To advance the event, Russ answered four questions about the performance. Here are his answers, presented with only a small amount of editing for length and style:
1) What is the idea behind the course?
Part storytelling, part theatrical adventure, this groundbreaking project puts Fordham’s graduate business students on stage in front of a live audience to tell real stories about their contemporary personal and professional lives. No notes. No varnish. Just uncensored, humorous, shocking, and moving stories.
2) What practical benefit does it have for students and their careers?
During this course students applied narrative theories from multiple disciplines – communication, psychology, literature, neuroscience, and theater – to critically analyze the anatomy of effective and persuasive stories. Investigating historical folklore and narrative paradigms from the 21st century, students analyze why some stories and forms are more persuasive, inspiring, and mythic than others. Through practice and coaching, students deepened their own repertoire of persuasive storytelling abilities and discovered their own authentic, theatrical, and unique voices.
3) How do you feel about the students’ performances? Do you think they have resonance for anyone who comes to the event?
The stories are quite universal. Taken together, the stories are an exciting excavation and exploration of the human condition in the 21st century.
4) Why should folks come?
This investigative project marries the power of the spoken word with live performance … fosters a deep relationship between storyteller and audience, and unleashes the true transformative power of human storytelling.