Ira Glass, the host and creator of the public radio show, “This American Life,” will discuss the art of storytelling during “Reinventing Radio” Saturday, Nov. 23, at 8 p.m.

Presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, the performance will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. 

Glass will detail his work on “This American Life” and talk about its creation, including what makes a compelling story and how he and the program’s staff find stories for their show and work to push broadcast journalism to do things differently. Mixing stories from the show live onstage, he will combine his narration with pre-taped quotes and music to recreate the sound of the show as the audience watches. Glass will play funny and memorable moments from the show and highlight the details behind their creation.

Prior to his performance, Glass will lead a special class for Virginia Tech students interested in journalism. Participants in this small-group engagement event include writers for Virginia Tech’s Collegiate Times, members of the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and radio hosts on WUVT-FM, the university's student-run radio station.

“This American Life” premiered on Chicago’s public radio station WBEZ in 1995 and is now heard on more than 500 public radio stations each week by over 1.8 million listeners. Most weeks, the program’s podcast is the most popular in America. The show also airs on the CBC in Canada and on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio network.

Glass began his career as an intern at National Public Radio’s network headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1978, when he was 19. Over the years, he has worked on nearly every news program for the organization and held virtually every production job in its Washington headquarters.

Under the editorial direction of Glass, “This American Life” has received many honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence, including several Peabody and DuPont-Columbia awards. A television adaptation of “This American Life" ran on the Showtime network for two seasons, in 2007 and 2008, and received three Emmy awards. The show has released its own comic book, three greatest hits compilations, and DVDs of live shows and other events.


Tickets are $25-$50 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Center for the Arts’ box office, noon to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Event parking for visitors is $5. Event passes may be purchased in advance through the Center for the Arts box office or when entering the garage on event evenings. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.



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