What is it about?

While many public events rely on large budgets and recognizable personalities to draw audiences, live storytelling events in Toronto have found success without these factors. They serve as a platform for community building by actively relying on the audience's desire for these events to exist.

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Why is it important?

This study explores what public entertainment could look like if valuing audience members played a more important role than the amount money an event can make. This examination promotes the idea that entertainment can serve a more socially constructive purpose than distraction or escape from 'real life', namely by valuing the experiences of those in attendance and fostering community through active audience involvement on all levels of production. Blurring the lines between who creates and who consumes entertainment encourages a sense of ownership of that experience in all present.


In a time when social divisiveness is once again on the rise, I think that asking how to make room for and value the people around us becomes an important question. Ideas of 'right' or 'wrong' ways to live are important to discover for oneself but it can become a problem when those ideas begin taking precedence over the well-being or lives of other people who may think differently. Different kinds of people who have different thoughts share this world together, and I think that trying to find a way for us to live together in relative peace is crucial for our collective survival. Community-minded action is one way forward.

justine conte
York University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A Story of Us: Community as Method in Live Storytelling Events, Collaborative Anthropologies, March 2022, Project Muse,
DOI: 10.1353/cla.2022.0002.
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