lives and challenges us to wonder, "Are we more than memory?"

For caregivers, program administrators, and other health professionals interested in storytelling certification, the TimeSlips Project offers certification on two levels, storytelling facilitators and storytelling trainers. For more information visit

Basting recently assumed the positions of director, Center on Age and Community; and associate professor of theatre and dance at University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Currently, she is a fellow at the Brookdale Center on Aging at Hunter College in New York, and recipient of the Helen Bader Foundation grant to create an Arts and Dementia Care Resource Guide. The author of "The Stages of Age: Performing Age in Contemporary American Culture," Basting earned her doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

For more information, or if you are a person with a disability who requires accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact Trish Bonica, UI Center on Aging, at (319) 335-7731 or via e-mail at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program: Trish Bonica, 319-335-7731,