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March 18, 2004 - The overall theme of the 2004 RESOUCEFUL WOMEN CONFERENCE is Women's Stories. The Conference is on Monday, April 5 with registration between 10:30 and 11 a.m. in Jarecki Center for Advanced Learning, 159 Woodward Lane S.E. and is sponsored by the Aquinas College Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center.

The Women's Studies Advisory Board has planned an inspiring, educational and entertaining program, including an opportunity for students to submit papers or creative works to be presented. Allison Williams, actor, storyteller, acrobat and fire-eater, will serve as the keynote presenter with her popular one-woman show titled TRUE STORY in the Aquinas Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Road, S.E. at from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The show will be repeated at 7 p.m. for the Grand Rapids Community and is free.

Based on a series of interviews with friends, family and strangers on "the most important thing you are carrying" and the true stories associated with the objects, solo performer Williams presents six characters in a funny and yet profound comedy about extraordinary events in the lives of ordinary people. TRUE STORY includes physical performance elements such as fire-eating, audience interaction, aerial hoop-and-silk and thoughts on cell phones, death, revenge, and the senior prom. TRUE STORY completed a Canadian national tour in the summer of 2002 including a stop at the London Fringe Festival, where the show received the Fringe Impresario Award for best show.

The Show's development and tour have been funded by a generous grant from ArtServe Michigan through the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs. Williams and her partner Todd Espeland make up Commedia Zuppa, a mask/physical theatre company that creates and performs physical theatre, mask, circus and commedia dell'arte. They are currently in residence at Kalamazoo College, where they directed "A Servant to Two Masters."

Listed are the schedule of the day's events and guidelines for submission:

10:30 to 11 a.m. Registration (Jarecki Center for Advanced Learning)

11 to 11:20 a.m. Welcome and Winning Entry Presentation (Lacks Center, 141)

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Lunch (Lack Center, 141) Cost: $9.50 per person. Please RSVP by March 30 to (616) 632-2979 or e-mail

12:30 to 2 p.m. Performance of TRUE STORY (Aquinas Performing Arts Center)

2 to 2:20 p.m. Break

2:20 to 3:15 p.m. Presentation of Student Submissions (Jarecki Center)

3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Break-out sessions and workshops (Jarecki Center)

7 to 8:30 p.m. TRUE STORY The evening performance in the Aquinas Performing Arts Center is free and open to the Grand Rapids community.