Alumni Profile: Eshu Bumpus 76S
Eshu Bumpus 76S knows how to draw an audience’s focus his way. Whether it’s an unexpected turn of phrase, a dance, or a captivating introduction to a traditional folktale, the storyteller uses all the techniques of his craft to immerse people in a world of his creation. Although some see a good story as an end in itself, Bumpus knows that, told properly, it can mean so much more.
“A challenge for me has been the fact that I’m not really interested in being entertainment. It’s in the schools, working directly with students, where I get the greatest satisfaction,” he says. “Stories are there to help make sense of the world. Children need to receive them from responsible sources, sources who care about what kind of adults they’ll become.”
That approach to storytelling has driven Bumpus’s career since his Hampshire days. Over more than three decades, he has crossed the country sharing tales with listeners of all ages. Frequently partnering with his wife and fellow storyteller, Motoko, he’s as comfortable performing in front of thousands at a major storytelling festival as he is working one-on-one with a student in a classroom.