Iowa State University


Shirley Basfield Dunlap, ISU Theatre, (515) 294-7627
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- ISU Theatre is offering students a semester-long opportunity to experience a variety of cultures and learn how to tell the stories of those cultures.

"International Storytelling Workshop," a three-credit, graded night course, will be offered during spring semester 1998. The class will meet each Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. and is designed to meet the university's new diversity/internationalization requirement. Undergraduate students should sign up for Theatre 393C, while graduate students can register for Theatre 590.

"We anticipate a lot of interest in this class and encourage students to register for it as soon as they can," said Shirley Basfield Dunlap, course instructor and director of the ISU Minority Theatre Workshop. "Students are going to learn how to tell a story with things other than their voices. They will learn folklore and stories of different cultures, and learn how to tell them by studying a variety of storytelling techniques."

During the second half of the semester, students will put the techniques they have learned into action by sharing stories and folklore with community groups, said Dunlap. Regional storytellers and international students will help teach storytelling techniques.

"This course should appeal to a wide variety of majors because knowing how to tell the details, how to tell the stories, how to convey messages is an important skill for many professions," said Dunlap. "Also, the exposure to other cultures is invaluable in today's society."

In conjunction with the class, international master storytellers Brenda Wong Aoki, an Asian contemporary storyteller; Kevin Locke, a Native American storyteller who is a member of the Lakota Nation; and Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, a Nigerian storyteller, will visit campus for al all-day master storytelling festival on Saturday, May 2. International Storytelling Workshop students also will participate in the festival, which will be open to the public.

On the evening of May 2, the three international storytellers will perform a storytelling concert in Fisher Theater.


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