LEC: Tell us a little bit about the importance of the audience in your work.
JAN ANDREWS: Without listeners a storyteller is nothing. That’s why I always take time to make sure everyone is as comfortable as can be managed and no one is sitting next to the person most likely to distract them! When the stories are over, there’s often a moment of silence – a sort of communal awareness that we have all been on some incredible journey and we don’t want that journey to end.
AUBREY DAVIS: They are extremely important. The story is for them. They also help shape the story as I tell it, through their responses. I keep them in mind as I write and re-write the tales.
BERNICE GEI-YING HUNE: Essential! Without listeners there are no tellers.
SHOSHANA LITMAN: I usually try to connect with my audience through questions, repeated phrases the audience can easily master together, as well as easy to follow actions and singable songs. This transforms the listeners from passive recipients to active participants. I respond to the audience as much as possible through eye contact, smiles and gestures as well as my voice so that people feel included in the story and hopefully will be inspired to share their own tales with each other.