Tonight, Dec. 4, the Harding Department of Theatre will host an improvisational night of storytelling in the Freeman Center on the second floor of the Swaid and Christy Swaid Center for Health Sciences from 7-8 p.m. Created and organized by senior Jesse Hixson as a senior seminar capstone project for the Honors College, the event will feature communication professors Jim Miller, Jack Shock, Katie Ramirez and Steven Frye, English professor Michael Claxton, Dean of the College of Allied Health Beckie Weaver, and dean of the College of Pharmacy Julie Hixson-Wallace.
Hixson said that inspiration for the project came from this past winter when he was at his grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration, where the entire family spent the day telling stories and enjoying each other’s company.
“I just remember it as being a really good day,” Hixson said. “It made me want to capture that feeling of sitting around a fire, telling stories, spending time together in a really simple way.”
According to Hixson, he chose the hosts for their likeable personalities and their reputations for being able to “spin a good yarn.”
“It will be an hour and 15 minutes of your favorite professors telling funny and emotional stories,” Hixson said.
Shock said he loves to tell stories and immediately said yes when Hixson asked him to be part of the event.
“After talking with (Hixson), I share his passion for reviving this art (of storytelling),” Shock said. “In the case of families and other social units, it helps keep people alive, those we’ve lost — to tell their stories, to keep them a part of the family.”
Shock said that he is eager to see what memories his fellow storytellers and friends have in their “bag of tricks.”
“These are some very lively people,” Shock said, in regard to the group Hixson has assembled. “It will for sure add up to be an entertaining evening.”
The theme for the event is “Winter.” Hixson said this theme helps capture the mood of the event, which he hopes will be familial and cozy.
“It’s free of charge, you don’t have to wear an ugly Christmas sweater or anything, just come to the Freeman Center and enjoy a night of storytelling,” Hixson said. “You can even expect hot chocolate and maybe cider, too.”