Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: David W. Booth/Carita Giles, NIU School of Theatre and Dance
(815) 753-1337

November 20, 2007

NIU School of Theatre and Dance presents
Studio Series Storytellers Theatre

DeKalb, Ill. — Just in time for the holiday season, the Northern Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance will give the gift of storytelling.

Opening Thursday, Nov. 29, the Storytellers Theatre—Holiday Edition features stories of Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa in a holiday show compilation appropriate for people of all ages. Storytellers Theatre runs through Sunday, Dec. 2, in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre.

Head of the school’s Bachelor of Arts program and professional storyteller, Dr. Patricia Ridge is directing the production. She is particularly excited about the holiday theme of this storytelling event. “We normally run Storytellers Theatre in the spring,” she says, “and in recent years, it has not had a theme. This year it’s a fun holiday storytelling fest!”

For this production, students will showcase the skills they learned and developed in a storytelling course taught by Ridge. Each night, different storytellers will perform stories they have worked on perfecting all semester.

According to Ridge, storytelling is one of the earliest forms of theater. In oral societies, before printing and written literature, storytelling was a necessity. Word-of-mouth was the only way to give accounts of myths, battles, religion or history. Storytellers were praised for their abilities to entertain the audience with fables and tall tales, she says.

Storytellers Theatre—Holiday Edition runs Thursday, Nov. 29, through Sunday, Dec. 2. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 and can only be purchased at the door. Though the production is “family friendly,” according to Ridge, children under the age of 5 will not be admitted. For additional information, contact the School of Theatre and Dance marketing office at (815) 753-1337.

# # #