Touring In: Ontario
Genre: Cultural stories
Ideal Audience Size: 60
Maximum Audience Size: 200
Grades: Kindergarten – 12
Special Equipment: N/A
AROUND THE WORLD AND BACK AGAIN Grades K-6
Every time we listen to cultural stories we learn more about how we are connected. Experiences of joy, celebration, fear, strength and bravery ignite our sense of humanity and our oneness. The performance might focus on a particular cultural connection such as Japan, Eastern Europe, South East Asia, Russia, or West Africa, all places that the storyteller has travelled to. Perhaps a school might choose a certain social goal such as heroism, kindness, empathy etc. so that through the stories we learn how every person on this planet we call home, is trying to achieve similar goals. It’s important that the last story told is from the storyteller’s memory of her childhood on a prairie farm. This final story brings the performance to a full circle by reminding the listeners that although it is wondrous to travel far and away, our memories make up our life story. When we honour what we remember by sharing it with others, we leave our legacy for the next listener.
THE WORLD NEXT DOOR Junior/Senior High and Adult audience
We are not so different from each other as our appearances might indicate. There are patterns and rhythms in cultural stories that suggest we are neighbours, even if we are continents apart. The storyteller will take you on a journey to many places she’s visited through the traditional tales of the communities. Love and conflict, heroes and villains have been a part of us for as long as stories have walked the Earth. Come along on a journey you’ll not soon forget.
WE ARE ONE, The Story Web Knits us Together
-This performance is designed for K-12 schools, and is flexible for every grade level
This performance takes the audience to the many locations around the world that have been experienced first hand by the teller. Along with the folktales, Leigh-Anne will share accounts of cultural exchange and personal life lessons learned along the way. For example, don’t choose the oldest elephant in the caravan while sojourning through a Thai jungle. Also don’t turn your back on a Japanese audience and be sure to slurp your noodles at the mayor’s house. While the personal stories reflect on differences, they also celebrate the necessity of empathy, which we must foster if we’re to begin sharing our similarities. The lessons in the folklore are global. Students in many schools have been surprised to find that story patterns from Western world fairytales are found throughout Asian, South American and Eastern European lore. We are unique however our basic human need for love, protection and community brings us together.
As a performing storyteller, Leigh-Anne has appeared nationally and internationally at renowned festivals including the Toronto International Storytelling Festival, The Yukon International Storytelling Festival, the Winnipeg International Peace Storytelling Festival, The Winnipeg Folk Festival and Children’s Festival and the Regina Children’s Festival. She has also toured schools in Japan, Thailand, Norway and Denmark. She began her career telling stories to her animals on a lively farm in southern Manitoba and has studied and performed in several professional theatrical productions.
With financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Manitoba Arts Council she developed and is currently touring THE FINAL HOUR, the story of her father’s unique palliative experience to medical staff in cities across Canada. She’s also toured BABY BLUES, VOICES ON THE WIND, and FIRE WOMEN as solo productions throughout Manitoba. FIRE WOMEN and THE FINAL HOUR appeared at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, June 2016, as part of the invitation spoken word and storytelling program.
Leigh-Anne believes that stories knit us together with understanding and empathy and will guide us into a future filled with wisdom and kindness.
“Leigh-Anne Kehler never disappoints. A natural story spinner, she uses all of her body… Every movement and moment has clear and definite purpose and meaning.”
“She had the audience in the palm of her hand eliciting actual sighs and gasps and whispers of ‘Isn’t she wonderful!’ throughout the production.”
4.5 STARS FreePress
“If you wish to be transported, totally entertained and excited—be here. Exquisite!”
4 STARS CBC