sealPurdue News

January 17, 2002

Three storytellers join forces for 'American StoryFeast'

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Three nationally known storytellers will join forces to present "American StoryFeast" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in Fowler Hall.

Admission is $10 for general public, $7 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. "American StoryFeast" is presented by Purdue Convocations.

"'American StoryFeast' creates for the audience a sort of ethnic stew which celebrates the American experience," says Convocations assistant director Laura Clavio. "This is the kind of performance that can really give you a sense of where you come from."

Jon Spelman is the creator and artistic director of "American StoryFeast". His storytelling is recognized for its humor, power and humanity. Spelman has won two Emmys for his work in television and has performed throughout the United States and Europe.

A Purdue graduate, Spelman is of English-German descent and was raised in southern Ohio listening to his father's Ozark Mountain tales. He is a noted expert in many tales of the Brothers Grimm.

Charlotte Blake Alston performs tales from the African and African-American experiences, as well as songs, educational raps and poetry. Raised in Pennsylvania, Alston was a classroom teacher before becoming a professional storyteller.

Gayle Ross is a Native American, a descendant of John Ross, who was the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation during the "Trail of Tears." Ross learned Indian legend and animal stories from her grandmother and now shares this rich Native American heritage in her own storytelling. She also is the author of five children's books.

The storytellers also will perform at 12 local schools during their two-day visit to campus.

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Alston, Ross and Spelman is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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