University News

18th Century Storytelling Program at WIU

February 1, 2007

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MACOMB, IL -- Ol' Bess, a 18th century tavern slave, will bring her story to the Western Illinois University-Macomb campus Wednesday, Feb. 28.

The event, which will be held at 7 p.m. in the University Union Heritage Room, will feature Ol' Bess, portrayed by Sheila Arnold of Hampton, VA, who will discuss her life -- in period costume -- as a tavern slave in Williamsburg, VA. Stories presented, along with songs, include "Simon and Susannah," "Devil Coined a Phrase" and "Combustible Woman." A question-and-answer session will also be held as part of Arnold's presentation.

Arnold performs in, manages and contracts new business for "History's Alive!" and is also an interpreter and coordinator of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Teachers' Institute. She leads creative writing and drama workshops and is a motivational speaker. Arnold wrote and presented the monologue series, "And the Women Were There" and has a full-length play of the same title.

Arnold's presentation, which is open free to the public, is sponsored by the departments of history and curriculum and instruction. For more information, contact Larry Balsamo, history, at 309/298-1053, or Barry Witten, curriculum and instruction, 309/298-1789.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing